survey design cx

Why Customers Are Not Responding to Your Surveys

Every experience we go through is connected to our power as consumers. And experience surveys have become part of nearly every brand interaction we have.

Last month, I went to a museum and was solicited for feedback. My grocery store surveys me on my delivery experience. As consumers, we asked to be empowered to give feedback… we certainly got what we wished for!

So then why are we still having bad experiences? If brands care so much about our feedback, why there is no impact to our journeys?

Because basic best practice principles are not applied to survey design.

Survey Timing Matters!

When you solicit customer feedback sometimes matters more than how you ask the questions. In the case of a survey about new biometrics boarding initiatives my team and I created for JetBlue, we had a list of feedback that was most important for us.

We needed to know how our customers felt about their privacy. We also needed to know if they perceived the boarding process as faster. When we called our customer insights team, we were given the option to send an online survey a few dates after the flight. We knew that by that point in the journey, our customers would have forgotten the details of the experience. So we designed a paper survey for them to complete in real time. Was the analysis of the results painfully manual? Absolutely! But based on this approach, we were able to change the experience the very next day, and we increase NPS.

In Survey Design, Customer Context Matters

At an airline boarding gate during a POC (proof of concept), it is easy to fill out a one page survey. This can be the best approach to collecting feedback. However, the same approach can negatively impact your response rates. You must be aware of the context of your end user.

I gave birth on November 7th. On my kitchen table, two months later, I still have the paper survey Mount Sinai sent me about my birthing experience. I almost threw it out a few times, but I am keeping it since I have a lot of feedback to give (Stay tuned for that post coming soon).

No postpartum, sleep deprived woman has the time to fill out a 5 page paper survey after she gets home from the hospital. I should have received the survey as part of the hospital discharge process; or I should have received it via email to fill it out faster and submit it without having to leave my house.

The End Goal Matters

When you design a survey, you must keep in mind what you plan to do with the results. In other words, you need to be strategic and deliberate with your questions. Customer attention span is not long. Make sure the questions you really need answers to are in the beginning of your survey. Also, make sure you can actually DO something with the answers you get.

If you suspect a reason why your website users are dropping off your site, or your checking account customers are leaving your branch, make sure you list those options separately. Don’t leave “other” as an option, creating more effort for your customers to tell you your problems. If part of your goal is to visually represent the survey results, make sure you limit the number of open ended questions.

Last but not least, be aware of sending too many surveys. We all know NPS is part of the story and you need more survey data to explain why the NPS is a certain way. But avoid surveying every touch point independently. Make sure the end user only sees one feedback outreach.

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*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.


Also published on Medium.

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