Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

Will Text Messaging Surveys Replace Traditional Surveys?

message surveys
Probably not in the near future, but they can be a beneficial supplement to your current survey strategy.

 

Admit it, you are one of the 72% of smartphone owners who report checking their phone at least once an hour. With 9 in 10 adults owning a cellphone,  text messaging (SMS) has become the communication norm for most of the U.S. population. Text messaging appears to be a useful way to contact survey respondents, particularly those who tend to have lower response rates with traditional survey methods, such as young adults.

But according to Gallup’s research, text messaging is not yet ready to replace traditional surveys. This mode of contact has legal limitations, yields lower response rates than telephone surveys and restricts question length. So don’t use it as your only means of contacting your audience, but do use it as a supplements.

How Text Message Surveys Work

Text message surveys can be administered in two different ways:

The first option is to text questions and answers back and forth, which works well because anyone with a cellphone can respond. But there are significant limitations. Questions are limited to 160 characters, including the question wording and response options. Messages that are longer than 160 characters are broken into segments. While some devices rebuild the messages so that they appear as one cohesive message, messages may not be received in the correct order.

The number of questions must also be kept to a minimum. Questions and responses are sent one at a time, and research finds that respondents tend to lose interest more quickly than with other modes of data collection.

The second option is to text respondents a link to a web survey they can complete from the browser on their phone. Although this option gives researchers greater flexibility with question wording, about 25% of the population does not own a smartphone and will be unable to launch a web survey, and those who do have a smartphone may have to use or pay for data to complete the survey.

survey

 

 

 

 

Experiments Reveal the Pros and Cons of Text Message Surveys

Gallup conducted two experiments to test the effectiveness of text message surveys.

In the first experiment, they wanted to see how an SMS survey compares with a telephone survey in terms of response rates and substantive responses. There were 3 treatment groups: a traditional telephone survey administered by a live interviewer, a text message survey or a text message with a link to a web survey. Two questionnaire lengths were also tested: 5 questions and 12 questions.

Results – Response rates for the SMS-to-web surveys (12% for 5 questions and 11% for 12) and SMS-only surveys (12% for 5 questions and 13% for 12) were significantly lower than response rates for phone surveys (38% and 41%).

In the second experiment, Gallup tested sending survey invites and reminders to Gallup Panel members via email and text message. Respondents were randomly assigned to 1of 3 treatment groups: email and text invites and reminders, email invites and reminders only, and text invites and reminders only. All emails and text messages directed respondents to a web survey.

Results – Response rates were highest when using a combination of email and text reminders. This finding is consistent with other research, which has found that employing a variety of contact methods can increase the likelihood of participation.

It appears that surveys deployed over email are among the best and easiest to supplement with text messaging. At the most basic level, texts can be used as a reminder/delivery system for web surveys. A study by Mavletova & Couper (Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology (2014) 2, 498-518) indicates that surveys sent via email got a much higher response rate when they were accompanied by a text reminder. Even more effective is to use text to deliver the web survey directly. Because 53% of emails are opened on phones, making sure your survey is mobile compatible. By serving the link directly through text, you can remove the need for them to take any intermediary action between receiving the reminder text and beginning the survey.

Obstacles

Currently, the major obstacle for conducting a survey via text message is obtaining the consent to send a message. This legal barrier greatly limits the scope for conducting text surveys.

It is important to note that FCC regulations make it illegal for companies to send text messages without expressed consent. This means Gallup or its clients must have explicit consent from respondents before sending them a text message survey. Simply having permission to contact the respondent via cellphone is not enough. Individuals must give consent to be contacted via text message, which is a major obstacle for most survey projects.

 

Share

B2B Mystery Shopping Improves Your Business

B2B Mystery Shopping

B2B Mystery Shopping To Improve Your Business

A bit more complicated than typical mystery shopping, but definitely beneficial.

Traditional mystery shopping in the business-to-consumer (B2C) model is pretty straight-forward. Mystery shoppers are sent in to a business or retail location with specific tasks and questions to answer about their experience.

Business-to-business (B2B) mystery shopping works in the same manner, with the one exception being that customers, or mystery shoppers, will pose as companies or customers calling to inquire about your services and products.

B2B mystery shopping is one way you can make sure you stay focused on delivering great customer experiences every time and also allows your business to determine baselines and pinpoint areas for improvement. You can evaluate staff performance, review processes and procedures, and ensure your brand reputation is solid.

Understanding your customer’s journey in a B2B environment takes a little more creativity. Here are a few ideas on how to approach being a mystery shopper of your own B2B organization.

1.Use the web contact form to inquire about products or services.

