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Not Getting Many Feedback Surveys?


You have a customer feedback program in place, which is great, but are you getting the results you want? If you notice a decline in responses or a consistently low response rate, there are some things you may want to consider:


1. Is the link to the online survey (or telephone number) visible in multiple customer touchpoints? This could mean placing the survey invitation on the receipts or brochures, on the company website, etc. You’ll want to make sure it is as visible and easily accesible as possible in order to get people to take the survey.


2. Are your employees doing their part? At the point of transaction, do you instruct employees to point out the survey invitation and ask that they take a few minutes to provide feedback? If not, you may be missing valuable feedback from your customers. People are moving at a quick pace these days, and many will not take the time to review a receipt unless the survey is pointed out to them.


It can be a quick mention of the invitation or the employee simply circling the link or telephone number as the transaction closes. I was in a JCPenney over the holidays and the employee went WAY overboard talking about the survey – she circled the link and asked me to take the survey, which was fine and should have ended the interaction. However, she went on for another two minutes about making sure I enter her name correctly, provide good feedback so the managers know she did a good job, and on and on.  That wasn’t cool at all, and actually turned me off from the survey.


Pointing out the invitation to raise awareness can go a long way in getting customers to provide feedback.


3. Employees may SAY they’re pointing out the survey.…but are they really? If you have a mystery shopping program in place, this one is easy to resolve. Simply add a question to the mystery shopping report that asks if the employee mentioned taking the survey at the end of your transaction. This will only work in instances in which a purchase is required, but it can go a long way in objectively determining whether or not employees are promoting the survey as you’ve trained them to do.


When you have a mystery shopping program in place, tracking the disconnect in collecting customer feedback surveys can be easier than simply guessing why participation rates are low. Customers want to be heard – let them know you have ways of letting them tell you what they think!



When Employees Dispute Mystery Shopping Reports


It’s hard to read about yourself, especially when the information isn’t so great. It causes people to become defensive, and this is no exception in the world of mystery shopping.


I try to counsel clients on what to do when an employee comes to them and disputes the information in a mystery shopping report. It is nerve wracking for the client when it first happens, but handling it appropriately will make all the difference in the success of the program.


First, take a look at the overall report, as well as the score. Most mystery shopping reports, if not all of them, provide report card scoring. Using the overall score can help alleviate employee disputes. For example, if an employee comes to you and says, “I SO knew that was the shopper, and what they are saying is completely wrong!” You can look at the overall score for guidance. One client’s response to this complaint was, “Well, if you knew it was the shopper, why did you score only a 70%?” That typically ends the conversation.


Depending on the situation, you can turn to the mystery shopping provider for assistance. We are always happy to get more clarification or help with any situations that arise, whether it’s providing receipt information, getting more information from the shopper who conducted the shop, or taking a look at the particular employee’s history on past evaluations.


Look for trends in disputes – if it is always a particular location that is disputing shops, or a particular employee, that signals an issue that needs to be addressed. They may be trying to undermine the program by complaining – they figure that if they can devalue the program enough, they will make it “go away.”  If it is a particular employee, that may signal dissatisfaction with their job, which needs further exploration.


There are times when a dispute is a valid one, and any good mystery shopping provider is happy to partner with their client to investigate issues and, if there is truly an issue, reevaluate the location at no additional cost. Clear and open communication across the board will help make every mystery shopping program a success.



Hot Transfer For Customer Feedback


If you use a customer feedback program, you know the value of post transactional feedback from your customers. You provide a link to a feedback survey at the bottom of the receipts, on your website, and possibly even through POP signage.


How do your telephone customers provide feedback? You may want to consider a “hot transfer” program to incorporate into your existing feedback program.


Here’s how it works. Say you have a phone based feedback program in which customers call a toll-free number to provide feedback. Depending on your telephone system, this toll-free number can be programmed into your system so that once a call with one of your customer service representatives is complete, it will transfer the call to the feedback survey.


Sounds great, right? I’m sure you are also thinking of a few issues that may arise with the hot transfer system. Let me see if I can address them below:


1. Employees won’t transfer the call to the feedback service for all calls, especially the ones that don’t go so well: the hot transfer system will automatically transfer calls to the feedback service as soon as your employee ends the call – they do not have control over which customers get into the feedback system. Since every call will have the opportunity to provide feedback, this is not something you need to worry about.


2. Customers will be annoyed by this system: not at all! Customers, as you know, love giving feedback. It shows that you care about their experience and want to do better. Like traditional feedback programs, of course not everyone will want to participate. You can set your phone system to throw an automated recording (along the lines that you do for recordings: “This call may be monitored for quality control…”) that asks customers to press 1 if they would like to provide feedback at the end of the conversation. This not only makes them aware that you’ll be asking about their experience and make them more aware of the details of the call, but it gives them the option to participate or opt out.


3. Customers won’t provide negative feedback for fear the employee will know who left the feedback – after all, they typically have the customer’s account number: customers are opting in to take the survey prior to the call taking place. Yes, they can hang up if they change their mind, but assuring customers that their responses are completely confidential can help in obtaining negative feedback. You want to encourage this group as their feedback is what can best help you to improve.


If you haven’t considered the hot transfer method of customer feedback, or if your current provider doesn’t offer this service, please let us know and we’d be happy to help! You can leave a comment below or email us for more information.