Best Practice Tips for SMS Surveys

Best Practice Tips for SMS Surveys

Best Practice Tips for SMS Surveys

Asking anyone with whom you want to do new or additional business, to complete a survey via SMS if it is not short, can actually jeopardise business and put relationships at risk.

The constant to and fro of the messages and the random appearance and interruption factor is proven to just annoy your customer or prospect as question numbers go above one or two questions. If you want to attempt to collect that valuable “open” comment as well, it’s worth considering avoiding the “to and fro” method of SMS surveys and use the VIRTUATell alternative.

With over 10 years of experience supplying automated, multi-channel survey services, research shows that VIRTUATell‘s alternative method has a 98% total acceptance level, when asking 4 or 5 question PLUS that valuable general comment.

The VIRTUATell SMS survey method

For one or two questions, SMS is fast and convenient.  For longer surveys, we have two options.

vSurvey call-back.

As with a normal SMS survey, we send the message asking if they will take a survey. However, we inform them that if they accept, we will call them back immediately with a quick telephone survey. On acceptance, our outbound telephone survey calls them back, avoiding that nightmare of multiple SMS surveys with messages bouncing to and from your customer, with the associated, huge annoyance factor. We can even collect customer complaint details and deliver them to whoever you want, seconds after the survey, to proactively help you convert them to a satisfied customer – proven to have an 11% higher probability of re-purchasing.

eSurvey url

Option 2 delivers to any accepted survey, a url that links any smartphone to our online/web eSurvey.

Using our SMS options, VIRTUATell surveys give you:

  • Fast, real-time, outbound automated surveys
  • All results available in our award winning reporting suite
  • Honest answers just seconds after the visit
  • Real-time escalation alerts for proactive actions
  • Individual, team and departmental reports for comparison
  • Increased sales, loyalty and customer satisfaction

Just click below for more information or Click Here to see more.

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6 rules when setting up customer surveys

6 rules when setting up customer surveys

There is an art to finding the right words to use in your surveys. Or perhaps that should say: There is a science to writing surveys that get the best results and if you are using automated phone and online surveys such as those supplied by VIRTUATell there are even more “do’s and don’ts” . If not done correctly the language that you use to phrase questions can ultimately have an unintended impact on the results you receive.  Linguists and academics have spent decades researching the effect that different words, phrases and sentences can have on the way we think.

To help you write surveys that will gain the most accurate results for your company here are 6 rules when setting up customer surveys to help you succeed in wasting as little effort as possible:

    1. Design all surveys with the customer environment in mind.  You are unable to monitor the environment in which your survey is being completed but you DO know if an SMS survey will be read on a mobile phone or an automated phone survey will be heard via a telephone, so design the survey for that medium.  SMS surveys should be short, online surveys should be well designed and easy to read and Phone surveys should be worded for the ear, not the eye and should factor in the possibility of external noise.

 

    1. Keep to the same scales where possible. In designing surveys, it is imperative to remember that respondents are helping you out. Therefore, try to keep their mental stress to a minimum. Switching from a question that asks for a numerical rating (1-5, 1-10 or the NPS score, 0-10) to one, that rates levels of satisfaction(Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Disatisfied, Very Disatisfied), to one that  seeks to ascertain how closely a customer agrees with a statement(Strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree), is mentally demanding for them and likely to be off-putting so try and keep scales consistent.

 

    1. Avoid using idioms and slang. Your customers may be foreign-born or may have a learning difficulty that prevents them from distinguishing between metaphor and literal meaning. Idioms and slang can cause confusion and arguably can sound unprofessional.  But that doesn’t mean that colloquial language should be avoided – especially when using phone surveys. In fact, it is worth considering how a more relaxed and conversational tone could be used to help put respondents at ease and make them feel less as though they are undergoing a test.

 

    1. When asking text or recording questions, don’t ask leading questions. For journalists grilling political candidates that may be the quickest way to get at the truth. For your survey the act of suggesting an answer in the question is likely to bias your results and make them an inaccurate reflection of your customer’s experience.

