Survey Respondent Experience – Let’s Talk About the Elephant in the Room


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Source: Wizu

Customer experience is the hot topic right now with more and more companies claiming they are putting the customer at the centre of their strategy. There are customer experience consultancies, customer experience managers and entire organisations dedicated to customer experience. Unfortunately, there is one aspect of customer experience that nearly all these organizations are ignoring – Survey Experience.

Cutting edge companies with engaging marketing strategies and modern customer centric approaches are still sending out generic, impersonal and frankly boring customer surveys. It is time we talked about the elephant in the room. Your surveys suck!

Just like any other touch point in your customer journey, the survey experience is one that can and should be given attention. The survey is often the last interaction you will have with your customer so stop making it a bad one!

What Is Wrong?


Let’s start by looking at what I mean when I talk about a bad survey experience. I won’t name the company but the survey to the right is a real example I got recently. An endless scrolling chain of the same question over and over again. Suffice to say I did not complete this survey. That is fairly typical of online surveys. Very little thought seems to have gone in to them and even if I did complete this survey is it actually going to give the company any real insight into my experience?

There is no personalisation in this survey and the repeated question types lacks any engagement or interaction. This example also is restricting me to only rate aspects that they have selected. It does not give me an opportunity to talk about the areas that were important to me. Also, if I was not satisfied with a certain area there is no follow up question to find out the root causes behind that.

So whats the big deal?

OK so that might have been a little harsh but if you have had to sit through one of these surveys recently then you probably feel the same pain. So why does offering a good survey experience actually matter?

  1. Better Experience

Well let’s start with a simple one. Offering a better survey experience contributes to a better overall customer experience. Rather than ending the experience with a boring survey you could end with an engaging conversation that re-emphases the positive experiences they have had with your company and create a better connection with the brand.

  1. Better Data

Time and time again research has linked positive respondent experience to better quality data. The more engaged the respondent is, the more likely they are to leave more detailed and insightful responses. If they feel you have made an effort in building the survey they will be more inclined to return the favour.

  1. Wider Sample

Typically, your promoters and detractors are the most likely to provide you feedback, but you are missing out on a whole range of insight from everyone else. If you provide an engaging survey experience, then you are more likely to get a wider sample of your customers completing them. This gives you a more realistic picture of your customer experience and provides invaluable insight of how you can turn your passives into promoters.

4. Increase Retention

By offering a better survey experience and potentially dealing with any issues the respondent has in real time, you are increasing the chances of retaining the customer for future purchases. Improving the way you engage with your customers can improve loyalty and lead to more repeat business.

5. Let Your Promoters… Promote!

If your respondent is leaving you positive feedback in your survey then why not give them the opportunity to promote that positivity through social media. A good survey experience can ensure the customer is more likely to share the positive experience. It also allows you to deal with any issues during the survey to stop them from venting issues via social channels.

What can you do about it?

Traditional online surveys clearly aren’t relevant for today’s customers but improving the experience has a number of benefits. So, what can you do to improve your survey experience?

Well the totally bias answer is of course you should use Wizu conversational surveys, but we encourage you to find any solution that improves survey experience. There are some providers that improve the look and feel of the survey experience such as Typeform or GetFeedback. There are others that also offer a conversational interface such as Survey Sparrow. Try utilising an enterprise level platform that will offer an engaging survey interface as well as powerful reporting options.  Wizu is the only provider to offer an AI powered chatbot for conversational surveys that offers the ultimate in personalised and engaging surveys.

Let’s take a look at some more general ways you can improve your survey experience.

Communicate Change

Customers often feel like they are wasting time completing your surveys as they don’t get any feedback as to how that feedback has been used. Let your customer know what improvements you made as a result of feedback and they will be more likely to continue to provide feedback in the future. This could be done as a post survey experience or even during the survey experience. With an intelligent chatbot you could acknowledge concerns raised and provide relevant follow up questions. You could even reference a department or member of staff that this information will be passed on to.

Give the Respondents A Voice

Surveys have always been a group of pre-set questions that normally allow the respondent to choose from a range of available answers. But what if the way they really feel doesn’t fit in to one of those options? What if they really want to talk about a certain aspect of their experience and you simply don’t ask a question about that? Utilising an intelligent conversational survey gives you the opportunity to let the customer provide feedback in their own voice. Let the conversation flow more freely, while keeping it structured and on topic, and you allow a much more natural feedback process.

Keep It Simple

One of the common mistakes companies make when creating a survey is asking too much of the respondent at one time. You often see a huge matrix asking respondents to rate multiple attributes in one sitting which can just lead to the respondent answering in a haphazard way. This can damage the value of the data. Also, when you see a progress bar that shows you have 30 questions to go or are only 5% through, the respondent is already starting to feel like this is a chore and is more likely to give up. Make your questions concise. Ask only the questions that will provide you with valuable insight. Conversational surveys

move away from the traditional progress bar and can often just show the main topics that will be discussed. This is a more natural way to provide feedback as the length of the survey might vary depending on the type of responses that are provided.

Improve the Design

The majority of surveys are now completed on a mobile device, yet most survey solutions still offer the same templates that they created years ago with desktop in mind. When considering that your respondents are more likely to be completing the survey on a mobile you need to look at not only the design and layout but also the question and answer format. Mobile friendly surveys deliver higher completion rates and a better experience for the respondent.

Get Conversational

If you think about a good conversation you might have had recently then it is likely it covered a range of topics and it flowed organically from one topic to the next. The more natural the conversation flow the more you might have let your guard down and provided a more honest and open response. Harnessing the power of AI and sentiment analysis allows you to replicate more natural conversations.

Example of a Wizu conversational survey


Surveys are a great way to connect with your audience, gain insight and measure and improve customer experience. There will always be a need to collect feedback from your customers but using form-based surveys is no longer the answer. You need to engage with your customers and talk to them through an interface they are more comfortable with. The benefits are more than worth the effort of seeking out a new solution.

If you would like to see how Wizu conversational surveys can help you gain better insight, then get in touch with us to arrange a demo today.

Martin Powton
I have over 13 years' experience in digital marketing and am interested in all areas of marketing, customer experience and employee wellbeing.


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