3 Reasons You Don’t Need a Survey to Listen to Customers

The CX Question of the Day (#CXQOTD) for June 4 was, “Is surveying customers absolutely necessary?” You can click here to check out my answer to that question, hear the thoughts of others, and weigh in with your own.

My short answer to this question? No, surveys aren’t necessary. Why? Here are a few reasons.

1. Customers don’t need more surveys

For many companies, surveys have become a crutch. Just about everywhere we turn we are being asked for our feedback. I once took a survey and at the end of the survey, the platform they used asked me to take a survey about the survey. This sort of meta experience doesn’t happen often, but it illustrates the fact that survey fatigue is real and we need to be careful about where, when, and how often we go back to the well and ask customers for their feedback.

2. 100% of customers don’t respond to surveys

Consider that a survey response rate could fall somewhere in the range of 5 to 30%. That’s 70 to 95% of customers you never hear from. In the case of transactional surveys, if your goal is to catch upset customers and turn around their experience, you will never have an opportunity with the majority of upset customers. You need other ways to listen to your customers.

3. There are many other ways to listen to customers

On that note, I recommend expanding your voice of customer program beyond surveys and even considering whether or not you need surveys at all. There are a number of other ways to listen to customers. One way is through speech analytics which allows you to transcribe and analyze 100% of customer service calls. Not only can you understand what customers are calling about, but you can better understand what’s driving satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

For those that work in the contact center, there are also low-tech solutions like listening in on customer service calls, reading transcripts from emails, chats, and other channels, and speaking directly with front line agents to understand what customers are saying.

Those are just some of the many ways to listen to customers without a survey. Check out this article on the CX Accelerator blog with 10 Ways to Listen to Customers Without Surveys. Is there anything you’d add to this list? What’s your take on customer surveys? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

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Jeremy Watkin is Director of Customer Experience and Support at NumberBarn. He has more than 19 years of experience as a customer service and contact center professional leading high performing teams in the contact center. Jeremy has been recognized numerous times as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, product marketing, social media, and more. When not working you can typically find him spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis. Be sure to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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