What does your customer survey say about your brand?

Shad Foos | Jun 29, 2016 Shad Foos 06/29/16
We all know customer feedback is critical for creating loyalty and driving financial performance. We all know customers are interacting with brands across more touchpoints than ever. And we all know customers will happily tell us the truth about our performance as long as we ask the right questions and take the right actions. But are we all thinking about our customer survey as a brand touchpoint? What type of brand experience are your customers having with your CX program?

There’s art and science to building an inspiring survey that customers want to take. One that produces high-quality data you can trust, and actually delivers on your brand promise.

We collect more than 150 million customer surveys a year for 325+ brands around the globe. With so much data, SMG is able to conduct research on our research to understand the impact of survey length and structure on mobile vs. desktop. We know the time threshold before a customer will abandon a survey—by device type. And we know the implications of multiple open-end questions—or putting the open-end question at the beginning vs. the end—on the quality and quantity of structured and unstructured data we’re able to collect. That’s a bit of the science.

The art that goes into your CX survey is just as important. The art part is what customers feel and remember. It’s the part that makes your survey unique and relevant—to you and your customers. Here are a few things to ponder when you think about the art aspect of your CX survey program:
  1. Does your CX program fit your brand personality?
    You probably put a lot of time and energy into your brand identity and communications. Will your customers recognize your CX survey as coming from your brand? And will it feel like the same authentic 1:1 exchange they just had in your location or on your website? Your program name should be ownable and informative. Survey graphics need to be inspiring. And the UI has to be easy and intuitive. Put the same time and energy into this customer touchpoint that you would any other, so customers believe it’s valuable. If it looks like you didn’t give it the time, they won’t give it the time.
  3. Are questions written in the same tone as other branded communications?
    Every [good] brand has a voice. A vernacular. We feel it in everything from advertising to social to signage. As keepers of the brand, we review communications every day with an eye toward how things are worded. We might note, “We wouldn’t say that,” or “It feels too formal for us.” It’s important to work with your research team to make sure survey questions are worded to get accurate and actionable data you can trust. That said, don’t overlook opportunities to interject familiar band language that continues the connection customers have with your brand. CX surveys exist to get you closer to your customers. Don’t let yours be a disconnect from your brand.
  5. Are important brand attributes reflected in your survey?
    There’s a reason customers buy from you vs. your competitor. Is it because you’re fast, or friendly? Is it because you offer a good value? Whatever your key drivers, are they reflected in your CX survey? If speed matters, is your survey short and fast to finish? If value is important, do customers feel there’s equity in what they give and get as part of your CX program? Your team looks at performance data all day every day. You know what makes customers love you. Make sure that valuable insight works its way into your survey program, too.
Let’s ask ourselves these questions. And one more. When’s the last time we took our CX survey the same way our customers take it (vs. reviewing a file that comes across our desk for approval)? What better way to really understand the customer experience with this valuable brand touchpoint.

There is so much innovation happening in the CX space right now. Let’s make sure we’re taking advantage of the technology and insights we have—literally at our fingertips—to ensure our customers are having the best brand experience at every touchpoint. Including your CX survey itself. For more information, contact your SMG project team or contact us to learn more.

Shad Foos
Chief Marketing Officer

Customer Experience Update