Surveys Aren’t Enough for Your Voice of the Customer Program: Here Are 5 Reasons Why

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As a business, you should already know how crucial it is to listen to your customers.

In this fiercely competitive world, the brands that listen are the brands that win.


Because customers love being heard.

It makes them feel special.

Additionally, it gives you the opportunity to know what your customers want thereby, helping you to modify your products/services to suit their exact needs.

This makes building a voice of the customer (VoC) program essential to the growth and profitability of any business.

And so, let me ask you…

Have you been listening to your customers?

What do they sound like? And what are they saying? Do they like your customer service?

I have a follow-up question…

What medium have you been using to listen to them?

Email? Social media? Survey?

You use surveys, don’t you? If you use surveys to listen to your customers, you aren’t getting the best data.

Let me tell you 5 reasons why…

  1. They Don’t Get To Every Customer

Filling surveys can be tedious and time consuming.

Your customers are busy people. And so, they may find it difficult to fill your surveys. Consequently, not all your surveys will be filled and you will not get accurate data.

Additionally, only those customers who are really satisfied and those who are dissatisfied will fill the survey. This messes with the results and doesn’t tell you how your customers really feel.

Furthermore, most surveys are sent out weeks or months after a customer has made a purchase. This makes it difficult for the customer to recall how he/she felt during their last interaction with your brand.

  1. Surveys Are One-Sided

Indeed they are.

From the questions asked to the medium used to distribute the surveys, everything is governed by the brand. In truth, your customers have no say, except to fill in the blanks.

And because your brand designs the questions, you miss out on key information customers may want to provide.

Your customers, more or less, have their hands tied. They cannot provide key insights on what’s important to them, but have to answer a set of culled questions.

It’s more like an examination than a dialogue.

  1. They Don’t Show A Complete Picture

Because surveys are one-sided, they don’t provide a complete picture.

There are a few other channels through which customers express their sentiments. Relying on surveys alone will leave you with half the picture of your customers’ expectations.

Some customers may prefer to share their views on social media, while others may prefer review sites. You should collect data from these 2 channels (and more) if you want a holistic view.

What’s more, surveys may only ask questions concerning one aspect of your customers’ journey.

This ultimately means that if your customers are displeased with another aspect of their journey, you will miss that information.

  1. They Can Produce False Results

Nowadays, most customers will not fill a survey if there isn’t something in it for them.

Many brands out there give incentives to encourage their customers to respond to their survey.

Do you see the danger in this?

Let me tell you…

When the incentive is significant, respondents may lie or provide false information just to get it. They may even go as far as using a different email to opt-in for your surveys to get more incentives.

As a result, you will end up with bad data on your hands.

And I don’t think I need to say what happens when you make business decisions with false data, do I?

  1. They Do Not Collect Emotional Data

As a savvy business person, you know that business and relationship go well together. And relationships are based on emotions.

But guess what?

Surveys are usually designed with quantitative questions that lack personality. In addition, the tools used to analyse customer responses aren’t designed to capture the emotions in the text. Rather, they are built to catch key words or key phrases.

This greatly reduces their effectiveness.

Brand engagement and buying decisions are largely emotional concepts. Your customers want a human touch. They want to interact with another human being.

Can you blame them?

We all do.

We all want to be heard and understood by another human being.

This is where surveys fail. They only ask questions about what the brand thinks are important to the customers.

Hence, the result may show that customers are happy, while in reality, they aren’t.

In conclusion…

This post is not designed to make surveys look bad.

Surveys still work; they just don’t provide accurate data when used alone. And that’s because they don’t get to every customer. They are one-sided and can be falsified. Plus, they don’t show the full picture nor capture emotions.

These flaws defeat the entire purpose of trying to listen to your customers’ voice.

To be more effective, include other listening channels such as social media, review sites, email, phone call, text messages, etc. together they will help you see the whole picture and improve your customer experience.

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