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What they are and why marketers should care



Intercom introduces new customer service and insights products

Great customer service helps you retain customers, attract new business, and increase customer lifetime value. In other words, it’s essential to success. Customers who feel supported — and seen — are more likely to stick around. On the flip side, if your customers feel neglected or have a poor service experience, they’ll leave — and probably won’t come back. 

In B2B marketing, caring for customers is often referred to as “customer success.” We’ll look more closely at the terms “service,” “support” and “success” below.

In a 2021 Qualtrics/ServiceNow study, 43% of respondents said they’d likely switch brands after only one negative customer service experience. Another study by Statista revealed that between 2016 and 2020, 40% of U.S. customers said they stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service.

Technology, as is often the case, is helping companies meet customer expectations around customer service and success, bridging communications across multiple channels and devices, and setting customers up for better buying experiences.  

Several important trends are driving the adoption and reinvention of the enterprise customer service stack.  They include the need to future-proof the customer service tech stack, a drive toward more asynchronous text-based communication, and a push toward unifying channels and communications to enhance customer experience.

It’s clear that customer service and success — and the tools that enable and facilitate them — are essential for any business, no matter the size or product. 

In this post we’ll cover:

What are customer service and success?

Customer service and success are two sides of the same customer experience coin, but there are slight differences. 

Customer service and support (CSS) is focused on handling customer inquiries and complaints in real time. It’s reactive, satisfying customer problems and addressing issues quickly in a way that benefits both the customer and the company. 

Customer success is about anticipating your customers’ needs and creating an ideal experience throughout the entire buying journey. Its proactive, employing tools and systems that help meet changing customer expectations (and behaviors) in an agile, scalable way. 

While customer service is important for all businesses, customer success has been traditionally associated with companies that rely on recurring revenue, such as subscription-based businesses and B2B organizations with long sales, onboarding, and implementation cycles. 

But these days, all companies — including B2C and retail businesses — need to prioritize customer success. It’s an essential marketing and future proofing strategy. 

Why marketers should care about customer service and support

Customer service can make a brand or it can break it. Companies that excel at it get customers for life, ones who become the kind of word-of-mouth brand ambassadors that marketers’ dreams are made of. 

Mess it up, though, and you can make brand-enemies for life. To really succeed, customer service has to be an enterprise-wide value and not just part of a business unit. 

Who uses or works with customer service and success tools?

Customer service and success teams keep customers happy which helps ensure continued business from existing and new customers. Both teams serve customers and help make their experience with the company a good one. To achieve this, they each have a slightly different focus.

The customer service representative (CSR) team is responsible for handling customer inquiries, complaints, and problems. They help resolve issues in real time. 

Some examples of CSR roles include:

  • Agent/representative:  A customer’s main point of contact with your company – fields customer inquiries, handles complaints, and resolves problems.
  • Supervisor: A management role that oversees support team operations, assigns tasks to agents, and makes sure goals are met.
  • Quality assurance (QA): QA monitors and evaluates CSR team activity (e.g., calls, emails, chats) and makes sure the CSR team provides high-quality customer service. 

The customer success management (CSM) team advocates for customers, prioritizing their needs and providing a big-picture overview of the customer experience for other teams (including marketing, sales, and CSR teams). 

CMS teams tend to have a longer view of customer success which includes identifying and addressing issues that might cause customer churn. Their primary goal is to help customers get the most from a product or service. 

Some examples of CSM roles include:

  • Customer success manager/advocate:  Another key point of contact between the customer and organization, the CSM addresses issues (e.g., long wait times, inconsistent communication) that might cause customer dissatisfaction and/or churn.
  • Implementation specialist: A specialized role focused on helping customers set up and use the company’s products or services.
  • Product specialist: An expert who provides detailed guidance and answers to product/service-specific questions. 
  • Tech support engineer: A technical expert who helps customers resolve more complex technical issues or problems.

The market for helping companies better serve their customers is vast. The U.S. contact center software market alone was valued at nearly $24 billion in 2021 and is projected to grow 23% by 2030. 

Several trends are fueling this growth, including the rapid adoption of cloud and virtual contact centers, chatbots, and prescriptive AI that automates previously manual tasks like case routing and problem resolution. There’s also a very real need to streamline customer interactions across multiple channels (otherwise known as customer experience).

