The 3 Biggest Reasons Customer Satisfaction Surveys Fail and How to Fix Them (Part 3)

In this continuing series, we examine the 3rd most common reason surveys fail. You can find part 1 and part 2 of the series here.  For your benefit, we have added the intro from the first blog below.

Customer satisfaction surveys don’t always work.  Perhaps you have firsthand experience with a survey failing and looking back, still don’t know why.  But rest assured, you are not alone.  We run into many people that have done surveys before and been unsatisfied with their results.  They feel like they did all of the right things.  Many have:

  • Spent a ton of time crafting specific questions based on what they wanted to know about their clients/prospects.
    • They may have searched Google to find ‘expert’ survey questions.
    • They may have used a research firm or consultant to help them create their questions.
  • Used cutting edge technology to create and send the survey.

But something was obviously missing because after the survey results came back, they were left feeling like all of their effort/time/resources were wasted.  What happened?

In our experience, there are 3 major reasons surveys fail.  Typically the sender:

  • Didn’t have a significant number of people respond.
  • Had people respond but didn’t get the information they hoped for.
  • Received great data but didn’t know how to create actionable steps from it.

With each of these issues, there are many variables that could have caused their survey to fail.  Today, we will pull back the curtain on some of the most common.

Reason 3 – Received Great Data, Now What?

I think this reason surveys fail is the most frustrating of all.  The person putting together the survey seemingly did everything right – she crafted both a great subject line and email content that engaged  email recipients enough to take action, and she created meaningful questions that the survey taker was willing to answer.  But now – she is stuck.  Why?  Because, as with many who create surveys, this is the first time she has all of this disparate data in front of her and it is overwhelming.  Whether the results are positive or negative, the marketer has to think of how it translates not only into actionable next steps but also how to speak to her survey recipients going forward based on the results.  In other words – it is hard.

But it is only difficult because the survey creator forgot to set up these next steps at the same time as the survey questions.  Going into any new survey project with a goal/goals for the outcome is essential to measure its success.  With a first survey, a company’s goal may simply be to receive baseline customer satisfaction results that they can begin working internally to improve.  A different company’s goal may be that they wanted to take a survey to get a better feel for what their clients’ demographics are.  A company’s goal could be one of many things, but it is ALWAYS specific to the company sending the survey.

With a goal in mind, the nitty gritty details don’t seem quite so overwhelming.  Our clients find that the custom reports included within the CustomerCount® system are able to help them understand survey data without hiring a data scientist.  How?  Because our reports are role-based and show the information that the person logging into the system is looking for.  As an example, a manager of a call center may want to see how all of his people are doing in one report while the call center representative just wants to see his own metrics.  Both have the same idea – they want to take actionable next steps, but by making the data specific to the person logging in, he/she doesn’t have to weed through the details of things that are too broad or too specific to take action.

Have you ever had a bad experience sending out a survey?

If nothing else, we hope this blog shows you that the problems you faced were things we have heard before at CustomerCount.  Thankfully, they are all things that can be solved by simply having a plan in place and the technology to execute it well.  If you have questions or would like to learn more about CustomerCount, please reach out today by calling us at 317-816-6000 or by contacting us now.

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