Big Surveys Are A Big Mistake

Your customer’s time is valuable, incredibly valuable.  Many companies seem to forget this when it comes to capturing customer feedback using post experience surveys.

When marketing to potential customers, successful campaigns factor in how to make a quick impact knowing that consumers are rarely focused on their messaging.  But somehow, the other end of the customer cycle forgets that.  Businesses will ask you about your experience … but then make you suffer through 20 or more questions, or the highest I’ve ever seen, 95 questions (courtesy of Men’s Warehouse).

After a recent flight on Delta Air Lines I was emailed a survey request that featured 30 questions.

delta big surveys

Customers Will Give You Feedback, But Don’t Take Their Patience Away

When we launched our survey feature a couple of years ago we wondered ourselves how customers felt about surveys.  We collectively felt like many overdid the amount of questions, but we wanted to put it in the hands of consumers to tell us.

We used Google Surveys to ask 500 consumers what amount of survey questions they were willing to answer, and the overwhelming limit is five questions.  75.4% of those surveyed said 5 questions or less.

survey question limit

Big Survey, Small Engagement

What companies are willing to trade is big data sets for little participation.  While this decision is up to every organization, we’re after creating the most valuable 2-minute conversation with your customer.

When you ask too many (or even WAY too many) questions you risk the following:

  1. Having customers quit and abandon your survey
  2. Become annoyed with your brand
  3. Have your survey become the last experience with your brand
  4. Lose repeat survey opportunities as they know your surveys are exhausting

Making The Most Of Your Feedback

With all of this considered, we limit our product to maximum of four (4) survey questions as we ask the Net Promoter Score question to start our survey.  All of our questions use the same 0-10 scoring format to make them easier to understand and complete.

Using our Ultimate Mode, you will be able to capture the following from your customers:

  1. Net Promoter Score, your “word of mouth index”
  2. Survey scores for key areas like service, value, wait time, etc (you decide)
  3. Open text feedback for analysis and to use as 1st-party reviews
  4. 3rd-party review acquisition

It’s certainly not uncommon to want more of a great thing, and customer feedback is definitely a great thing.  That doesn’t mean it’s the right thing as a bloated survey can do you more harm than good.  Don’t forget that every touchpoint you have with a customer is part of their experience, even the part where you ask about their experience.

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About the Author

Aaron Weiche
Aaron Weiche is the CEO for GetFiveStars.com, a customer feedback and online review platform. Aaron is a digital marketing veteran of over 20 years growing digital agencies small and large in executive roles. Building websites since 1998 and a search marketer since 2004, Aaron helped found MnSearch, is a partner at Local University, speaks nationally on reviews, search marketing, web design and mobile.

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