Gartner identified four components needed for CSS tools. They are:

  • Call management – log and manage incoming calls and transactions.
  • eService suites – self-service tools that empower customers to communicate with an organization using email, chat, and social media.
  • Field service and dispatch (FS/D) – assign and track work orders for field service technicians.
  • Contact center – a centralized location where CSRs handle customer contact across all channels and communication types (voice, web, fax, mobile, etc.).

There are four main types of software associated with CSS including:

  1. Call center: enables CSRs to manage phone calls, track call activity, and measure performance. Examples include Five9, Ringover, and Twilio. Features typically include inbound call center capabilities like call automated call routing, call recording, and call queueing, interactive voice response (IVR), and call analytics.
  1. Live chat: Can be a standalone tool or integrated with all-in-one customer service platforms. Llive chat software helps customer service reps communicate with customers in real-time via chat. Examples include Tidio, Qualified, and MobileMonkey. Key features include AI-enabled and 24/7 chatbot availability, co-browsing, conversation archiving, and a shared team inbox.
  1. Help desk: provides a centralized place for customer support reps to track, manage, and resolve customer inquiries and issues. Examples include Zendesk Support Suite, Zoho Desk, and Intercom. Common features include tracking/ticketing systems, knowledge base management, and self-service portals.
  1. Knowledge management (KM): provides a central repository for storing and organizing customer service and support-related information (FAQs, training materials, product documentation, etc.) Examples include Guru, Notion, and Zendesk. Focus is on facilitating knowledge dissemination with features like versioning, history, collaboration/feedback, permissions, knowledge sharing, templates, etc.

Gartner defines customer success as an approach versus a category of software:

“Customer success is a method for ensuring customers reach their desired outcomes when using an organization’s product or service. A relationship-focused customer success strategy includes involvement in the purchase decision, implementation and use of products or services and customer support.”

Customer success teams get a slightly different flavor of software tools compared with their CSR counterparts. These include:

  1. Customer success platforms: These help CSM teams track customer health, advocate for the customer internally, and prevent churn. Examples include HubSpot Service Hub, ChurnZero, and Gainsight. Key features include customer health scoring (by analyzing historical customer behavior data), customer profile creation, journey mapping, and playbooks. These platforms focus on improving the lifetime value of a customer by identifying when and where support is needed the most.
  1. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools:  CRMs store customer profile information (contact information, interaction history, customer notes) and manage sales and marketing processes. CRM tools help build and support customer relationships, improving the entire process of customer data gathering and organizing. HubSpot and Salesforce are two of the most well-known CRMs, but there are many others including Zoho CRM, Pipedrive, and 
  1. Product analytics (PA): PA helps CSM teams see which features customers are using (or not using) and how they’re using them. PA tools get marketing and product teams on the same page, with data that informs customer health scoring and can be used to prevent churn. Pendo is one example of a product usage data tracking tool as is Amplitude Analytics (for digital products).
  1. Customer journey orchestration: This is used to visualize the customer’s journey across touchpoints and own the end-to-end customer experience. Mapping customer journeys can help teams identify gaps and optimize the experience. Examples of tools that facilitate this include Treasure Data, a customer data platform (CDP) and Qualtrics, a customer experience platform (CXP).

How prioritizing customer service and success helps marketers succeed

Getting customer service and success right translates to more sales, more customers, and a better bottom line. Good experience is often the biggest priority a customer has when doing business with a company—trumping price, product, and brand. 

Nearly 60% of 1000 consumers in a recent Forbes survey said they would pay more for good service. The same survey found that convenience is valued over price, with 70% of respondents saying they’d pay more for convenience.

A strong customer service and success strategy can be a powerful marketing tool by:

  • Providing valuable customer insights that inform marketing campaigns. 
  • Reducing customer churn.
  • Facilitating communication between customers and businesses.
  • Motivating positive customer reviews and testimonials.
  • Increasing customer loyalty and customer lifetime value.
  • Being more competitive. 

A study by Deloitte revealed that companies who prioritize customer experience (e.g., “customer-centric” companies) were 60% more profitable than those who don’t. These companies spend time getting to know their customers and focus on using tools and processes that solve customer problems and deliver better customer experiences.

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A strong (and deliberate) customer service and success process supports marketers by improving   customer experience. It creates happy customers which leads to more sales, improved customer lifetime value, and much more successful marketing campaigns. It’s also the best way to futureproof your organization by keeping up with changing trends in customer expectations and behaviors while staying one (or ten) steps ahead of the competition.

Read next: What is CRM and how does it support marketing?

