e-mail inbox & mail box currently has feedback request
from 6 different companies. As a industrial marketing
consultant, I often advise companies on gathering and
using customer feedback, so you might think I'd be interested
in these surveys. I've glanced at the ones cluttering
my inbox, and I'm not going to fill out most of them.
Majority of the customers have same initial reaction
as I have, when they see customer surveys.
response rates is one of the key indicator of the feedback
mechanisms, whether it's healthy and giving you the
important inputs to the customer feedback. Response
rates for the industrial (B2B) customers below 60% indicates
I have observed most common reasons behind such a poor
#It just takes too much time!
Most of the surveys ask for "a few minutes of your
time" which is a lie. They need at least 20 ~25
minutes to complete who has that kind of time
#No prompt action on
I've filled out plenty of surveys in the past, but have
experienced that the complaint/feedback I gave on the
various issues, just keep on cropping up every time
I have an interaction with them. The feedback appears
to just go into a black hole!
#No learning from the
If I thought my feedback would help the employees &
the company improve its service to me and other customers
as a whole, I'd be more cooperative. But many times,
it doesn't. Can the employees could actually hear what
I have to say in a way that would help them learn? Will
the senior managers actually take my input (and that
of other customers) and took appropriate action, even
if they decided not to follow my advice exactly? If
I truly believed all that was happening, I'd be glad
to fill out a brief survey.
not that all the surveys are bad. There are number of
organisations, using surveys to improve internal business
processes & delight their customers. How do they
Here are few pointers to how do they do,
*Their surveys are
always short & can be filled quickly, normally
not exceeding a single page. They do not ask irrelevant
questions & sub- questions running into pages. They
always respect readers time & do not expect
the respondent to take a half day off for filling up
the survey! (I am not joking; recently saw a feedback
form from a leading engineering company, running into
*They make a point to take an immediate action
on the specific issues being raised. The concerned person/department
gets the feedback within 1-2 days for the corrective
action. Corrective action or the proposed changes, so
that issues doe not recur, are informed to the customer.
Relevant senior managers take the feedback as an important
input for the change in process, introducing new services
& other innovations.
*The feedback helps to make a difference
for other customers in the future. This is important
especially for the non-repetitive customers like the
capital equipment buyers. The feedback helps in the
input for continuous improvement in products & services.
ideal survey feedback system has to go well beyond just
asking the right questions. It requires responses which
are timebound, reliable, and actionable.
experience of two decades, read
"How we help
our clients" to improve business.