6 Customer Survey Mistakes to Avoid

Customer surveys are a time-tested method for gaining valuable feedback. However, the quality of a survey, as well as its timing, make all the difference. If customers feel inconvenienced or fail to remember the details of an experience with your brand, they are not likely to give you the insights you need. With so many customers using multiple digital channels these days, it is especially important to design the best surveys that can be delivered efficiently on customers’ preferred channels. Here are six customer survey mistakes to avoid in order to get the most meaningful feedback for brand improvements.

Lack of incentive for the customer

If customers do not understand the immediate benefits of taking a survey, they simply will not participate. Surveys take time, and skeptical customers might believe that their answers will not matter. Be sure to communicate how you plan to use their feedback, and give short examples of how past feedback has led to direct brand improvements. You may also consider offering some kind of reward, such as loyalty points or a discount upon survey completion.

Confusing content

If your questions are not precise, customers will only be frustrated or give you inaccurate answers. Make your questions as specific as possible, and ensure that the response scale is easy to understand. It’s also important to remember that generic questions—while easier to comprehend—fail to give your brand the deep insights you need. Consider dividing your survey into sections that clearly correspond to different steps in the customer journey. For example, in three distinct sections, you may ask if the brand website was easy to navigate pre-purchase if the checkout process wasseamless, and if order confirmation information was received quickly post-purchase

Lack of a free-response section

Many times, customers will have additional input to offer, but the survey questions limit their responses. For this reason, it’s critical to offer a free-response section at the end that invites customers to elaborate on the points they find most pertinent. If a customer leaves particularly critical comments, your brand must follow up individually to reassure the customer that his opinions are being taken seriously. Customer comments can provide valuable information that your questions may not cover.

Poor timing

In customer service, timing is everything. This is why surveys should be sent post-purchase in a timely manner before a customer forgets the details of an experience simply has no time to communicate. A couple of days post-purchase is ideal, allowing customers to reflect and offer honest responses without feeling too rushed. Sending surveys too frequently can also be problematic, as the customer should not feel bothered. Constant requests for information might lead your customers to unsubscribe from newsletters or otherwise leave your brand.

Long surveys

No one wants to spend more time on a survey than they have to, and some do not want to answer at all. This is why you should take great care in designing surveys, length can be a major turn-off. Make your surveys concise and to the point, and be sure to format them in a way that is easy to read. Your customers will be far more likely to respond.

Ignoring the customer’s preferred channel

If your brand is always sending surveys on a single channel such as email, you are making a big mistake. Email may be convenient for some people, but each customer has his own preferences. The best strategy is to send surveys on customer’s preferred channels. Customers prefer convenience, and receiving communications on channels they already use makes engagement much easier.

Survey Monkey estimates that it collects more than 2 million responses per day for companies, demonstrating that customers are indeed willing to engage further with brands. However, as these consumers are constantly approached by the numerous brands they support, it’s important to make your surveys stand out so that customers actually feel compelled to answer. To deliver the very best customer experiences, learn about Contact Center Live, a leader in-powered contact center software solutions and premium omnichannel customer interaction platform.

5 Tips for Managing Customer Data

Customer data has long been a sensitive issue. Given recent stories in the news about companies mishandling data, it’s no wonder that consumer confidence has been impacted. A Pew Research Center study found that 64% of Americans had personally experienced a data breach, and nearly half of all Americans do not trust the federal government or social media sites to protect their data. With the recent enactment of GDPR, the European Union is further putting pressure on companies to protect customers’ personal information and be more transparent about how it is used. In addition to following new privacy laws, here are five general tips your brand should follow when handling customer data.

Communicate your data privacy policy

Customers need to understand exactly how their data will be used. Using clear and simple language builds their trust in your company and can help you avoid any issues or sanctions at a later time. In addition, it’s important to keep your customers updated about their privacy rights. For example, customer newsletters and marketing communications should make references to your data privacy policy.

Allow customers to opt-out

Whenever your brand uses data for marketing purposes, always give customers the right to opt-out. Even if your customers have given you permission to use their data, they need to feel empowered to make decisions regarding its use. For example, allow them to unsubscribe to email communications or request less frequent notifications.

Take measures to protect customer data

Your company can take many measures to protect customer data. Consider limiting data access to just the employees who have direct customer contact. Another way to build customer confidence is by collecting the minimum data your company needs. In this manner, customers will not feel that you are asking for too much personal information, and your company will not be overwhelmed by excessive data that can not be used efficiently.

