Your Surveys Are Wasting Customers’ Time

Your Surveys Are Wasting Customers Time image wasting customers time 600x400

It’s been a long day. I’m more than ready to close the laptop lid and head out in search of ‘me’ time. I feel I’ve earned it.

But I need to do one last check of my inbox so I don’t start tomorrow with a pile to read through.

What’s this… a survey request? Oh yeah, I bought that upgrade for my laptop a few months ago. I vaguely remember having a bit of a wait for it to arrive. I wonder what they’re after.

Ok, so this is the first page of how many exactly? Why on earth are they asking me about websites I read?

What’s my phone model got to do with anything?

30 pages later and I’m bored senseless. A growing sense of resentment rising inside me. I manage to get to the end, mostly selecting answers without reading the questions.

Customer Feedback done badly

Sound familiar? It’s a classic example of customer feedback done badly.

And it’s done so often that it’s what we come to expect from any company collecting customer feedback.

But intrinsically it doesn’t make sense. Because it’s not to the customer’s benefit (none of the questions are relevant).

And it’s not to the company’s benefit (my answers are based on memories from too long ago to be useful)

In all likelihood my response will remain unread and ignored. Which annoys me further given that I’ve spent time completing it.

Would a little thank-you note be too much to ask? What about seeing changes based on the problems I noticed?

There’s a better way to ask for feedback. In fact there are 10 ingredients you need for brilliant results. But I’ll summarise here for you.

Relevant times

When you ask for customer feedback, ask at a time that is relevant to the customer.

  • for ecommerce this is after they’ve received their item
  • for DIY products it might be after the following weekend, giving them time to use their purchase
  • for service based companies it’s after you’ve sent the final invoice

These time slots are far more relevant because the customer has literally just experienced dealing with your company.

As a result their feedback will be far better informed than it can possibly be months later.

Keep the questions relevant too

There are a thousand and one things we’d like to ask customers to get to know them better. But you’re better off sticking to asking about their experience of your company.

Only ask relevant questions on customer feedback forms or surveys.

  • how easy was it to buy from us?
  • how well did we keep you informed?
  • how happy are you with your purchase?
  • how would you describe your experience with us?
  • is there anything we could do better?

As customers this is all we really care about. And what we want you to be good at. So that’s all you need to ask them.

If a customer thinks you’re trying to excel at the things that are important to them they are more likely to want to help you.

Fulfil promises

When you’re asking customers for feedback, you’re implying that you want to check they’re happy, and if not, that you want to fix their problems.

This is fantastic, because it opens up the doors of communication.

But it becomes a problem if there’s never any follow up to their feedback.

Going back to my recent experience filling in the survey for an electrical goods store, I mentioned the fact that I’d been unhappy with the lengthy wait for delivery.

I’m not exactly sure what caused it to be late. But I know they did not meet my expectations.

The impression I had while filling it out is that in some way my message would be read by someone who might be able to help me.

Sadly, as is often the case, there was no response. No email. Nada.

Which is disappointing. And will certainly affect my purchase decision next time I’m in the market for electrical stuff.

Your customers’ expectations are no different

If they let you know about a problem in a feedback form, they expect you to do something about it. Otherwise you will have wasted their time.

There’s plenty of advice out there to set up a system to do customer feedback better, including our own totally free course.

So there’s no excuse for wasting customers’ time. When you could be engaging with them. Building loyal brand advocates. And doing customer feedback better than all your competitors.

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