tabsurvey blog

The learning curve of curious organisations

Background

In this blog post, I want to shed light on what often happens when organisations embark on new customer experience management projects. Initial high focus from C-level management and well-meaning intentions from many places in the organisation can often lead to misguided attempts to acquire information about your customers. The consequence being fewer answers harvested, too complex data sets and – more importantly, annoyed customers.

The objective of this blog entry is to share some of our experiences. This will hopefully inspire organisations that want to start new customer feedback initiatives to reflect on the findings below and maybe stay clear of known pitfalls.

New project, new interest

Many of you have probably tried this: Your organisation is on the verge of implementing new technology. A lot of people are involved to have some sort of impact on the implementation because it’s new and it has management’s attention. This new technology could be a physical, in-store feedback system like tabsurvey.

All of the necessary hardware, software and services are in place in order to roll out the system and it’s now time to decide what to ask your customers. People from HR are involved. They want to know how customers feel about the store employees’ ability to assist the customers (the employees attended a service excellence course some time ago). The sales department are keen to find out if the customers were offered any complementary products and accessories. Store operations want to learn if the customers like the new store merchandising and marketing thinks it’s pivotal to understand if the customers came by because of the latest Facebook campaign.

Meeting with laptops on table

In this setup, large consensus-driven organisations struggle to keep a specific focus for the survey, and the result – unfortunately – is a compromise. Everybody gets a chance to influence the questionnaire, and the influences are many. In our time working with retail clients, we have seen surveys with up to 30 questions in them – all pointing in different directions. Not exactly the kind of survey that a visiting customer would answer quickly while shopping.

The customers suffer

“Feedback is a gift” as they say. So why make it so difficult to give it? Customers that genuinely want to give some feedback on the experience they’ve had are often facing lengthy surveys that focus on everything from their socio-economic status to whether or not they were able to locate the new organic products.

The result is both low completion rates and the risk of annoying the hell out of your customer. You may even risk impacting your cNPS (Customer Net Promoter Score) negatively, which seems futile, considering the entire point of the project in the first place.

picture of clock

We have had examples where a company – in addition to asking their customers more than 20 questions, also demanded that each and every respondent give up their full name, email address and telephone number. But why? Would the customer’s experience be less valid because they were anonymous? In today’s IOT reality with transactional surveys popping up everywhere and surveys embedded on most websites, the competition for the respondent’s time is fierce. Therefore, each moment of time that you ask from your customer, should be well worth their time. That means that they should have a valid opinion about the topic and feel that they are really making a difference by answering.

Less action, more talk

Less action and more talk may not be the ideal outcome of a customer experience management project. But none the less this could be the end result as long surveys produce even longer data sets. Due to the many focus areas, too many people are involved in interpreting the results. This, in turn, creates a sense of shared responsibility, which – even though it sounds nice – eventually means that nobody owns up to it.

Take-aways

Conducting surveys should never become an objective in itself. They should merely serve as a necessary means to reach an objective. “Well obviously”, many will say. But in large organisations things have away of getting complex very fast, due to inherent nature of the organisation itself.
Therefore, the assertive project leader should be asking herself and her team:

piece of paper with check box

  • “What’s the purpose of this project?”
  • “What do we want to accomplish or avoid with the information this survey will give us?”
  • “How do we act on the results in order to make the necessary changes?”

Well, although these are valid questions, they are often not asked because they are hard to answer and could in turn lead to even more comprehensive projects.

 

In order to try to counter some if these driving forces, we have gathered some recommendations in the following.

  • Keep your survey short and focused. Read more about this topic in this blog.
  • When changing focus of a survey, be sure to keep one or two baseline questions that you always ask. This will ensure continuity in your surveys over time. The questions should be key to your operational goals and support your overall business strategy. E.g. for a fast food restaurant: “Was your meal warm when you received it?” or “Did our staff meet you with a smile today?”
  • Place your survey in convenient places for the respondent (your customer)
  • Be sure that customer surveys stay top-of-mind in your organisation by involving key stakeholders and distributing relevant, easy-to-translate reporting to management and the customer-facing colleagues.

Well, that’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Be sure to tune back in again soon!

Select survey methods for better strategic fit

The two sides to business feedback (Part 2)

Last article gave an account of the two main approaches to surveys; namely, push and pull. Today will focus on getting the mix right for you and your organisation. We give you four essential questions that, when answered, will give you a clearer view of your best fit.

Getting to the right mix is not a one solution fix for all companies and will change along with context. Rather, it is a roadmap to understanding important factors of influence. What is a best fit for your organisation will likely fail for others. So, factor in the difference, take what you can use from the questions below and find you ideal fit!

 

Continue reading →

Select survey methods for cost-efficiency, culture and needs

The two sides to business feedback (Part 1)

Setting a good approach for your survey  is an important step to get the good results that you want!

Todays article will focus on two central strategies that businesses use to collect data. Namely push and pull. These two approaches are similar to marketing efforts. Continue reading →

Avoid making these mistakes in your survey

Get to better questions with these tips!

Have you ever been asked one of those irritating questions where you don’t know exactly how to respond?

Imagine you are at a mall and go into a store. There they ask for feedback from their customers. You get prompted with a “Hi, please give us some feedback” on an iPad device. Next up you see the questions, one of which might sound something like “Did you find what you were looking for?” (Yes/No).

Now imagine how a person could potentially respond to this question. If they walked in just to browse through what you have, then the question is quite hard to answer. The question assumes that everyone is looking for something specific. If they found what they were looking for, but not in the right size/colour, then a yes or no question also makes answering difficult. Yes, they found what they were looking for but not exactly.

Continue reading →

Stronger brand image through better survey structure

Vamp up the number of data and ensure a positive experience for your responders

A how-to on designing survey length and architecture

There are many perspectives to use when you are designing a survey. Each is good for it’s own purpose and depend in large by the nature of your survey. You might look solely on the forming of the questions and deal with bias and validity. You could also view the survey as an in-depth overview of several areas and create a large generic survey. At Tabsurvey, we go for the simple, small survey that is easy on the eye and get a lot of answers. In similar vain as previous posts on placement and appeal, todays blog looks to designing a survey structure that is easy to respond to and reflects well on you or your organization.

Continue reading →

Boost customer engagement

Are you persuading customers to respond to your survey?

How to attract more customers to your survey.

In the previous blog, we discussed the placement of the survey was important for decreasing response pain. We wrote on how to look at the customer journey and factors to consider when blueprinting your survey placement. Today’s blog has a more positive approach to the survey. We focus on how your company can attract more customers to respond to your survey. What is crucial in the split seconds when decisions are made on whether or not to respond? We will look to customer’s initial impression of the survey and and give a how-to, to get more customers to engage with a stationary survey system. Continue reading →

store journey

Are you asking your questions the right place?

Where is it the least intrusive to ask your questions?

Get the right answer from the right customer at the right time!

You might be running survey or recently decided to do so – maybe even with our system. Which is great! Do you wonder how you can receive quality answers and a lot of them?

”Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Anthony Robbins

While asking the right question is the beginning to all great insights, asking them at the right time and place is also crucial. This is probably a larger truth with a stationary system like Tabsurvey that has no human administration. Today’s blog look at the customer journey and help you blueprint when and where to ask your questions. Continue reading →