IT customer satisfaction surveys

We are increasingly hearing from IT support teams and IT departments who need to run IT customer satisfaction surveys and are getting dramatically dwindling response rates.

This low response rate phenomenon is endemic. Only last week I was speaking to a major global retailer’s internal IT support head, who told me their last IT user support survey generated a response rate of 0.1%. This is so low as to be completely unrepresentative. It also suggests that the people receiving the survey either see no value in responding, or simply don’t have the time.

It stands to reason in many ways. IT is an enabler. Tech, kit and software is only ever “noticed” when it’s not working and can cause huge frustration when it’s stopping important work getting done.

IT needs to run seamlessly and not get in the way, and if it breaks, it needs fixing asap. Once fixed, the user just wants to crack on with what they were doing before. Asking them a bunch of questions when they are already behind on their day is never going to yield a high response.

As the head of an IT support team, or IT support company, of course you need to know if you’ve done a good job but it’s not sensitive to run a long survey.

Busy users who’ve had an issue need to be left alone to get on with their working day.


Even though everyone intellectually “gets” this point, we still see many IT customer satisfaction surveys that are needlessly long.

The iSixSigma blog has an article I highly recommend reading, called “How to Avoid the Evils Within Customer Satisfaction Surveys” urging people to run much shorter surveys, and explaining why your response rate matters and how to solicit the most feedback:

Making the surveys short, fast and painless to complete can go a long way toward improving response rates. As tempting as it may be to ask numerous and detailed questions to squeeze every ounce of information possible out of the customer, a company is likely to have survey abandonment when customers realize the survey is going to take longer than a few minutes to complete.

A company is better off using a concise survey that is quick and easy for the customers to complete. Ask a few key questions and let the customers move on to whatever else they need to attend to; the company will end up with a higher response rate.

– iSixSigma Blog

Any survey you send should be considered as part and parcel of the customer support you give. Take another look at the surveys you are sending your clients or internal customers.

And remember, to deliver great service, make sure the end of the support process is as considerate as the start. Use a survey that’s as short as it can be, follow up to fix issues, and you’ll delight your users.

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