Retail and Customer Experience : News & Best Practices

Customer satisfaction surveys : 8 tips to double your answer rate

More and more businesses are collecting customer feedback after in-store purchases, but many are disappointed by the low response rates they achieve : 5 – 10% on average for phone surveys and 10 to 15% for email surveys. Such low response rates cannot accurately reflect the realities of customer needs and do not offer solid enough foundations to make business decisions with confidence.

This is why we have devised a list of tips we consistently share with our customers when setting up their customer satisfaction surveys and questionnaires. And guess what ? Their average response rates are more than double the average at 30 to 35%.

1. Keep your surveys short.

We regularly notice a correlation between the number of questions asked and the abandonment rate of questionnaires. Be sure to eliminate all questions which are not directly related to the main goal of your survey. In general, the shorter the survey, the higher the answer rate. We recommend limiting the questions to 10 maximum:

2. Eliminate text boxes

We understand it can be tempting to ask your customers for additional information after each question, but removing open-ended text box questions from a survey massively increases the likelihood of it being completed.  We recommend only asking customers to justify their answers if they rate their overall satisfaction levels either very high or very low. You can also work around this issue by using multiple-choice questions instead.

3. Communicate with your customers

In-store posters, friendly chats after check-out, emailing campaigns…every occasion is a valuable opportunity to inform your customers about the context and purpose of your customer satisfaction surveys. Let them know how much their feedback means to you and more importantly that all reviews will be used to improve the services and experience offered to them in-store.

4. Follow-up

If after a week or so, some customers still haven’t replied to your survey, send a friendly follow-up email, reminding them how important this is to you. This should result in an instant increase in your response rate.

5. Work on the structure of your questionnaire

The order of questions must also be taken into consideration. The questions must follow a logical and coherent order to avoid abandonment. Smart customer survey software can be use to segment respondents into various groups and send out fully customized questionnaires, thus avoiding them having to go through sections which do not apply. 

6. Polish up the invitation

One of the easiest ways to improve your response rate is by working on the invitation. The subject of the email should be a real call to action such as “Help us improve our services” rather than “Customer satisfaction survey” or “Your opinion counts”. And no matter whether you send it by email, SMS or simply display it on a poster in your store, don’t forget to remind your customers why their feedback matters and more importantly what you are going to do with it. You can also take the opportunity to reassure them about the use of their data (anonymity, confidentiality of responses…).

7. Avoid survey fatigue

Don’t overburden your customers with too frequent surveys. Though sending a questionnaire after each purchase may seem tempting, remember customers will sometimes visit the same store twice in a singe day. It is highly unlikely they will take the time to answer the same questions twice and may even unsubscribe from your mailing list. If despite everything you still think this works for your business, make sure your questionnaires are fully personalised and suited to the customers’ unique circumstances : the questions should be about the product they bought rather than the in-store services…

8. Use WizVille

Our customers are proof that using WizVille will help maximize your survey answer rates. Our multi-channel solution combined with our expertise and advice are the magic bullet you need for optimizing your answer rates. Plus, Sophie, our Customer Success Manager will monitor your KPIs at all times, ready to call you if she see any possible way of improving your results.