About The Author

Jacqueline Dooley is a freelance B2B content writer and journalist covering martech industry news and trends. Since 2018, she’s worked with B2B-focused agencies, publications, and direct clients to create articles, blog posts, whitepapers, and eBooks. Prior to that, Dooley founded Twelve Thousand, LLC where she worked with clients to create, manage, and optimize paid search and social campaigns.

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OpenAI’s Drama Should Teach Marketers These 2 Lessons



OpenAI’s Drama Should Teach Marketers These 2 Lessons

A week or so ago, the extraordinary drama happening at OpenAI filled news feeds.

No need to get into all the saga’s details, as every publication seems to have covered it. We’re just waiting for someone to put together a video montage scored to the Game of Thrones music.

But as Sam Altman takes back the reigns of the company he helped to found, the existing board begins to disintegrate before your very eyes, and everyone agrees something spooked everybody, a question arises: Should you care?

Does OpenAI’s drama have any demonstrable implications for marketers integrating generative AI into their marketing strategies?

Watch CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose explain (and give a shoutout to Sutton’s pants rage on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), or keep reading his thoughts:

For those who spent last week figuring out what to put on your holiday table and missed every AI headline, here’s a brief version of what happened. OpenAI – the huge startup and creator of ChatGPT – went through dramatic events. Its board fired the mercurial CEO Sam Altman. Then, the 38-year-old entrepreneur accepted a job at Microsoft but returned to OpenAI a day later.

We won’t give a hot take on what it means for the startup world, board governance, or the tension between AI safety and Silicon Valley capitalism. Rather, we see some interesting things for marketers to put into perspective about how AI should fit into your overall content and marketing plans in the new year.

Robert highlights two takeaways from the OpenAI debacle – a drama that has yet to reach its final chapter: 1. The right structure and governance matters, and 2. Big platforms don’t become antifragile just because they’re big.

Let’s have Robert explain.

The right structure and governance matters

OpenAI’s structure may be key to the drama. OpenAI has a bizarre corporate governance framework. The board of directors controls a nonprofit called OpenAI. That nonprofit created a capped for-profit subsidiary – OpenAI GP LLC. The majority owner of that for-profit is OpenAI Global LLC, another for-profit company. The nonprofit works for the benefit of the world with a for-profit arm.

That seems like an earnest approach, given AI tech’s big and disruptive power. But it provides so many weird governance issues, including that the nonprofit board, which controls everything, has no duty to maximize profit. What could go wrong?

That’s why marketers should know more about the organizations behind the generative AI tools they use or are considering.

First, know your providers of generative AI software and services are all exploring the topics of governance and safety. Microsoft, Google, Anthropic, and others won’t have their internal debates erupt in public fireworks. Still, governance and management of safety over profits remains a big topic for them. You should be aware of how they approach those topics as you license solutions from them.

Second, recognize the productive use of generative AI is a content strategy and governance challenge, not a technology challenge. If you don’t solve the governance and cross-functional uses of the generative AI platforms you buy, you will run into big problems with its cross-functional, cross-siloed use. 

Big platforms do not become antifragile just because they’re big

Nicholas Taleb wrote a wonderful book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder. It explores how an antifragile structure doesn’t just withstand a shock; it actually improves because of a disruption or shock. It doesn’t just survive a big disruptive event; it gets stronger because of it.

It’s hard to imagine a company the size and scale of OpenAI could self-correct or even disappear tomorrow. But it can and does happen. And unfortunately, too many businesses build their strategies on that rented land.

In OpenAI’s recent case, the for-profit software won the day. But make no bones about that victory; the event wasn’t good for the company. If it bounces back, it won’t be stronger because of the debacle.

With that win on the for-profit side, hundreds, if not thousands, of generative AI startups breathed an audible sigh of relief. But a few moments later, they screamed “pivot” (in their best imitation of Ross from Friends instructing Chandler and Rachel to move a couch.)

They now realize the fragility of their software because it relies on OpenAI’s existence or willingness to provide the software. Imagine what could have happened if the OpenAI board had won their fight and, in the name of safety, simply killed any paid access to the API or the ability to build business models on top of it.

The last two weeks have done nothing to clear the already muddy waters encountered by companies and their plans to integrate generative AI solutions. Going forward, though, think about the issues when acquiring new generative AI software. Ask about how the vendor’s infrastructure is housed and identify the risks involved. And, if OpenAI expands its enterprise capabilities, consider the implications. What extra features will the off-the-shelf solutions provide? Do you need them? Will OpenAI become the Microsoft Office of your AI infrastructure?

