Survey Fatigue: What it Is & How to Prevent It

Companies have finally understood that they need to hear the voice of the customer, and they ask him in every possible way; by letter, online, phone, IVR, focus groups, etc. But at the same time, survey fatigue is taking place, which leads customers not to answer and companies to be deprived of a fundamental voice.

And we even find many occasions in which the client provides false data, which is even worse. Let’s talk about it.

What is Survey Fatigue?

Survey fatigue is considered to be a reaction that frequently occurs in participants after spending 20 minutes answering a survey. This can cause participants to pay less attention and spend less time thinking about their answers, instead of becoming more involved with the project.

How many customer satisfaction surveys have you experienced this week?  In my case, there isn’t a single transaction that I do that doesn’t ask me to rate my experience. It’s getting annoying. As it turns out, I’m not alone experiencing the survey fatigue. People are sick and tired of being constantly surveyed and they are fighting back.

Check out some of these results gathered by OpinionLab:

  • 66% of customers prefer to give feedback by actively reaching out.
  • Nearly three quarters (72%) of consumers said surveys interfere with the experience of a website.
  • 80% of customers have abandoned a survey halfway through. 52% of customers said that they would not spend more than 3 minutes filling out a feedback form.

In a Forbes interview, Jonathan Levitt, CMO of OpinionLab, says that he’s seen survey responses drop from about 20% twenty years ago to about 2% today. Put simply, consumers are TIRED and survey fatigue is setting in. Why? Levitt’s explanation is that consumers perceive these surveys as being “marketer-centric” instead of consumer-centric. I would call it lazy and uncreative marketing.

He goes on to say that attempts at engaging consumers using contests and giveaways in exchange for a survey response does absolutely nothing. Again, the consumer can see right through these strategies. On a positive note, it seems that consumers would rather share their opinions with the companies directly, using social media channels.

Strategies to prevent survey fatigue

So what’s a small business owner or marketing manager to do? You’re going to have to get out of YOUR world and bevy of meetings, charts, and graphs and get into your customers’ world. You have to meet them where they are. Granted, this is more cumbersome because your data is going to come from multiple sources, but you’re smart, you can make it work.

Here are 6 alternative ways to gather feedback that doesn’t involve tormenting your customers:

  1. Watch review sites: Be an active engager on review sites — especially if your business is retail.  Watch Yelp or TripAdvisor.  Also be sure to watch sites like Ebay, Amazon, Google reviews.  Anywhere your customer can leave a review on your product or service, you want to be there.
  2. Engage on Twitter:   I’ve often found that posting my feedback or question on Twitter gives me an immediate and effusive response. Be sure to save searches of your company or brand name as well as hashtags for words that describe your product or service.  A few general hashtags to watch might be #CustomerService, #ServiceFailHow to Cure Survey Fatigue?
  3. Set up Google Alerts: This will help you track any feedback on the web.  I recommend having them delivered as soon as they appear because you want to be able to respond a quickly as possible
  4. Take a social media poll: QuestionPro makes it easy to set up a poll or single question survey and share it via social media.  This will take advantage of those 66% of the people who want to give feedback directly.
  5. Create Consumer Insight Community: When you create consumer insight community, you’ll be able to gather valuable feedback and to find out what your customer wants. From the traditional survey to more qualitative offerings like discussions, quick polls, ideation, and online focus groups that are available via the online member portal, you’ll be able to tease out unparalleled insights in order to improve your products and ultimately the bottom line.
  6. Add a Feedback Tab to your website:  QuestionPro has recently updated their embedded web survey feature, so it’s the perfect time to create a simple feedback survey for your website.  I recommend you keep it super simple- maybe just use a text question that says “How can I help you?”

These are all simple and easy ways to gather customer feedback on THEIR terms instead of yours, thus avoiding survey fatigue. All of them are quick, easy and mostly free. So put yourself and your customer feedback on a new program, one that puts the focus back on the customer and their experience.

Looking to deliver an exceptional customer experience with QuestionPro CX? Discover more about how to delight your customer at every touchpoint and turn them into brand advocates.