We are in a privileged position here at Customer Thermometer to be able to see the broad trends and technologies our customers, and their survey respondents, use to respond to our surveys. As with most online applications, during 2013, we have seen a dramatic increase in users creating surveys from mobile devices. An even more staggering increase has taken place amongst survey recipients responding to surveys from their cellphones and mobile devices.

Even when customers send a survey out to a US or European customer base, the number responding from countries outside of those zones is often surprising. Why? because recipients are responding from vacation, business trips, leisure activities, home, and more. Between 2012 and 2013, survey responses to Customer Thermometer surveys has increased by over 200%.

This trend seems set to continue, and has huge ramifications for anyone sending out long, online surveys in 2014. After all, if a survey is tough to fill out on a PC, it’s nigh on impossible to complete on a smartphone with small tick boxes and fiddly radio buttons.

So here are our 6 customer satisfaction survey predictions for 2014, based on some of the best technology research just released.

1) Even though mobile devices seem to be everywhere, there is exponential growth to come, meaning survey responses from these devices will skyrocket

Locations of one day’s survey responses at Customer Thermometer

“19 percent of worldwide Internet traffic is generated by mobile devices. That number is significantly higher in certain countries. South Korea and Indonesia both boast mobile traffic rates about 30-percent. In India, mobile traffic is an amazing 50-plus percent of overall Web traffic. But at the same time, global smartphone penetration sits at a modest 21% of total global mobile phone subscriptions. 

There’s a huge market yet for the taking. The smartphone wildfire is now sweeping nearly all corners of the earth and that it’s likely just a matter of time before smartphones will have become globally ubiquitous.” 


2) Survey response times will continue to speed up – be prepared to respond quickly

We are all using our mobile devices everywhere we go. The average iPhone owner looks at their phone 110 times a day! So if you send a survey, the vast majority of responses will be in within 24 hours, and your customers will expect you to act quickly on the results.

3) Survey recipients will respond wherever they are


“Smartphones have allowed workers to increase their productivity, though often at the cost of their own leisure time. They’ve also introduced fundamental changes to the way we maintain friendships, entertain ourselves and communicate socially.” IT News Today

“There are hundreds of new mobile apps and sensor technologies coming to market that allow people to help themselves become healthier.” Forbes Predictions for 2014

Surveys, if quick and easy to answer, will be answered from the mountains, the morning run, the sofa, the office, a meeting, the beach or the airport. With customers being more mobile than ever, you can’t guarantee the recipient will be in the office or their home when they receive a survey. So 2014 will be the year more surveys are clickable whilst on the hoof.

4) Respondents will expect you to know who they are

Our phones, tablets and laptops now know who, and often, where we are. Survey technology has not kept up with this change – typically they are still anonymous. Customers just don’t want this any more. They are used to giving feedback on everything – and will increasingly expect that feedback to be associated with them in 2014.

5) Respondents will expect you to act

How many times have you filled in a long survey, submitted it, and then never heard back from the company concerned again?

This is going to change in 2014. Right now, reviews on TripAdvisor are almost universally responded to by the hotel involved. Customers expect this, and that expectation will spill over into customer surveying and monitoring. If companies don’t change the way they respond to customer feedback (by making it personal, making it real time), customers will stop giving feedback altogether and vote with their feet.

6) Surveys will become shorter and customer friendly


Mobile-enabled life has become much “shorter” and more customer-focused.

Think Twitter, Snapchat and others. Think your computer remembering your personal and credit card details when you fill in forms. Think fingerprint IDs.

People communicate in abbreviated ways and expect to be able to carry out online transactions of every type in record time. Surveys will become shorter and only ask what really matters in 2014.

In summary

In 2014, your business will NEED feedback more than ever. We recommend that you consider the trends and think about whether you’re asking for it in the right way.


Are you still using long online surveys? if so, you may want to reconsider for 2014. The staggering growth in mobile computing, and the way phones and computers have transformed from business devices to leisure accessories, means that if your survey is hard to fill in on a phone or tablet, your response rates and response quality are going to plummet.

So make 2014 the year you:

  • make it easy for customers to give you feedback on the move: quick, instant and meaningful
  • make it engaging and enjoyable for customers to respond to your survey via any device
  • embrace the tablet- and mobile-equipped customer globally

Try Customer Thermometer for yourself and why not try answering the email survey from a mobile device…