Provide secure experiences

Encryption technologies are essential to protecting sensitive information. Be sure to protect passwords, credit card numbers, and other important data, and make sure customers know that you are using such technologies. When they make a purchase, for example, indicate that the process is secure and post an icon that represents the technology you are using. In addition, make sure that employees never exchange sensitive information over social media platforms. Conversations should be moved toa private channel whenever a customer needs to discuss a specific case or make a purchase.

Use data to give customers better experiences

You may be collecting customer data to grow your business, but are you also improving the customer experience? Brand growth is only possible when you give your customers what they really want. For example, use data to recommend more relevant products on customers’ preferred channels, offer better service across all touchpoints, and provide a more seamless experience when customers navigate your website. Respecting data privacy laws wins customer confidence, and using data to create better experiences wins loyalty. As your company navigates the sometimes complex rules of data management, remember that the ultimate goal is to use data to provide secure and seamless experiences that win customer trust.

6 Tips for building a thriving help center

Customers want to help themselves. They are more technically savvy than ever and have come to prefer the DIY approach to solving their issues and answering their own questions. In a recent survey, 67% of respondents said they prefer self-service over speaking with a representative. And a whopping 91% said they would use a company’s online knowledge base to meet their customer service needs.

The goal of this paper is simple: we want to help you build an all-in-one knowledge base, community, and customer portal. All of which can be accomplished with Help Center.

Why you need a Help Center right now!

  • Increase customer satisfaction by providing better service and meeting the needs of customers who prefer self-service
  • Reduce costs and increase efficiency by eliminating repetitive costs so agents can focus on more strategic tasks
  • Grow your business community and build deeper connections between your company and customers

1. Planning: Start with goals

Whether you are just starting to think about launching a Help Center or simply looking to improve what you have, the first and most vital step is to define what it is you hope to achieve. Is your purpose to reduce the number of support tickets being submitted to your staff? Or is it simply to foster relationships and engagements amongst your customers and employees? These are some ideas to think about, but the important thing is to identify the right goals for your business and work to get consensus up front amongst key stakeholders.

2. Measure for improvement

It is important to begin measuring the performance of your Help Center from day one. Keeping track of things like:

  • Community analytics stats
  • Resolution times
  • Percentage of issues resolved by staff vs. those solved via the Help Center

will help you understand if your Help Center is effective and what areas need to be improved.

It’s also extremely important to track the kinds of content that are being utilized by your customers. Knowing this will help you decide what content you need more of, such as specific topics or FAQs.

3. Mobile is not an “option”

It is important to provide a seamless experience so your customers have the same level of service whether they’re visiting your Help Center on a laptop, tablet, or phone.

As noted by the Zendesk Benchmark, the rise of the mobile consumer is clear. Everyone has heard about the consumer shift to mobile with the rise of smartphones and tablets; these trends are apparent in consumer preferences for engaging with brands through forums and help centers.

4. Employee participation and moderation

Self-service doesn’t mean setting up a site and not getting involved. Your employees should take an active role. It shows that you are listening to and care about customer behavior and feedback.

And by employees, we don’t just mean your customer service team, we mean everyone:

  • Marketing: see how customers interact with each other and help foster those relationships. The Help Center is also a great way to find and become familiar with your customer evangelists.
  • Product and support: help answer questions and respond to comments. These departments working together can take what they learn from the community and use it to speed up the feedback cycle. They can also use this opportunity to listen to ideas from customers and collect feedback.
  • Sales: being active in the Help Center connects your sales, the front-line of your business, with your customers. Also, the Help Center gives excellent insight for an ongoing sales cycle.

5. Focus on the user experience

User experience is incredibly important. You might have done everything right in terms of getting people to your site, but if you don’t provide a great experience, they won’t stay long and won’t return.

It is extremely important to provide easy navigation to the things that matter most. For example, search is an important feature that your customers will be looking for. Make sure it’s easy to find and use. Ask yourself: Can I provide and promote the things that matter most to my customers? Can I organize all my content in an effective way?

It’s also important to create something visually appealing — to give customers a place where they will want to spend their time. Consider adding rich media options. Many customers have come to expect things like videos, webinars, and images alongside text. Look for expertise on your web or design team for best practices, and test, test, test! Your Help Center is always a work in progress, so look at what works and doesn’t work and adjust accordingly.

One of the best ways to get customer feedback is to ask for it: Did they find what they were looking for? Do they have suggestions for improvement? A short survey can take you a long way toward creating an engaging user experience.

6. Put on your marketing hat!

What’s the use of a Help Center if no one is using it? Once you have selected your technology, set your goals, and built out your site, you need to drive users there. With this step, it is important to involve your marketing team, or at least to start thinking like a marketer. How are you going to invite and attract visitors? How are you going to promote the site or even particular aspects of the site? And, are there ways to leverage the community to help support other marketing programs?