We are bombarded with surveys. Buy a car, get a phone call asking for your opinions. Buy groceries, and the checker gives you the receipt and asks you to answer a few questions. Buy from an online retailer, you’re asked to review a product in a survey. It’s overdone, becoming intrusive and could result in a negative backlash from your customers.
A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook: “My rabid dislike of surveys is no secret — my dentist recently sent me a survey after a 15 minute consult. Today, my bank sent me a survey for a 5 minute check deposit transaction at an ATM. This is very annoying.”
My friend’s Facebook comment opened up a litany of snark such as:
“I’ll have a survey for you tomorrow about the service provided by music librarians.”
“Hmm, I wonder what percentage of consumers feel the same way. But now I have no idea how to find out.”
“I’m waiting for SurveyMonkey to send me a survey to rate all of the surveys I have received.”
So maybe that’s what is needed: surveys of surveys. We’re fatiguing our customers with inane questions about their experience, and I suspect many customers roll their eyes thinking that even if they complained, no one will care. Although, that being said, hotels have surveyed me in the past and if I didn’t answer a 10 (on a 1-10 scale), I get an email asking what they could have done to have done better. Let’s face it: not every experience is a 10 and worthy of explaining why.
On the plus side, we can learn a great deal from surveys so we do a better job in the future. That’s smart.
And for some marketers, it’s a way to gauge how soon a person might make a new (or additional) purchase decision. With that information, emails, letters, and digital advertising can be deployed, using a nurture marketing strategy, to generate more sales. But there needs to be depth in the survey, so it’s genuine and doesn’t come off as patronizing.
- The purpose of the survey is for your benefit, but the wording must always be all about your customer. Make sure the customer knows what’s in it for them.
- Distill your survey down to as few questions as possible. You’ll probably have more completions if it’s short and sweet.
- Offer an incentive for participation that your customer can use now. Sure, it’s nice to be entered into a drawing for something, but has your name ever been drawn?
(My new book, “Crack the Customer Mind Code” is available at the DirectMarketingIQ bookstore. Or download my free seven-step guide to help you align your messaging with how the primitive mind thinks. It’s titled “When You Need More Customers, This Is What You Do.” )