Customer satisfaction survey response rates are influenced by a multitude of factors, many of which we’ve discussed previously. One of the most important is timing. The day of the week, the time of the day along with the time delay between the event or interaction that is being surveyed and when the survey is received by the customer – are all important timing considerations which have an impact on engagement and response rates.
When to Survey Customer Satisfaction
For the best possible response rates providing the most accurate, representative answers from your customers you need to survey them while their experience is still very fresh in their memories.
Ideally you need to get feedback at regular touchpoints along the customer journey, right at the moment the customer is experiencing your product or service. This throws up a number of interesting considerations.
For example, sending out surveys immediately after, or even during, the following types of customer interactions have taken place are most likely to elicit accurate and responsive returns.
- Closing a support or service ticket.
- After a scheduled appointment, such as a support call, installation, repair or upgrade.
- Interaction with a business website or social media channels.
If your aim is to gather customer satisfaction feedback regarding a specific product that was purchased then you must allow enough time for the customer to gain some experience with what they have purchased. For example, if someone has just purchased a 2 week family vacation, on which they won’t depart for 3 months, there is no point in sending them a survey immediately after the purchase. You need to wait until they have hopefully enjoyed their vacation and then send them your survey while their vacation experience is still fresh in their memories.
For products which undergo shipping, especially worldwide, you will need to consider the time it takes for the product to reach your customers wherever they are plus the time needed to unpack and use the product.
Customer segmentation is about knowing who your customers are, where they are and what their interaction history has been with your organisation. There is no point in asking a group of fresh, new customers what their overall experience with your organisation has been like if they have only been customers for a few days.
Understanding how customer satisfaction evolves and changes as they progress along the customer journey is enormously valuable. Segmenting customers based on where they are in the customer lifecycle and prompting them with appropriately designed survey questions is most likely to result in the best response rates and most useful responses that will help you refine your customer experience.
When to Send Customer Satisfaction Surveys
In order to determine exactly when is the best time to send your customer surveys it’s vitally important to keep in mind where they are located in the world. While it may be day-time where you are, if your customers are all asleep in bed you are not likely to see any immediate responses. Also, it’s important to consider regional holidays and cultural differences.
Time of the Day
For surveys timed to go out monthly, for example a PR agency asking its customers how it has performed that month, time of day studies may be useful.
Research has shown that there are two key periods during the day when survey response rates tend to peak. In the mornings, between around 9am and 11am and then in the afternoon between around 1pm and 3pm.
It should be noted that there is a strong correlation between the timing of emails and survey response rates. Research shows that email open-rates peak in the early working hours as people get to work and open any emails that may have accumulated since the previous day. It has been observed that the optimum times for sending emails to get responses are between around 11am and 1pm along with 4pm to 5pm.
Day of the Week
There tend to be big differences in engagement and responses between weekend and weekday communications. It’s important to understand the type of audience you are targeting. For example, for B2B surveys you are most likely to be noticed and get a response during the working week, from Monday to Friday. But for some B2C customer surveys, weekends can be very effective.
Customer Satisfaction Survey Timing Guidelines
Multiple studies have provided some helpful guidelines regarding the best days and times to send emails. Here’s a summary of the best days:
- Tuesday is indicated by multiple studies to be the best day to send emails and therefore also the best day to send email customer surveys.
- Studies indicate Thursday is a good day to select for a second email.
- Some studies highlighted Wednesdays as the second best day of the week to send emails.
And here’s a summary of the best times of day to send emails.
- 10 a.m.
- Late morning was found to be generally the most popular time to send emails. 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. appears to be optimum.
- 8 p.m. to midnight.
- Interestingly, there is evidence which indicates that emails sent later in the evening generally receive more opens and clicks. This is thought to be due to people checking their inboxes before going to bed.
- 2 p.m.
- Sending emails later in the day could be beneficial as people are looking for distractions from work in the afternoons.
- 6 a.m.
- It has been noted that many people start checking their email accounts very early in the morning, as they are rising.
Discover Your Optimum Customer Survey Timing
As noted, the best timing for customer satisfaction survey communications is influenced by many factors such as whether you are a b-to-b or b-to-c enterprise, whether those you want to survey are new customers or long-term loyal customers and what aspect of their interaction with your organisation you want to assess. You must also consider regional and cultural factors, such as religious holidays, and schedule your survey emails appropriately.
The days and times highlighted as optimum in various studies should provide a basis from which you can carry out your own tests and trials to determine what works best for your business.
If your survey response rates are low, it may be the survey method you’re using, not just the timing.
Are you asking customers to complete a long survey when they’ve only had a short interaction with you for example?
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