The other day I needed to make a call to my health insurance provider.  After my call was handled, the representative asked if I would be willing to participate in a customer survey. As a member of the customer experience industry, I felt obliged. The representative informed me that I would first be transferred to her supervisor to answer an initial set of questions, and then sent to the automated IVR-style survey.

This process doubled my total time on the phone. What’s worse, I felt like the company was placing the burden for feedback squarely on my shoulders.  After all, I had just completed a 5-minute recorded phone call with their representative. During this call with the representative, I had expressed:

  • My needs and interests
  • My challenges navigating the health care system
  • Appreciation for the representative’s help
  • Points of confusion regarding their online tool

Couldn’t my insurance company glean a boatload of information and feedback from listening to the call they had recorded, rather than taking an additional 5 minutes of my valuable time?

This story illustrates a phenomenon — or, better phrased an epidemic — across all businesses serving customers, from dry-cleaning to surgery.  Customers everywhere are suffering from survey fatigue.  While providing feedback can be an empowering platform for consumers, the current rate of survey requests is beginning to have a numbing effect.

Combating Survey Fatigue

What can customer-centric leaders do to avoid causing survey fatigue while still gleaning customer insights needed to grow and evolve their brands?

  • Reassess your survey cadence throughout your customer journey against the response rate trend to determine if customers seem to be “tuning out.” A diminishing return on your response rate or scores without comments may signal fatigue.
  • Determine whether your survey responses represent a significant and representative sample of your customer base. If your significant response rate is not considered statistically significant and does not represent the broad spectrum of your customer base, make sure to manage internal expectations about the meaningfulness of the data accordingly.
  • Continually ask “why.” Is your survey program influencing improved profitability, revenue or brand loyalty? Be specific about the outcomes your surveys are looking to achieve. Check in regularly to make sure your company is gaining enough value to balance inconveniencing your customers.
  • Leverage alternative sources of feedback. Customer calls, chats and emails with your organization are a deep well of unsolicited feedback. The more insight you can gather elsewhere, the less you need to burden your customers.

Most companies have some form of stored customer interaction records.  These records, when properly mined and analyzed, can unlock low-hanging fruit in the form of:

  • Valuable customer testimonials
  • Keys to reducing call volume and improving customer self-service
  • Customer perceptions about your products, services and people
  • Business processes that detract or enhance customer experience
  • Input on the success of your business strategies

The best part about this alternative customer feedback resource is that companies already own it. The insights within are much deeper than the standard survey response. Leaders can even set the sample size, because they already have access to the universe of interactions.

Ready to start finding new insights in your feedback? Click here to learn how AuthentiCx can derive value from your company’s existing assets.

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