If you’ve taken the time to survey your customers, you are already on the right track. It means you’re listening to your stakeholders and want to deliver what your customers need. But completing a survey is only the first step of stakeholder engagement and can often lead to more questions than answers. Here are three common survey fails we often see in market research.
The “I want it all” response.
This happens when your survey shows that customers want extended hours, lower prices, better quality and faster response times. We’ll take our cake and eat it too, thanks! These surveys don’t identify a big problem, which is great, but they also fail to help you identify the real priorities to grow your customer base in the future.
The “everything is the same” response.
This is often a response to a customer survey that isn’t dynamic enough. Everyone clicks through your list of questions indicating satisfaction – every single response is a Satisfied or Very Satisfied or a 3 out of 5. Even if you have lots of positive numbers, results like this don’t give you enough information to create actionable plans.
The “mysteriously unhappy” response.
We typically see this in two types of surveys. One is the super short, one-question survey that can tell us a customer is unhappy but not what they are unhappy about. The second instance is when you have a survey where the answers to most of the questions are positive, but then the all important “would you recommend us” or “would you return as a customer” response is negative. Why? You just gave us high satisfaction scores!
So, how can you avoid these common survey problems?
- Add an open comment question. Yes I know, these are a pain to read. Also, they don’t make a nice graph to show the sales department. But having a text response option can solve some puzzles in all the challenges above. As someone who often manages surveys, I also take them. Nothing is as infuriating as having a problem that is unaddressed in the survey questions and arriving at the end of my five questions left irked that my concern will go unheard after I gave them high marks in other service areas. I’m looking at you Bank of America.
- Offer a short or single question survey with the option to take an additional, longer survey. This is a good way to gather overall satisfaction, achieve higher participant numbers and also address concerns and get better data.
- Upgrade your survey tool. I know it’s hard to give up the free survey option, but you and your customers are already spending a lot of time and effort for less than satisfactory results. So consider using a more dynamic tool that offers better engagement and insights.
Here are a couple of options to consider.
I’ve included this platform because of its unique image-friendly tools and ability to give you engaging question options that exceed the typical 1 to 5 rating systems. Want to show pictures of your products? Need to include emoticons or animations? This platform is great for using visuals and upping engagement. They even have a free version (though it is limited) that's worth checking out for visual-based surveys.
This platform solves the common survey problems outlined above. Forget static responses. This tool not only tells you what people said but also ranks priority. The tool collects responses from participants and assesses their behavior – which responses are chosen first, changed, or even ignored. In essence, it listens and records what participants said and how they said it.
Yes, people want it all, but the results will show priority such as speed in the example below.
Traditional surveys usually list many questions in a row that have you pick your level of satisfaction, leading to answer repetition – picking satisfied or unsatisfied on every row. Don't pretend like you haven't done this, too. It's easy. I sure have!
Survature’s “drag-and-drop” AnswerCloud™ interface provides a quick, easy process for collecting a lot of feedback on just one page. This shortens surveys and improves accuracy. Here is an example of results showing items in the top right with high priority vs. important items with lower priority and items that were unimportant and very low priority.
The platform is pricier than less dynamic survey tools but costs far less than traditional engagement survey companies' offerings. By working with a partner like Q Strategies, you can skip the survey subscription cost and have a team of strategists work with you to ensure your survey gathers the right information for your marketing or engagement survey.
If you want to see this level of response data reach out to us.