Join Jeff Toister for an in-depth discussion in this video Searching for survey alternatives, part of Using Customer Surveys to Improve Service.
- Before you launch a customer service survey, you may want to consider some alternatives. In many cases, you can get some or all of the information you're looking for faster and easier than by deploying a survey. Let's look at a few comment survey alternatives. External Review Sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor are already collecting much of the data you'd typically ask for on a survey. If your company gets reviewed on one of these sites, you may consider using that data instead of doing a survey on your own.
Monitoring Social Media sites such as Twitter and Facebook can also help you gather customer input. In some cases, social media can help you predict problems, since many customers will post during their experience, while a survey might be taken days later. Web Alerts can tell you when someone mentions your product, service, or company on a blog or website. You can use Google Alerts for free, though there are also many sophisticated software programs that do this. Your company may have some existing metrics that provide insight into service quality.
These metrics can sometimes replace a survey or allow you to ask far fewer questions. Examples include Contact type reports, which tell you the reason that customers contact you for service. First contact resolution, which tells you the percentage of problems resolved on the first contact. And Speed of contact, which tells you how quickly you respond to customers via various channels, such as email, chat, and phone. Finally, you can ask your customers directly for feedback.
In many cases, they're giving you direct feedback anyway. They'll tell you what problem they're experiencing, how they feel about it, and what they want you to do about it. If you can capture this information, you'll have a valuable source of data about the most common problems your customers face. In some cases, you can use data from these alternative sources to augment your own survey data and even reduce the questions you need to ask. For example, let's say you have a report that shows a sudden spike in customers complaining about a particular product.
You can use that information to launch a survey specifically targeted to customers who bought that product, so you can learn more about why people are unhappy. These alternative sources might not give you all the data you need, but I recommend exploring them before you launch your survey. They can save you some time, make your surveys more focused, and even eliminate the need to launch a survey altogether.