 

    1. Capture verbatim recordings and open comments, especially as the final questions.  These open questions give the respondent the chance to say what is on their mind, in their words and are often the most valuable content available to you. DO NOT use them for SMS surveys (which should only be a single question or use the VIRTUATell SMS methodology).

 

  1. And finally, KEEP THE SURVEY SHORT!  At VIRTUATell we campaign constantly to keep surveys short and don’t assume the respondent has limitless time to answer your questions.  If you DO need more than 4 or 5 questions answered, cycle, randomise and spread the questions over multiple respondents.  A short survey will result in someone being happy to answer another one sometime – a long survey penalises them for helping you out.

For more information CLICK HERE to Contact VIRTUATell.

6 ways to increase survey response rates

6 ways to increase survey response rates

With over-surveying, absurdly long surveys and disconnected senders, survey response rates are falling fast!

To achieve the  objectives of gathering customer feedback efficiently whilst not annoying your customers and obtaining accurate results you can act upon, care and attention must be taken when designing your surveys.  Here, we show you 6 quick ways to ensure your surveys get answered, the answers you obtain are meaningful and accurate and do so, without alienating your customers.
10 second short summary
– Design survey wording and scales that match the survey type being used (vSurvey/eSurvey/mSurvey)
– Aural surveys(vSurvey) – place the scale after question not other way around
– Keep survey scales the same if possible, otherwise group them
– Keep language simple and avoid colloquialisms
– Capture open comments and verbatim recordings
– KEEP SURVEYS SHORT (Use our KISKIS method)

Full Article – 6 ways to increase survey response rates
There is an art to finding the right words to use in your surveys. Or perhaps that should say: There is a science to designing surveys that get the best results, in the shortest amount of time and increase survey response rates.

Based on our many years of experience in conducting phone, email, web, social and mobile surveys, we have put together the VIRTUATell “Do’s and don’ts” for survey design.

If not done correctly the language that you use to phrase questions can ultimately have an unintended impact on the results you receive. Linguists and academics have spent decades researching the effect that different words, phrases and sentences can have on the way we think.

Design all surveys with the customer and their environment in mind

You are unable to monitor the environment in which your survey is being completed but you DO know if an SMS survey will be read on a mobile phone or an automated phone survey will be heard via a telephone, so tailor the survey for that medium. SMS surveys should be short, online surveys should be well designed and easy to read and Phone surveys should be worded to be easily understood via the ear.

Put the scale after the question

If using inbound or outbound telephone surveys (vSurveys, as we call them) put the scale AFTER the question. This is 90% easier for the brain to be presented with the proposition (the question they have to evaluate) followed by the scale they have to select from, rather than the other way around.  This alone will make sure you increase survey response rates.

Keep to the scales you use the same, where possible

When designing surveys, it is imperative to remember that the respondents are helping you out. Therefore, try to keep their mental stress to a minimum. Switching from a question that asks for a numerical rating (1-5, 1-10 or the NPS score, 0-10) to one, that rates levels of satisfaction (Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Dissatisfied, Very Dissatisfied), to one that seeks to ascertain how closely a customer agrees with a statement (Strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree), is mentally demanding for them and likely to be off-putting so try and keep scales consistent. This is especially true when using phone (vSurveys) or mobile (mSurveys) surveys where the time available to fully understand what is being presented is short.

If you have to change scoring scales, keep those questions together. For example, if you have four 1-5 questions and a Net Promoter question, put the Net Promoter first or last and not amongst the other questions.

Avoid using idioms and slang

Your customers may be foreign-born or may have a learning difficulty that prevents them from distinguishing between metaphor and literal meaning. Idioms and slang can cause confusion and arguably can sound unprofessional.

But that doesn’t mean that colloquial language should be avoided – especially when using phone surveys. In fact, it is worth considering how a more relaxed and conversational tone could be used to help put respondents at ease and make them feel less as though they are undergoing a test.

