If you are already a Customer Thermometer user, the likelihood is you are enjoying a significantly higher customer satisfaction survey response rate than the industry average. But that doesn’t mean we rest on our laurels!
After all, a better response rate means you get the views of more of your customers, and their feedback helps you drive loyalty and learn to improve every aspect of your service. So we recently asked our clients what they do to get the best possible response rate to their Customer Thermometer surveys. Here’s what they said…
1. Alert customers that you are going to be sending Customer Thermometer, make sure they understand why the programme is happening and why their click counts
- Explain why you’re sending it and what you will do with the results
- Highlight why you’re so interested in what they think and how often you’ll be asking them, what will change at your company as a result of their feedback
- If team bonuses or rewards are contingent on the results of your Customer Thermometer programme, make sure your customers know
2. Publicise what you’re doing internally to the business
- Make it someone’s role to look after the blasts; create, schedule and report on them
- Share the results on your intranet, at weekly meetings
- The results make fantastic KPIs and can be generated weekly, monthly, quarterly or whenever makes sense for you. Use them in board reports and personal development plans
3. Have a very explicit process for what happens next once someone has clicked
- Before you start, know what you will do with the results as they come in. If a customer presses a red light, what will you do? Some of the best turnarounds have happened when a senior person has very swiftly personally called or emailed the unhappy customer to gather their feedback. It defuses the situation and the customer thinks “wow, they really care about me”. The opportunity for them to unload and allow you to fix the issue will often make them more loyal than they were before anything went wrong
- Have a timescale in which you will respond – call the red-lighter within an hour for example, or promise to fix their issue within a day. Whatever’s right for you, but make sure it’s a commitment that you can keep and organise your people to deliver against it
- On the plus side, if a load of gold stars come back, what then? Have gold star celebrations when you get one and reward the person/team who gave the great service. Some customers have told us they video or photograph these celebrations for use on intranets or social media
- One idea is to allow staff to have a number of stars after their name, (like eBay) for the number of gold stars they have received from their customers
4. Time your blast right
- Our customers report that timeliness really helps response rate and feedback gathered. Look at when you are going to send the blast – your customer will need to have their experience fresh in their mind. If they flew with you earlier this week they’ll remember. 2 months ago and their feedback might be hazy or colored by a more recent experience
- Make sure you send it at a time of day when they have time available, Monday mornings are often too busy. Good times to send are just after lunchtime or maybe 4 or 5pm.
5. Make sure the email comes from someone the recipient has heard of.
- Real names such as “James Miller” or “Katy Green” are much more effective than “Feedback”, “Customer Services”, “Survey” or “Marketing”
- The best response rates often come from people the recipient recognises, often-times the department head or even CEO’s name prompts the best response rate.
- You can still use our feedback@… email address to send from if you want to, but do remember to change the name of the person it’s coming from to one they will recognise
6. Keep the text clear and simple, and explain what you’re asking for
- If the blast is a regular customer ‘temperature check’ and they are going to be getting it every month then tell the recipient that’s the case.
- If it’s a one-off survey explain
who you are, why you’re sending it and what the stats will be used for. Offer to share the generic results with them at the end of the survey if you can.
- Ensure they know it’s just one click
and what will happen as a result of their feedback.
7. Incentivise or reward customers for clicking and giving you feedback
- Some customers send quarterly handwritten ‘thank yous’ from the boss or account manager, especially if they are regular customers being asked to respond fairly frequently. How about sending a bag of branded M&Ms in red, orange and green?
- Other customers sending one-off blasts have a free draw for a prize or experience, or access to a voucher code once the button has been clicked
8. Use the results to differentiate you and help you win new customers
- Share the results on your website and through social media, it will highlight your service-obsession and reinforce a culture of transparency
- Talk about your commitment to service and share the way you will use Customer Thermometer at new business meetings, in brochures and on the marketing section of your site
- When you are pitching for new business, explain that you use the service to monitor quality and feedback. It will also help induct customers into the programme before they start working with you.
If you’ve got some ideas to add to this list, we would love to heard about them. Just post a comment below…