Why you should care

With the voluminous media coverage of Open AI’s drama, you likely will see pushback on generative AI. In my social feeds, many marketers say they’re tired of the corporate soap opera that is irrelevant to their work.

They are half right. What Sam said and how Ilya responded, heart emojis, and how much the Twitch guy got for three days of work are fodder for the Netflix series sure to emerge. (Robert’s money is on Michael Cera starring.)

They’re wrong about its relevance to marketing. They must be experiencing attentional bias – paying more attention to some elements of the big event and ignoring others. OpenAI’s struggle is entertaining, no doubt. You’re glued to the drama. But understanding what happened with the events directly relates to your ability to manage similar ones successfully. That’s the part you need to get right.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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The Complete Guide to Becoming an Authentic Thought Leader



The Complete Guide to Becoming an Authentic Thought Leader

Introduce your processes: If you’ve streamlined a particular process, share it. It could be the solution someone else is looking for.

Jump on trends and news: If there’s a hot topic or emerging trend, offer your unique perspective.

Share industry insights: Attended a webinar or podcast that offered valuable insights. Summarize the key takeaways and how they can be applied.

Share your successes: Write about strategies that have worked exceptionally well for you. Your audience will appreciate the proven advice. For example, I shared the process I used to help a former client rank for a keyword with over 2.2 million monthly searches.

Question outdated strategies: If you see a strategy that’s losing steam, suggest alternatives based on your experience and data.

5. Establish communication channels (How)

Once you know who your audience is and what they want to hear, the next step is figuring out how to reach them. Here’s how:

Choose the right platforms: You don’t need to have a presence on every social media platform. Pick two platforms where your audience hangs out and create content for that platform. For example, I’m active on LinkedIn and X because my target audience (SEOs, B2B SaaS, and marketers) is active on these platforms.

Repurpose content: Don’t limit yourself to just one type of content. Consider repurposing your content on Quora, Reddit, or even in webinars and podcasts. This increases your reach and reinforces your message.

Follow Your audience: Go where your audience goes. If they’re active on X, that’s where you should be posting. If they frequent industry webinars, consider becoming a guest on these webinars.

Daily vs. In-depth content: Balance is key. Use social media for daily tips and insights, and reserve your blog for more comprehensive guides and articles.

Network with influencers: Your audience is likely following other experts in the field. Engaging with these influencers puts your content in front of a like-minded audience. I try to spend 30 minutes to an hour daily engaging with content on X and LinkedIn. This is the best way to build a relationship so you’re not a complete stranger when you DM privately.

6. Think of thought leadership as part of your content marketing efforts

As with other content efforts, thought leadership doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It thrives when woven into a cohesive content marketing strategy. By aligning individual authority with your brand, you amplify the credibility of both.

Think of it as top-of-the-funnel content to:

  • Build awareness about your brand

  • Highlight the problems you solve

  • Demonstrate expertise by platforming experts within the company who deliver solutions

Consider the user journey. An individual enters at the top through a social media post, podcast, or blog post. Intrigued, they want to learn more about you and either search your name on Google or social media. If they like what they see, they might visit your website, and if the information fits their needs, they move from passive readers to active prospects in your sales pipeline.

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How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips



How to Increase Survey Completion Rate With 5 Top Tips

Collecting high-quality data is crucial to making strategic observations about your customers. Researchers have to consider the best ways to design their surveys and then how to increase survey completion, because it makes the data more reliable.

→ Free Download: 5 Customer Survey Templates [Access Now]

I’m going to explain how survey completion plays into the reliability of data. Then, we’ll get into how to calculate your survey completion rate versus the number of questions you ask. Finally, I’ll offer some tips to help you increase survey completion rates.

My goal is to make your data-driven decisions more accurate and effective. And just for fun, I’ll use cats in the examples because mine won’t stop walking across my keyboard.

Why Measure Survey Completion

Let’s set the scene: We’re inside a laboratory with a group of cat researchers. They’re wearing little white coats and goggles — and they desperately want to know what other cats think of various fish.

They’ve written up a 10-question survey and invited 100 cats from all socioeconomic rungs — rough and hungry alley cats all the way up to the ones that thrice daily enjoy their Fancy Feast from a crystal dish.

Now, survey completion rates are measured with two metrics: response rate and completion rate. Combining those metrics determines what percentage, out of all 100 cats, finished the entire survey. If all 100 give their full report on how delicious fish is, you’d achieve 100% survey completion and know that your information is as accurate as possible.