Find out what it’s like to call in as an actual customer and ask questions: What is it you do? What types of products/services do you offer? What happens if I have a problem/issue arise? What is your return policy? (if applicable)
It’s amazing how many inbound sales departments are totally unprepared for this line of questions. And you can experience what it feels like to be an actual customer.

This also gives insight into whether your employees are upselling/cross-selling other products or services offered by your company that may be important to the customer.

2. Use the web contact form to inquire about products or services.

Is the form easy to fill out? Does it cover the pertinent information? How quickly do you hear from someone? Is the form confirmation written in a robot voice? Lots of areas to consider here!

3. Ask typical questions of the sales person.

You probably know what questions get asked the most, so go ahead and ask them. Email the salesperson back and ask random questions. Ask what happens if you want to add a service in the middle of the contract. Ask about price. Ask the difficult questions salespeople hate and see what happens.

4. Sign up for the free product trial.

If a trial is typically offered, go for it. See what it’s like to sign up, use the product, call support and then either end the trial or not. Pay attention to how many emails and calls you get. Pay attention to if the product trial lives up to the marketing hype.

5. Ask other customers.

Check out forums or communities and ask about others’ experiences. Pay attention to what they say doesn’t work. Or call a few current customers and ask them. What’s working? What’s not? Tell me what can be improved and what works well.

The best way to get a truly outside-in perspective, however, is to ask someone from the outside to do it. You’ll get honest feedback and find holes in your process easy to ignore on the outside. But any form of mystery shopping is better than none. Take a step and examine what experience you’re really delivering to your business customers.

 

mystery shopping

 

​Furthermore, fictitious accounts and companies can be created to pose as current customers to evaluate the service ordering process. From here, you can see if your employees are attempting to upsell/cross sell, offering additional products/services that are important to your customers, and the general service levels provided.

 

Share

Simple Steps To Improve Customer Service

customer service

Google “good customer service” on the internet and you will find a plethora of articles about best practices and steps to help your company improve customer service. But what it really comes down to is knowing your customers.

Social media provides an amazing way to collect tons of customer feedback without having to do much work at all. You don’t need to spend time sending out questionnaires or recruiting focus group participants. You can simply turn to the thousands of customers talking about your brand on social media to find out exactly what they think.

The following tips will tell you how to collect product feedback, get to know your customers a lot better, and provide more responsive and effective customer support.

  1. Solicit Product Feedback

One of the best ways to find out what your customers think about your brand and your products is to simply ask them. In some cases, they may already be telling you what they think; you just have to listen to what they’re saying. So be sure you’re monitoring for all mentions of your brand and products so you don’t miss any valuable insight. Check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, and Google for reviews.

  1. Get to Know Your Customers

Beyond what they think about your company, your customers think about a lot of other things. Social listening can help you identify what other topics are important to your customers. The more you can learn about what your customers are interested in, the better you can reach them. You can create more relevant content, share targeted articles or tips, and just generally speak their language.

Also take note of when your customers are active on social media, this is when they are most receptive. Use this information to ensure your social accounts are fully staffed up at those times, so you provide the fastest possible response. You can also be sure you’re posting news or updates at the right times so the people who need this information are most likely to receive it.

  1. Identify Issues Before They Become Serious

If something is going on with your product, you’ll probably hear about it first on social media. Be sure you’re paying attention to even the seemingly small issues your customers bring up. You might be able to identify potential problems before they become actual problems. And if someone points out something about your product, acknowledge their contribution and tell them how they’ve helped.

 

 

  1. Be Courteous on the Phone

Nobody likes to go through a gauntlet to get to the person they’re trying to reach, so don’t screen your calls unless you absolutely need to. Don’t risk insulting the caller by demanding their name before you’ll consider putting the call through. Try the following: “Absolutely–may I let him/her know who’s calling?” That way, if you do have to tell them their desired party is unavailable, it doesn’t sound like a personal slight.

When the phone rings, aim to answer it immediately. PURE Insurance strives to do it in eight seconds; that’s just a little more than one ring. Answer tweets immediately as well; answer emails within two hours or better.

Encourage your employees to smile when they are on the phone. Smiling adds treble and other pleasant cues to the sound of a voice, even through a phone line.

  1. Post Positive Letters and Testimonials You Receive From Customers

Nothing is more impactful than honest testimonials from happy, satisfied customers. This creates trust in your company and demonstrates to potential customers that they will have a great experience as well.

 

If you don’t have social listening in place (or if you’re unhappy with your current solution), implement the above strategies to start improving your customer experience. Your business depends on it!

 

Share