Customer surveys are crucial to understand your customer’s needs and wants. They offer an excellent medium to gauge customer satisfaction that helps to optimize your customer experience. Better customer experience improves customer loyalty leading to higher profits.
However, the traditional techniques of conducting customer surveys and evaluating the collected data has become old and needs an upgrade. Hence, it’s incredibly important to improve customer surveys.
In this article, we will discuss why traditional customer surveys have become a thing of the past and how you can use new and innovative ways to conduct value-added surveys.
Customer Surveys Are Like Bringing a Sword in a Gunfight
It’s often said that generals are prepared for the last war but not for the future one. Wouldn’t that be funny if you happen to bring in a sword in a gunfight? It’s obvious you will lose the battle; not because you don’t know how to fight, but because you use outdated weapons in your arsenal.
Customer surveys are no different. The methods of obtaining customer surveys that most of the businesses use today are outdated, biased, and misleading. They have become a thing of the past. Surveys usually provide a motivated answer and can give false information regarding your product or service.
You certainly wouldn’t like to obtain misleading data for your business when you are fighting a battle with your competitors.
What’s the problem, then? Are customer surveys dead? Not really.
Why Customer Surveys Are Still Important
You have to know the strengths and weaknesses of your products or services and your competitor’s products or services to become successful in the market. Customer surveys let you find out this important piece of business data.
Here are some of the significant reasons why customer surveys are more important than ever:
- Surveys give you an idea of the customer expectations. Today’s customers have the highest expectations from brands. Even one negative experience is enough for customers to make a switch to another brand.
- Innovation is the need of society. Customer’s behaviors and adoption of products are changing continuously. Surveys help to keep an eye on the customer’s tastes so that you can mold your product based on the changing needs of your customer.
- Customer feedback surveys are essential because they enable you to understand the satisfaction level of your customers. You can quickly take steps to improve customer retention based on the findings of the survey.
- Surveys are excellent for forecasting and competitor analysis. They help you identify the future products or the latest features that your competitors are planning so that you remain better prepared to match your rivals.
Hence, customer surveys are vital for brands, but nothing has barely changed throughout the years.
Let’s dive into a short history of customer surveys to give you an idea of why a change is necessary for the way we carry out the traditional surveys.
A Short History of Customer Surveys – When Did it Start?
The modern-day survey and market research is based on a theory by Daniel Starch, an American psychologist, and marketing researcher. His approach stated that advertising had to be seen, read, believed, remembered, and most importantly, acted upon, to be considered effective.
During the 1920s, Starch and his associates would approach people on the streets and conduct a survey asking them if people were able to remember the ads published on certain publications. It was done to measure the effectiveness of those ads. Soon after, several agencies started conducting surveys.
In the 1930s, the American Institute of Public Opinion, later came to be known as Gallup, was the first company to conduct consumer surveys at a more significant level. The company was founded in 1935 in Princeton, New Jersey, the United States by George Gallup. It conducted public opinion polls and offered analytics and management consultations to businesses worldwide.
In 1936, Gallup successfully predicted that Franklin Roosevelt would win the presidential elections and defeat his arch-rival, Alfred Landon. In the same year, The Literary Digest predicted just the opposite. However, the results were in favor of Gallup, and this event popularized the company, making it a leader in American polling. Since 1938, Gallup has been conducting market research for advertising companies and the film industry. This is how the basic foundation of surveys was laid down.
It’s been 100 since the launch of the survey theory, and still, businesses are using the same method of carrying out public opinion surveys. Traditional surveys are not that effective anymore, and brands should look for something innovative.
The Problem With Traditional Surveys
You can acquire customer opinion in a variety of ways using surveys like via email, phone, online or face to face surveys. However, there are certain disadvantages associated with these methods of collecting data.
Here are the top disadvantages of customer surveys:
1- Cost of Conducting Surveys is Expensive
Conducting surveys is expensive. You have to first list down your goals, then incur costs of designing the questionnaire for the survey. You might have to take the help of industry experts in selecting the best questions, and this will invite extra cost.
Besides, you will have to select a knowledgeable audience based on set criteria to take the survey. If the surveys are longer like in focus group surveys, then you might have to pay some compensation to the respondents.
Moreover, the moderator will also charge a hefty fee to conduct the survey. Lastly, the survey data will need to be sent for further analysis to reveal the actual findings of the survey, which means more costs. Hence, the method for conducting surveys is old and contains several steps that need to be shortened. Every step invites additional cost, which makes running surveys and analyzing data highly expensive.
2- Chances of Survey Bias Are Higher
Some respondents might not answer certain questions, but they would be evaluated as NO. Besides, if the question-answer style surveys don’t have an option of “only once” then the respondents will choose NO.
In group surveys, the opinion of the moderators might affect the opinion of the participants. Hence, the chances of data errors and bias are higher in traditional surveys.
3- Lack of Honest Opinion is Common
Respondents may not feel encouraged to take up the survey. If the survey contains questions that are uncomfortable to answer for specific audiences, then they might choose not to respond or might choose a different answer. Lack of memory on the subject or even boredom might prevent the respondents from sharing their honest opinions.
Hence, customer surveys have the risk of containing inaccurate, dishonest, and biased opinions which do not lead to better decision making. The primary purpose of conducting a survey even after spending so much money might fail.
This calls for a need for survey innovation. It’s the 21st century – do surveys need to be upgraded?
Yes, of course. Now that we understand how problematic customer surveys are – what can a company do? Can we replace them? And if so, with what?
Improve Customer Surveys With Revuze – The AI-Based Solution For Accurate And Faster Survey Results
The best way to understand customer behavior is through genuine reviews. The challenge is to find those reviews, the ones that were given by customers who are not getting any compensation.
This is where Revuze comes into place. The platform is replacing the need for customer surveys, focused groups, and customer interviews.
Here is why Revuze is the best replacement for traditional customer surveys:
- Collect data from multiple sources and not just surveys. Revuze lets you gather data from customer reviews, surveys, user-generated content, and more.
- Get crucial consumer opinion data using Revuze’s powerful machine learning algorithms that turn unstructured data into market insights.
- Identify the needs and emotions of your customers using computational linguistics and natural language processing.
- No need to involve market experts, survey respondents, and research evaluators. Industry-leading AI from Revuze does all of these automatically for you.
- No waiting for survey results. You get relevant business insights within hours.
The need to improve customer surveys is vital to understand your customer’s opinions and needs. Revuze offers an innovative approach to gather relevant business insights in a faster and a convenient manner.
Customer survey improvement can boost loyalty, increase revenue, and reduce churn rate. Revuze AI provides a company one-stop-shop of “old school” solutions such as customer surveys. Instead of living in the past, embrace the power of AI & NLP – save money on a customer survey, analysts and also receive unbiased answers within days instead of months.
Simone Somekh is a New York-based writer and editor who specializes in marketing and communications for B2B SaaS companies. He teaches Communications at Touro College and he is the author of an award-winning novel published in four languages.