But the truth is, nobody achieves 100% survey completion, not even golden retrievers.

With this in mind, here’s how it plays out:

  • Let’s say 10 cats never show up for the survey because they were sleeping.
  • Of the 90 cats that started the survey, only 25 got through a few questions. Then, they wandered off to knock over drinks.
  • Thus, 90 cats gave some level of response, and 65 completed the survey (90 – 25 = 65).
  • Unfortunately, those 25 cats who only partially completed the survey had important opinions — they like salmon way more than any other fish.

The cat researchers achieved 72% survey completion (65 divided by 90), but their survey will not reflect the 25% of cats — a full quarter! — that vastly prefer salmon. (The other 65 cats had no statistically significant preference, by the way. They just wanted to eat whatever fish they saw.)

Now, the Kitty Committee reviews the research and decides, well, if they like any old fish they see, then offer the least expensive ones so they get the highest profit margin.

CatCorp, their competitors, ran the same survey; however, they offered all 100 participants their own glass of water to knock over — with a fish inside, even!

Only 10 of their 100 cats started, but did not finish the survey. And the same 10 lazy cats from the other survey didn’t show up to this one, either.

So, there were 90 respondents and 80 completed surveys. CatCorp achieved an 88% completion rate (80 divided by 90), which recorded that most cats don’t care, but some really want salmon. CatCorp made salmon available and enjoyed higher profits than the Kitty Committee.

So you see, the higher your survey completion rates, the more reliable your data is. From there, you can make solid, data-driven decisions that are more accurate and effective. That’s the goal.

We measure the completion rates to be able to say, “Here’s how sure we can feel that this information is accurate.”

And if there’s a Maine Coon tycoon looking to invest, will they be more likely to do business with a cat food company whose decision-making metrics are 72% accurate or 88%? I suppose it could depend on who’s serving salmon.

While math was not my strongest subject in school, I had the great opportunity to take several college-level research and statistics classes, and the software we used did the math for us. That’s why I used 100 cats — to keep the math easy so we could focus on the importance of building reliable data.

Now, we’re going to talk equations and use more realistic numbers. Here’s the formula:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

So, we need to take the number of completed surveys and divide that by the number of people who responded to at least one of your survey questions. Even just one question answered qualifies them as a respondent (versus nonrespondent, i.e., the 10 lazy cats who never show up).

Now, you’re running an email survey for, let’s say, Patton Avenue Pet Company. We’ll guess that the email list has 5,000 unique addresses to contact. You send out your survey to all of them.

Your analytics data reports that 3,000 people responded to one or more of your survey questions. Then, 1,200 of those respondents actually completed the entire survey.

3,000/5000 = 0.6 = 60% — that’s your pool of survey respondents who answered at least one question. That sounds pretty good! But some of them didn’t finish the survey. You need to know the percentage of people who completed the entire survey. So here we go:

Completion rate equals the # of completed surveys divided by the # of survey respondents.

Completion rate = (1,200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Voila, 40% of your respondents did the entire survey.

Response Rate vs. Completion Rate

Okay, so we know why the completion rate matters and how we find the right number. But did you also hear the term response rate? They are completely different figures based on separate equations, and I’ll show them side by side to highlight the differences.

  • Completion Rate = # of Completed Surveys divided by # of Respondents
  • Response Rate = # of Respondents divided by Total # of surveys sent out

Here are examples using the same numbers from above:

Completion Rate = (1200/3,000) = 0.40 = 40%

Response Rate = (3,000/5000) = 0.60 = 60%

So, they are different figures that describe different things:

  • Completion rate: The percentage of your respondents that completed the entire survey. As a result, it indicates how sure we are that the information we have is accurate.
  • Response rate: The percentage of people who responded in any way to our survey questions.

The follow-up question is: How can we make this number as high as possible in order to be closer to a truer and more complete data set from the population we surveyed?

There’s more to learn about response rates and how to bump them up as high as you can, but we’re going to keep trucking with completion rates!

What’s a good survey completion rate?

That is a heavily loaded question. People in our industry have to say, “It depends,” far more than anybody wants to hear it, but it depends. Sorry about that.

There are lots of factors at play, such as what kind of survey you’re doing, what industry you’re doing it in, if it’s an internal or external survey, the population or sample size, the confidence level you’d like to hit, the margin of error you’re willing to accept, etc.

But you can’t really get a high completion rate unless you increase response rates first.

