“How do I boost my customer survey response rates?”
As head of Customer Success at Wootric, this is a question I get from everybody — Customer Insights managers, Product teams, Marketing folks and other CS leaders.
Everyone wants to hear from more customers. I do, too! I am responsible for managing our internal customer feedback program using our own Net Promoter Score and Customer Effort Score surveys. So, I feel your pain. (And everyone’s pain for that matter, I’m in Customer Success!)
Before we jump to how to get that response rate up, let’s start by empathizing with your customers.
Ask yourself: “How many times have I answered a company survey and received a response?” Or, better yet, “When was the last time I heard back from a company and learned whether or not they did anything with my suggestions?”
Crickets, right? I thought so.
No wonder so many people ignore customer feedback surveys. No one wants to offer time and insight, only to be (essentially) ignored! Assume that your customers are dubious about whether it will be worth their time to respond to your survey.
Get ready, though, you are about to surprise them.
It’s All About Communication
So, here is the advice I give. And, it’s all about communication:
Let your customers know that you take your feedback program seriously. Let them know you are listening, and prove it by telling them what you are doing as a result of their input.
As soon as customers realize that their survey feedback won’t go into a black hole to die, but instead will be read and responded to, they will be far more likely to respond to your surveys.
One Way to Do It
You can convey this to your customers however you like, but I often suggest the following:
- Announce. Whether you are kicking off a feedback program or revitalizing an existing effort, write a blog post or customer communication that ANNOUNCES your CUSTOMER FEEDBACK INITIATIVE (caps for emphasis. 😉 ) Let them know where they should expect to see a survey — in your SaaS product or via email, for example. Tell them you will be reading and responding to all feedback.
- Close the Loop. Make sure you do exactly what you say: Read and respond to every single survey response. (You have 100s of responses? Can’t possibly email or call all customers? Ok, fine. Here is what you do: Segment out and 1:1 respond to your highest value customers. Then, make sure you at least send or display a “thank you for your feedback” message to everyone. And be sure you do #3.)
- Share Outcomes. After a month, publish your first of many ‘Outcomes’ (or however you want to title it) blog posts or newsletters. Summarize the feedback you’ve received so far (good and bad) and what steps you’re taking to toward improvement. Include some verbatim customer comments.
By the way, this doesn’t mean you have to act on every suggestion. Customers know you can’t wave a magic wand and give them every feature or service they desire. This is about acknowledgment. It demonstrates that you value their input and are using it thoughtfully to make improvements.
Do this and you are on your way to earning a 30 – 40% survey response rate from your customers. (Of course, this assumes you are asking the right question, at the right time, in the right channel, but other blog posts cover that.)
Learn more about boosting response rates and 8 ways to get the most out of your NPS program. Get the ebook, The Modern Guide to Winning Customers with Net Promoter Score.
Do some PR for yourself
Here’s the thing, you are running a customer feedback program because you really want to listen to customers. You know CX metrics are key to improving customer experience — and THAT drives growth. This already makes you more customer-centric than most other folks out there. You just have to publicize your commitment a bit to get the ball rolling.
Let your customers know you are listening, show them you are taking action. Customers will reward you by answering more of your surveys!
Get higher response rates. Sign up today for free Net Promoter Score, CSAT or CES feedback with Wootric.