Online Reporting System

Current client reporting system can be accessed here.

Find your ah-ha! moments faster.

Together we turn insights into action.

See What We Do

Solutions

customer experience
Customer Experience

Your customers are talking and we speak their language. We know the right questions to ask and the best way to deliver actionable insights that help you impact the conversation.

Learn More
brand research
Brand Research

What customers think and how they act can be different. That's why we track pre-purchase, purchase, and even non-purchase behavior against your brand and your competition.

LEARN MORE
employee engagement
Employee Engagement

Your customer experience is tied to your employee experience. We have the tools that uncover the heart of your organization, decreasing turnover and increasing sales performance.

LEARN MORE

Industries

We make your business our business. We connect what matters to your customers with what matters to you, understanding the unique behavior motivators and operational demands of your industry.

Focus On Innovation

smg360 Reporting App

When your front line is hustling, your data access needs to keep pace. Introducing the next generation smg360TM app, designed to keep your team on track and identify performance issues at-a-glance. One-click access allows unit and field managers to get the data they need when and where they need it and helps department leaders and executives make more informed decisions. Available for phone and tablet, smg360 app delivers real-time information for real-time action. It's not just a player in the industry; it's a whole new game.
Learn More

Client Partners

Caribou Coffee
Applebee's
Kohl's
shell
wawa-logo
Giant eagle
amc
Taco Bell
Firehouse Subs
McDonalds

Featured Resources

Client Only
ebook

ebook | The ultimate guide to omnichannel CX

Client Only
Report

An Executive Critique of the Customer Experience

Client Only
Best Practice Guide

7 keys to launching a successful customer experience program

From Our Blog

Short and shorter—make the most of your survey length

With the growing popularity of mobile devices, short surveys have become a hot topic for market researchers. The problem tends to be finding a balance in length—surveys need to be short enough to keep a respondent’s attention, but long enough to provide a comprehensive view of the customer experience. A big question we often get from clients is—how short is too short?

How short is too short?

We’ve had brands test survey lengths that range from a handful to over fifty questions. Testing a shortened survey allows us to determine if the cuts we’re making are improving the survey experience for respondents while still giving us the information we need to produce great insights. Most survey tests tend to fall into two groups: short and shorter.

We broke down the two most common short survey test scenarios to find out which one had the biggest pay-off for clients.

Brief is best

We always aim to keep surveys short. Our research has found that respondents tend to abandon the survey when it takes longer than 7 minutes. However, it’s common for survey length to creep out of control over time.

Survey Abondonment Rates image

To keep your survey length reigned-in, it’s critical to conduct frequent audits and ensure you’re only collecting the information you need. Taking inventory of what’s in your survey keeps survey length down and the respondent experience positive. Get more about details on keeping your survey length in control here.

Must be this tall to ride

Clients have put our recommended template to the test by creating an even shorter version that only includes the core satisfaction questions. With this shorter survey test, questions that determine the right path for the respondent—like visit type—are cut out. Here’s what we learned from testing the shorter surveys:

  • Even though these clients saw decreases in two key indicators of good survey health—duration and abandonment—they also lost some key survey content
  • Scores dropped on questions that were previously using survey branching logic, since we weren’t asking the right people relevant questions about their visit
  • Shorter surveys tend to remove more questions but fewer pages
  • Most of the clients who tested the shorter survey returned to the recommended survey because they were losing vital information
Survey health 1

In their own words

A common misconception with creating a shorter survey is that respondents will be more likely to leave a lengthy comment if they're putting less effort into answering the survey content. When we put this notion to the test, it turned out there was no difference between the percentage of comments captured in a shorter survey than were captured in an average length survey. There also are no notable differences in comment length—comments in shorter surveys tend to contain a similar number of characters, words, and sentences as average length surveys. In more extreme "short survey" scenarios—where only OSAT and an open-end are included—we actually see comment quality decrease. Comments in these super short surveys are less rich, contain fewer words or sentences, and also include fewer topics.

Why does that happen? When SMG designs surveys, the questions are designed to help the customer reflect on all aspects of their experience. When the survey content gets too narrow, open-end comments end up being less comprehensive.

Key takeaways

Shortening surveys has its pros and cons. When surveys are too long, using SMG best practices can greatly improve the respondent’s survey experience—which means less abandonment and more actionable insights for your brand. But the benefits of shortening a survey (decreased duration, abandonment) still have to be weighed against the cons (loss of data, loss of survey branching). SMG’s survey experience and research on research can ensure that your surveys are set up to give you all the data you need to make the right decisions for your brand, while keeping your survey efficient for your customers.

Want more best practices for surveys that get the best results? Check out our white papers on survey design, parts one and two here.

Kelcey Curtis, M.A.
Research Manager

Kalli Hannam, M.A.
Research Analyst

Learn More See More Blog Posts
home-blog