A Survey is Not a Suggestion Box

A Survey is Not a Suggestion Box

How to influence customers to complete surveys and provide actionable feedback.

“Please stay on the line for a brief survey.” While you may not stay on the line, you know that the people who do have valuable information that is critical for understanding your customer’s needs and improving their satisfaction.

Unfortunately, many companies are missing out on this opportunity. ServiceTick reviewed more than 5 million surveys delivered across multiple industries. They identified that a very small percentage of customers actually finish IVR surveys (compared to web and email surveys).

How can I be sure my customers are completing the IVR survey so I can gain the full benefit of their feedback?

Plan ahead & make it simple.

Plan Ahead:

Before you design a survey for your IVR, you should have a clear idea of what information you’re trying to get. Are you looking to measure KPIs for your agents, or are you looking for feedback on user experience?

The survey questions should be tailored intentionally to learn about specific topics. If our customers are willing to share their opinions with us, we must be prepared to leverage that information effectively.

Make it Simple:

“Can you tell us about your experience today?” Don’t make the mistake of asking open-ended questions like this one. While we want to give our customers a platform to provide feedback, there are several issues with this style of survey question:

  • They require some thought to formulate a response and may cause the customer to hang up instead of completing the survey.
  • The answers are broad and challenging to quantify.
  • The answers may range across too many different topics to identify any significant and actionable data.

Instead, try “restrictive” questions. Yes, “restrictive” sounds like a bad word, but when it comes to IVR surveys, these questions are an excellent tool for guiding your customers through a survey and ensuring they make it to the end.

Don’t ask

Do ask

This removes any additional thought or effort for the customer and will keep them moving through the survey quickly. It also provides a uniform answer that can be measured and compared across all responses.

Another way companies dilute survey data is to overcorrect from open-ended questions by asking complicated questions—or more than one question at a time.

“Was your agent friendly and helpful?”

Again, this appears to be an excellent question. Every contact center wants their agents to be friendly AND helpful. However, this is two separate questions that track completely different KPIs. Imagine a rude agent that was able to solve your problem right away.

After that interaction, if asked, “Was your agent friendly and helpful?” I’d be more likely to answer “No.” Based on the experience, the survey would miss that my issue was, in fact, resolved.

Don’t ask

Do ask

By following these simple guidelines, you will not only encourage more customers to complete the full survey before hanging up, but you will gain better insight into the customer experience.

I’ve tried everything, and I can’t increase my survey conversion rate. What do I do?

We are here to help improve the performance of your IVR surveys. But we’re living in a digital world, and consumers expect more of their interactions to be digital across all industries.

ServieTick’s research reinforces this. Only 44% of IVR survey responders make it to the end. Whereas nearly 80% of email survey responders completed the entire survey. If you’re looking for the immediate post-call feedback that is provided by an IVR survey instead of the delayed response of email & web surveys, these numbers may be discouraging. However, there is no need to panic!

Providing a visual survey directly on a customer’s phone or tablet immediately after a call can keep the feedback fresh while still offering the customer the easy digital experience they’re looking for.