Capture verbatim recordings and open comments, especially as the final questions

These open questions give the respondent the chance to say what is on their mind, in their words and are often the most valuable content available to you. DO NOT use them for SMS surveys (which should only be a single question).

When asking for comments via an open message box or a verbatim recording comment, don’t ask leading questions. For journalists grilling political candidates that may be the quickest way to get at the truth. For your survey the act of suggesting an answer in the question is likely to bias your results and make them an inaccurate reflection of your customer’s experience.

Finally, KEEP THE SURVEY SHORT!

At VIRTUATell, we campaign using our KISKIS method, to keep surveys short and we don’t assume the respondent has limitless time to answer our questions. Your feedback audience has less and less time available and if you do not join this movement towards shorter surveys, you will be collecting feedback – and basing decisions – only on those that have unlimited time!

If you DO need more than 4 or 5 questions answered, cycle, randomise and spread the questions over multiple respondents or contact VIRTUATell to help you design your feedback campaign. A short survey will result in the respondent being happy to answer another one sometime – a long survey penalises them for helping you out.  This single act will make sure you increase survey response rates and get customers to give you multiple survey feedback.

For more information CLICK HERE to Contact VIRTUATell and find out more.

How to survey the Customer Journey

How to survey the Customer Journey

CXM experts agree that companies need to consider the customer’s full end-to-end journey, as opposed to isolated touchpoints, if they are truly to understand how they are performing in their customers’ eyes. According to research in the Harvard Business Review, across industries performance on journeys is 20% to 30% more strongly correlated with business outcomes.

Therefore, if you’re looking to improve sales and build your brand, it’s important to keep your customer in mind and measure how you are performing in their eyes, at every step of the customer journey. After all, understanding your customer and how they interact with your business directly is crucial when it comes to optimising the value, loyalty, and longevity of a customer relationship. If you are to ensure you have a full understanding of their journey with you, it is essential to measure your performance at each contact point they may have with you.

What is the customer journey?

The customer journey is the series of stages that a customer goes through when engaging with your organisation. As with any journey, the customer journey is not always linear and customers can jump in and out at different points depending upon their familiarity with your company, their reason for contact, and a whole host of other factors. For example, they may browse your web pages to narrow down their requirements and then make a phone call to clarify certain items and may later place an order via the web site but send an email to gain further clarification. All of this is part of the Acquisition phase of the customer journey.

Later, during the Change stage, your established customer of 2 years may decide they are interested in one of you promotional emails and enquire via email about upgrading their service. This may involve a contract change and field visit by an engineer, followed by administrative and service delivery changes. All of wthese sub-stages need careful management and measurement and are important components of the customer journey. Failure of any one of these sub-stages can immediately ruin the relationship and satisfaction levels you have carefully built with this customer over the previous years.

Customer Journey Mapping

Before you can identify the appropriate points to survey and engage along your customer journey, it is helpful to map out the journey. A customer journey map tells the story of each customer’s experience, from the very first contact, through the process of engagement, and into a long-term relationship.

customer journey

Customer journey mapping is all about figuring what it’s like for customers to interact with your brand over time and across different channels. Whether it focuses on a particular part of the journey or offers an overview of the experience, the customer journey map offers an insight into the key interactions that the customer has with the organisation, referring to their feelings, motivations, and questions for each of these key touch-points.

There are numerous different forms of customer journey maps, each with slightly different features and layouts. Every map, however attempts to understand and document the customer’s experience with the organisation.

customer journey

Example customer journey

Measuring the Journey

Once you have identified the key touch-points in the customer journey, you obviously need to begin to measure each stage and touch-point to begin to understand how you please or frustrate your customers at every stage. By measuring, you can begin to compare and ultimately, fix any issue and promote good practice, on every channel.
In any customer journey, there will be touch-points that are more important (for example, ‘customer places an order’) and less important touch points (such as, ‘customer downloads user guide’). However, a poor performance in an area considered low importance, may be the cause of issues you may be having in high importance stages and it is therefore essential that you measure all stages.

