Aug. 30, 2016 | InBrief

Is your voice of customer (VoC) survey effective?

Is your voice of customer (VoC) survey effective?

We've discussed how to develop a survey to support your Voice of Customer (VoC) program in a previous blog.  Now that you have a survey, we assess the survey based on the following three categories: Effectiveness, Ease and Emotion. An excellent VoC survey will score high in all three areas. For this blog, we will focus on Effectiveness.

At this point, you created a survey, sent it out, and obtained some results from willing customers. But is the feedback what you were looking for? Does it help you better understand how customers perceive your business, product, experience or service? The Effectiveness evaluator captures this – just how effective were you in capturing customer feedback in relation to the goals of your larger VoC program? We assessed hundreds of customer surveys across multiple industries. By doing this, we identified examples of the lowest and highest scorers in the Effectiveness criterion. We've compiled four key takeaways that are translatable across industries and survey types – to create a survey that is truly effective.

1. Have an end goal in mind


First, identify what information you are attempting to capture and the goals for the survey. Goals should align with the questions that you are asking and be specific! For instance, identify if customers prefer the in-store or online experience. The feedback you solicit should not only be effective in accomplishing your organization’s goals, it should also be effective in driving business decisions that will improve the product, service or experience that your organization creates. For example, your feedback may determine that customers prefer the online experience, but does the feedback provide insight into why customers prefer the online experience? In the example above, it is easy to discern that Uber is trying to capture if you like the POOL product, and they have some additional descriptive questions to identify exactly what you like about your experience.

2. Less is always more

And because of that, I will keep this explanation short! Each question included in a survey should have a purpose and be tied to the end goal. They should be succinct and non-redundant; make each character count! This way the customer will stay more engaged and complete the survey.

3. Identify a target audience for your survey


You should have some inkling about who you want to take your survey. This should come from your product or service knowledge and your goals for your VoC program. Your target audience should dictate what content you create for the survey and what channels that content will be placed on. In our assessment of surveys, we found the following survey on new menu items. The survey was presented to consumers of a large newspaper as a pop-up on an article about how a couple forewent modern luxuries to save money to take a yearlong trip around the world. While the intent of the survey creators may have been to survey those with no disposable income on their spending habits – I am going to take a wild guess and say it was not!

4. Have a clear path to finish


Provide information to survey participants on where they are in the process and when they will be finished. If customers decide to take your survey, they should be aware of how much time it will take. This will increase the likelihood of them completing the survey and often times increase the quality and thoughtfulness of responses. Above, the mobile application RunKeeper did a great job of helping survey takers understand their progress in completing the survey. Another example, the weather notification service Poncho, let users know precisely how long the survey would take before they decided to even start it.  

The combination of these four key areas should ensure that your survey is Effective! Stay tuned for upcoming blogs on Ease and Emotion.

For another article on 10 ways to improve your next CX survey, check out this blog!

Explore our latest perspectives