Surveys have long been a go-to tool for gathering insights into customer sentiment in the realm of customer experience (CX). However, there are significant drawbacks to relying solely on surveys for measuring customer effort. Here are the key issues:
Low Response Rates
Surveys often suffer from low response rates, with averages hovering around 9% and showing a declining trend year over year. This low participation means that a vast majority of customers are not providing feedback through surveys, significantly limiting the data available to companies.
The modern consumer is inundated with surveys. As more companies strive to capture the voice of their customer, a phenomenon known as 'survey fatigue' has emerged. It's estimated that as many as 70% of surveys are abandoned partway through, leading many companies to design shorter surveys that, unfortunately, provide even less actionable information.
Extreme Response Bias
Surveys often suffer from extreme response bias. This means that the feedback typically comes from customers who had either exceptionally good or exceptionally bad experiences. This bias leaves out responses from the majority of a brand’s customers, skewing the data and making it less representative of the overall customer experience.
Lack of Actionable Information
Even with reasonable response rates, survey data can be challenging to act on. The single number generated by even the best survey doesn’t provide comprehensive information that can be used to identify systemic issues, coach agents, or take other concrete effort-reducing measures. Surveys often provide a score, but they typically provide little verbatim feedback, leaving little information on why the customer scored an interaction the way they did.
So, what's the solution? Companies can now use AI-powered platforms to gather insights from data they already have available. For example, they could review recorded customer service phone calls, chat transcripts, and case management systems to predict the score a customer would have given on a survey—without having to ask the customer to fill out the survey at all.
In conclusion, while surveys can still play a role in capturing customer feedback, they should not be the only tool in a company's arsenal. By leveraging technology and analyzing existing interaction data, companies can gain a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of the customer experience.