That is why at VIRTUATell we recommend using similar survey questions at each touchpoint to have comparative data for more relevant analysis. And we also recommend the utilisation of short surveys more often to provide a wider base of understanding and at the same time maximise return rates.

Why use the customer journey in customer feedback?

Whilst most organisations are relatively good at gathering historic data on their users, it tends to be historic, transactional data that reflects values and numbers of calls rather than a measurement of the success or failure of the point of communication. Almost always missing is the customer frustrations and experiences in their own words or measurement. This is where the measurement of your customer journeys at every touch point will begin to pay off.

At every stage, or touch point, the customer journey gives you the opportunity to engage with and obtain feedback from the customer, whether the contact is via email, web, chat, phone or social media. Understanding the customer journey allows companies to gain a better insight into the experiences they are delivering, achieve a higher response rate from the surveys they send out, and identify opportunities to stay in touch with their customers.

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Why all CX survey scores are not equal

Why all CX survey scores are not equal

Did you know all CX survey scores are not equal? Not even close! In order to create a customer satisfaction survey that’s fair, there’s a number of things you have to consider – from the survey questions, to the rating system, to the collection method. In order to get a realistic view, you need to be mindful of all of them.

All survey scores are not equal

When we came across this survey recently, from an organisation that suggests they will improve customer satisfaction overnight – and we realised how, as we immediately recognised a skewed rating system. Have a look for yourself, and see if you can figure out how the 9.2 review score was calculated.

Stuck?

Well, from left to right, the smiley faces are apportioned 2.5 points, 5, 7.5 and 10 points. And those smiley faces seem to indicate unhappy, neutral, happy and delighted (although there’s not actually an explanation as to whether that’s the case). Does that seem fair?

Probably not, and it raises a number of interesting points.

The first is that you can see two positive reactions, but just one negative and one neutral position. So, users are already pushed towards positive feedback, by virtue of two of the four options being positive.

In fact, if you rate something using Smile 2 (‘neutral’), you’re actually awarding 5 out of 10 points. If you didn’t look closely at that picture, you might assume that given its placement it would indicate ‘quite dissatisfied’, which definitely wouldn’t warrant 5/10 to the average user!

At VIRTUATell, if we’re using a four-point scale, we use 0, 3.3, 6.6 and 10 as the points for each position. This allows for the reviewer to indicate that something is so bad they wouldn’t award any points, and is a much more realistic way of measuring satisfaction.

Four-point scales are intrinsically problematic though, as there is no middle position to allow users to show that they are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. Not allowing customers to adopt a neutral position does force them to pick a position, but in the case of this scale, where the positions are weighted towards the positive, this won’t give an accurate assessment of customer satisfaction.

The other issue with this survey is that there’s no way of showing that any of the questions aren’t relevant for this user. For instance, perhaps the user didn’t make use of the facilities, or didn’t have any interactions with the staff – they should be able to complete the survey without being forced to have an opinion on these things!

Perhaps you’ve already worked out why this survey is designed in this way…

Rather than trying to gather realistic data that the company will use to improve its offering, the results of this survey are used for review purposes and shown to website visitors – in this case, people booking hotels online. So, a high score gives the impression of hundreds of satisfied customers, and more chance of a booking by the potential customer!

But while this might work for first purchase on-site conversion rates, ultimately this strategy is risky. After all, if you visit a hotel based on a 9.5 rating, but go there and have a 5.5 experience, you may accept that it is “just you” but if it happens repeatedly, will you book with that company again? Probably not!

As you can see, survey design needs to be done carefully, and while it might be tempting to skew the results so that you get positive feedback, that, ultimately, won’t help your business.

Want to discuss with experts whether you’re getting a true reflection of your customers’ levels of satisfaction? More details about scales and scoring can be found [[HERE]].  Or, schedule a call to discuss it with one of our team members today.