Don’t trip up your brand experience—5 CX survey pitfalls to avoid

Jennifer McKenzie | Aug 17, 2017 Jennifer McKenzie 08/17/17

Surveys are the driving force behind understanding the customer experience. Customers see surveys as an extension of your brand, and when done right, they can positively drive your business strategy. To position your customer experience measurement program for success, we’ve got 5 common pitfalls to watch for in survey design.

1. Survey length

Time is a commodity for consumers—especially when it comes to giving feedback. And it’s easy for brands to get carried away when they’re trying to get as much information from their customers as possible. Brands crave information like how well they execute on friendliness, brand perception, what drives emotional loyalty, and how they stack up against their competition. That, combined with input that comes from stakeholders and departments throughout the organization, can make survey length swell out of control in no time.

But surveys taking too long is one of the biggest contributors to abandonment rates—especially on mobile devices. Keep your surveys short and only ask essential questions. That way you can keep your abandonment rates low and your feedback data high quality.


2. Irrelevant content

It’s becoming increasingly easier to capture and connect consumer data. Asking customers about an aspect of the experience they didn’t touch makes them feel ignored, and that their time isn’t valuable. Surveys should also fit seamlessly into your brand experience so they can effectively incorporate and share information across different touchpoints.

Using smart branching logic in your surveys ensures customers only see questions that pertain to their individual experience. That helps keep your surveys short and frustration-free for your customers, too. Surveys are pre-populated with information about each customer’s specific experience, so they know their time, experience, and feedback are important to your brand. That’s sure to keep them more likely to return next time they need what you’ve got to offer.

3. Too much time between the experience and survey

We’ve all had days where we can hardly remember what we had for breakfast—especially in a world that’s growing more instant by the minute. Leaving too much time between the customer experience and your survey invitation is a major misstep in your CX strategy. In a study we did comparing self-reported visit frequency with visits detected through our location-based mobile research app—SurveyMini®—we saw that the more time that had elapsed between a visit and the survey, the more likely the customer was to over- or under-report frequency.

Asking a customer about the experience immediately following the interaction is the best way to improve accuracy of responses and keep your data trustworthy. That way your brand can feel confident about acting on the insights your program is working to provide.


4. Customer feedback isn’t valued

Is the customer always right? It’s easy for CX professionals who have years of experience in the industry to feel like the expert. As Henry Ford famously quipped, "If I had asked customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse." While that sense of self-assuredness may have worked out for Ford, doubting the value of CX feedback data entirely leaves you vulnerable to changing market dynamics.  

Relying solely on behavioral data for insights means your brand is only getting half the picture. When you ask customers what they think—and also what they do—you can get a complete understanding of the customer experience, both conscious and unconscious. That’s what makes a well-rounded CX program work to bring you the data that drives the real, actionable insights that change your brand for the better.

5. Lack of action

Ideas are a dime a dozen—and especially useless if you have no intention to act on them. But acting is also the toughest part of the process. The same principles couldn’t be more true when it comes to your CX insights. Why spend the time putting together a killer survey if you’re not going to use the results?

A big reason customers feel less-than-enthusiastic about taking customer experience surveys is that they don’t feel confident the organization will actually listen to what they have to say. Taking action is a key way to keep them coming back to your brand for more.

Bottom line

Knowing what your surveys shouldn’t be is just as important as knowing what they should be. Keep in mind that your customers want to feel appreciated for the time and effort they spent giving you feedback, and avoiding these pitfalls ensures that they will. Keep your surveys short, ask them about their experience specifically, deliver it quickly, listen to what they have to say, and put it into action they can recognize. Doing these things will help boost your response rates and build customer loyalty—which means you’ll know how to serve them better and grow your fan base (and your bottom line) in the process.

To learn more about how to build a robust omnichannel brand experience, check out the full ebook here

Jennifer McKenzie
Director, Client Insights
Customer Experience Update