Last updated: Bad customer surveys: A cringeworthy story told through GIFs

Bad customer surveys: A cringeworthy story told through GIFs


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It sends a message to customers when you send a survey to ask for feedback. It sends a completely different message to customers if you send bad customer surveys.

Ideally, the message should be about the customer—that they are appreciated, and that you recognize their experiences play a role in the success of your business.

Good surveys can really help you out with customers. But bad surveys can also be where businesses really blow it.

I recently asked Twitter’s customer experience crowd to tell me about it as part of a hilarious CX GIF challenge. Here are some highlights.

A tale for modern times:  How customers feel about bad feedback surveys, told in GIFs

The “quick survey” that actually isn’t.

This says to the customer, “We didn’t really test how long this survey would actually take, but you’re not that busy, are you?”

Do not hide the length of the survey from the customer. For electronic surveys, use a progress bar to show how much longer it will take the customer to finish.

Score begging.

This says to the customer, “We don’t really care about your actual experience. We just need a 10 so we can splash it on our website.”

When you ask for a specific score or incentivize scores through compensation, then the results are no longer about the customer’s experience. They’re about your marketing.

Not saying what you’re going to do with the feedback.

This says to the customer, “We’re sending a survey because it’s the sexy thing to do, but we will never look at your response.”

Provide a very brief, written preamble to your survey that says why you’re asking for feedback and what you intend to do with it.

Going radio silent on the follow-up.

This says to the customer, “We asked for your feedback but we’re too busy (or don’t care) to acknowledge it or follow-up.”

You’re always communicating. In CX that means if you’re not responding to customers, that’s not not communicating.

Silence sends a message, too. Do the follow-up work.

If you found yourself chuckling at all of these responses to my GIF challenge, then you know:

How to avoid bad customer surveys

Gathering customer feedback through surveys requires skill and planning.

What starts as a well-intentioned effort can quickly turn sour with customers, taking you from “hero to zero” in their eyes.

  1. How you write questions matters.
  2. When you send the survey matters.
  3. What you do after the survey matters.

So, if the customer gives you a chance and is willing to spend their valuable time giving you feedback, be sure to honor it.

The future of service, today.
(So you can keep your customers tomorrow.)
Learn more HERE.

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