With the rise of reviews online and social media, many companies have opted out of sending their clients surveys altogether. The thinking is they don’t need them since they are hearing from their customers on a regular basis online. However, is this a good strategy? Do surveys still play an important role?
Let’s start by taking a closer look at the Review Economy. Let’s face it, we have all relied on online reviews when it comes to making a purchase. I would guess that this increased a lot this past year during COVID, with most of us increasing our online shopping. in fact, we wrote about Apple Ratings and what it may do to the Review Economy down the road in a recent blog post. Apple Ratings is something to watch!
The statistics are in favor of online reviews. Northwestern University conducted a study that concluded 95% of shoppers rely on reviews before making a purchase.
Traveling and looking for a good place to eat nearby? You may very well depend on those online reviews before making your dining decision. They are not going away anytime soon.
Google reviews can really make an impact on brick and mortar companies. So much so that many owners have tried to offer payment in exchange for a good Google review. Something we highly discourage our clients to do, as it is dishonest and can also come back around at some point if you are not careful. Imagine for a moment a customer does leave you a good review in exchange for monetary compensation. Down the road the same person may have an unfavorable experience at your place of business. Can you imagine if they post in social media about it? Even worse, they may cite the favorable review and the compensation. In today’s culture, anything is possible!
Good Google Reviews can make a positive impact on your business, but you had better make sure you have a process in place to monitor the site as well as others. Nothing speaks louder than an unhappy customer with zero reaction from the company. Even if it is an automatic response ( as many are ), it is still better than nothing. Keeping track of your online reputation is a must.
The Case For Surveys
Online reviews have their place, however they can never be a total replacement for conducting your own internal research. Whether you are using mystery shopping or customer surveys, a business in today’s climate can never have too much customer interaction. The Voice of the Customer is still heard the loudest in the form of surveys.
Time is money and money is time. Keep your surveys short and to the point. A short survey that is viewed as easy to take by a customer will garner some excellent results.
We have a B2B client who measures delivery satisfaction. The customer is asked to complete a 4 question Mobile survey right in the moment of experience. Drivers are incentivized to deliver good surveys. This program has run for about a year now and each month the client receives well over a hundred surveys and it is growing. When you factor in word of mouth about the program internally, and good old-fashioned competition, you can create an actionable program for pennies a day!
With today’s surveys one has many more options to make an engaging experience for your customers. Here is a great example. Consider how many people took to Tik Tok over the past year! Why? Because they were stuck indoors and found it to be very entertaining. Short, creative and sometimes educational videos by real people on all kinds of topics. In fact, the demographic of users increased because of word of mouth advertising. What started out being a young person’s social site is now used by parents and even some grandparents.
What if we could bring the same level of enthusiasm to a survey?
- Allow the respondent to take a photo right within the survey. A restaurant customer may love to show a photo of what their entree looked like when they received it! Or how about someone who was asked to upload a photo on how they used the product once it was taken home? It is a more up close and personal kind of question.
- Try using some humor when crafting your questions or even try using humor in your answers. For example, if fitting for your survey, use words other than excellent, very good , good, etc.. This depends on your customer demographic of course. According to humorthatworks.com, “A survey is only as good as the responses it receives from the responders”. One way to increase the number of survey responses is to use humor to make your surveys fun.” For an excellent rating you could call it “out of the park fantastic”, for example.
- Change the wording of traditional questions. Anyone who has taken a survey, knows the “standard” questions most ask. They can become so redundant that the respondent doesn’t even think about the answer. Take the question ““How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?” Boring. Instead try ““Has our service been fantastic enough that you’d happily tell you friends about us?”
So don’t disregard the old survey methodologies quite yet. They just need sprucing up a bit and some creative thinking!