I recently had the opportunity to travel for the first time since April. Certainly, much had changed since then when there were fewer than fifty passengers on my flight across the Pacific Ocean. It was dramatically different from in February when I flew the same route. One thing that hasn’t changed is the long list of survey requests I get along each portion of my trip. After each flight, hotel stays, and car rental return, I received a survey request.
I realize that each of these individual requests might be coming from a different company each time, but it certainly gives reason to pause and think about what we, as practitioners, are asking customers to do for us.
One that really stands out to me is a car rental survey. I’m certain that this is a point of pride for the customer experience vendor, but I’m a little bothered when I get a proactive request for a survey before the interaction is over. This is different from getting a receipt from a restaurant with a link printed on the bottom. Instead, I received an invitation email from the vendor before I had even received a receipt from the rental company and before I had jumped on the shuttle bus back to the airport.
A small annoyance for sure, but it does send a message – customer feedback comes before customer needs.
Which is the exception, and which is the rule? Most travelers would not notice the timing, but the ones that will notice are the ones you should be looking out for, the frequent traveler. It is important to realize that your experience survey is still part of the experience. For this reason, it is important when developing a CX Strategy to consider the customer journey. Recognize when the journey starts, when the journey concludes, and the steps in each part of that journey – that includes the customer experience measurement. The measurement itself also comes with many parameters: when you survey the customer, how often you survey the customer, and how much information you ask of the customer – something we call the survey length.
It is one of the reasons we track disposition metrics. It may not seem like analytics, but it does provide a vital view of one part of the customer experience – the experience with the customer experience.
The proper use of disposition metrics can tell you if your survey is too long, where it may be confusing, or even seen by the customer or customers as not relevant. All of these are vital statistics in a customer experience program and should not be taken for granted.
Dropping out is a problem
While everything should be reviewed, customers dropping out of a survey is one of the most troubling statistics. You took the time to communicate; the customer found the survey relevant to them; the customer began to provide feedback, then stopped. Certainly, life gets in the way sometimes. However, the customer most often drops out because the survey just began consuming too much time, or a question was either confusing or irrelevant to them. The latter is usually a hazard of not properly identifying the customer you are communicating with. If you have to ask them about multiple departments they didn’t interact with, then they may be driven to think it the survey wasn’t about them.
Survey length, on the other hand, should never be a concern. It is one of the most avoidable errors when it comes to rolling out your CX strategy. Asking every question during every transaction just “because we’re already talking to them” is one of the first mistakes. Making it easier for the customer to communicate with brands is the key reason we are introducing NPS+. It is an effort to simplify the conversation by taking the customer’s burden to “do all the talking”. Instead, we made it easy for the customer to identify pain or delight points without the typical battery of questions. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re taking it a step further in understanding the voice-of-the-customer in a way that can help predict churn and use the same question to let the customer help your brand innovate. It is a change from the normal process of “get more data points while we have them.”
With that in mind, perhaps you should take a moment now, reflect on your current CX strategy, and review your disposition metrics in detail. Take a look across different types of interactions, different levels of customers, and even languages used. At QuestionPro, we’ll be rolling out more ways to understand these metrics better. Our Machine Assisted Insights & Learning (M.A.I.L) Reports will look for differences across the organization and down to the local level to provide insights that you never knew you had time to understand. I look forward to discussing that in more detail soon.
Are you innovating within CX? We’re going to talk about NPS+ in great detail in the coming weeks. The environment today requires all businesses to be smarter, faster, and more affordable – and cleaner. This should be true within your CX approach. Join QuestionPro as we speak with HorizonCX CEO, Karl Sharicz and talk about how companies can innovate their CX program and bring innovation from their CX program to their customers. You can register for our September 10th discussion here.