Proof That Online Survey Feedback Works!
Some of you might be familiar with Stewart's article from Wednesday, “Making Your Online Surveys More Usable”, that explained his recent experience with taking online surveys and ways in which to improve their usability. This post is similar, in that it explains my recent run-in with good and bad customer service and completing an online survey.
The story goes like this: I went to a store to purchase a new product. In addition to my product not being in the best condition possible, the representative who helped me was beyond rude. Thus, I left the store with a bad taste in my mouth. Several days later, I received an email invitation to take a survey about this recent in-store experience. Since I understand firsthand how valuable market research is (and because I’ll always participate where I can), I didn’t think twice about taking the survey.
As a side note, people in our industry know the value that market research provides; especially when direct customer feedback is involved and when you have a consumer with a strong opinion (and is willing to share that opinion). Very satisfied customers or very unsatisfied customers, can provide significant insight into research initiatives. In this situation…I was the very unsatisfied customer.
In sum, I rated the product I received and my in-store experience extremely low (1-3 on a 10-point scale; 10 being extremely satisfied). Because I submitted such low ratings, I was asked to elaborate on why I was so unsatisfied with my experience (take note here that skip logic worked properly in this survey). When I got to the open-ended question portion, I was surprised to discover I couldn’t comment on the second question. I had no choice but to leave the question blank and had to submit the survey incomplete (see below).
I admit, I feel a little bad now about submitting such harsh feedback, but what is the point of research if you don’t want consumers to be honest? Right? From a researcher’s standpoint, I wanted to pull my hair out! Not only did I want to voice my opinion (in efforts to help the company improve their customer service initiatives), but I genuinely couldn’t believe that the company administered a survey that wasn’t working properly.
Many might say “Who cares, it’s just one question”. The other data helps, but not getting complete feedback will hurt a company’s research results and/or efforts to make the company/product/service better. Making sure surveys work properly is key in market research. What’s the use of conducting research if the means in which the information is supposed to be gathered doesn’t work?
To continue my story, I unexpectedly received a phone call yesterday from one of the company’s (higher) representatives. She basically wanted me to elaborate on my experience and asked if there was anything she could do. She was very apologetic, and asked me to come back to any store location to have my product fixed/replaced. I did just that and now I have a better product. Conclusion? That simple follow-up phone call changed my entire opinion about the company – wow!
- Good customer service is a must - bad customer service can really turn-off consumers.
- Showing that you listen to customers, even the disgruntled ones, can turn bad experiences into good ones.
- Surveys that don't function properly will turn a customer who has had a less than satisfactory experience into an angry customer.
- Take surveys where and whenever possible! They’re important and they work!
- Without the survey, I wouldn’t have voiced my opinion, had my product replaced and therefore changed my opinion of the company. This is huge!
- If you want to get inside the minds of consumers and want a survey that can do so accurately, contact us. The proof is in the pudding!
Now…if only there was a survey we could take for all this SNOW!! Be safe out there folks.
Comments and questions are welcome.