So instead of focusing on what’s a good completion rate, I think it’s more important to understand what makes a good response rate. Aim high enough, and survey completions should follow.

I checked in with the Qualtrics community and found this discussion about survey response rates:

“Just wondering what are the average response rates we see for online B2B CX surveys? […]

Current response rates: 6%–8%… We are looking at boosting the response rates but would first like to understand what is the average.”

The best answer came from a government service provider that works with businesses. The poster notes that their service is free to use, so they get very high response rates.

“I would say around 30–40% response rates to transactional surveys,” they write. “Our annual pulse survey usually sits closer to 12%. I think the type of survey and how long it has been since you rendered services is a huge factor.”

Since this conversation, “Delighted” (the Qualtrics blog) reported some fresher data:

survey completion rate vs number of questions new data, qualtrics data

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The takeaway here is that response rates vary widely depending on the channel you use to reach respondents. On the upper end, the Qualtrics blog reports that customers had 85% response rates for employee email NPS surveys and 33% for email NPS surveys.

A good response rate, the blog writes, “ranges between 5% and 30%. An excellent response rate is 50% or higher.”

This echoes reports from Customer Thermometer, which marks a response rate of 50% or higher as excellent. Response rates between 5%-30% are much more typical, the report notes. High response rates are driven by a strong motivation to complete the survey or a personal relationship between the brand and the customer.

If your business does little person-to-person contact, you’re out of luck. Customer Thermometer says you should expect responses on the lower end of the scale. The same goes for surveys distributed from unknown senders, which typically yield the lowest level of responses.

According to SurveyMonkey, surveys where the sender has no prior relationship have response rates of 20% to 30% on the high end.

Whatever numbers you do get, keep making those efforts to bring response rates up. That way, you have a better chance of increasing your survey completion rate. How, you ask?

Tips to Increase Survey Completion

If you want to boost survey completions among your customers, try the following tips.

1. Keep your survey brief.

We shouldn’t cram lots of questions into one survey, even if it’s tempting. Sure, it’d be nice to have more data points, but random people will probably not hunker down for 100 questions when we catch them during their half-hour lunch break.

Keep it short. Pare it down in any way you can.

Survey completion rate versus number of questions is a correlative relationship — the more questions you ask, the fewer people will answer them all. If you have the budget to pay the respondents, it’s a different story — to a degree.

“If you’re paying for survey responses, you’re more likely to get completions of a decently-sized survey. You’ll just want to avoid survey lengths that might tire, confuse, or frustrate the user. You’ll want to aim for quality over quantity,” says Pamela Bump, Head of Content Growth at HubSpot.

2. Give your customers an incentive.

For instance, if they’re cats, you could give them a glass of water with a fish inside.

Offer incentives that make sense for your target audience. If they feel like they are being rewarded for giving their time, they will have more motivation to complete the survey.

This can even accomplish two things at once — if you offer promo codes, discounts on products, or free shipping, it encourages them to shop with you again.

3. Keep it smooth and easy.

Keep your survey easy to read. Simplifying your questions has at least two benefits: People will understand the question better and give you the information you need, and people won’t get confused or frustrated and just leave the survey.

4. Know your customers and how to meet them where they are.

Here’s an anecdote about understanding your customers and learning how best to meet them where they are.

Early on in her role, Pamela Bump, HubSpot’s Head of Content Growth, conducted a survey of HubSpot Blog readers to learn more about their expertise levels, interests, challenges, and opportunities. Once published, she shared the survey with the blog’s email subscribers and a top reader list she had developed, aiming to receive 150+ responses.

“When the 20-question survey was getting a low response rate, I realized that blog readers were on the blog to read — not to give feedback. I removed questions that wouldn’t serve actionable insights. When I reshared a shorter, 10-question survey, it passed 200 responses in one week,” Bump shares.

Tip 5. Gamify your survey.

Make it fun! Brands have started turning surveys into eye candy with entertaining interfaces so they’re enjoyable to interact with.

Your respondents could unlock micro incentives as they answer more questions. You can word your questions in a fun and exciting way so it feels more like a BuzzFeed quiz. Someone saw the opportunity to make surveys into entertainment, and your imagination — well, and your budget — is the limit!

Your Turn to Boost Survey Completion Rates

Now, it’s time to start surveying. Remember to keep your user at the heart of the experience. Value your respondents’ time, and they’re more likely to give you compelling information. Creating short, fun-to-take surveys can also boost your completion rates.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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