Recently, we introduced the CustomerGauge Digital Signage, a tool that narrowcasts customer feedback within the organisation, and which has become a focal point for staff collaboration.
This has proven to be a real driver of internal excitement for businesses as the voice of the customer finds a permanent place inside the organisation. But at a time when up to 80 percent of potential buyers agree with the idea that online reviews influence their purchase decisions, if you want to share positive feedback with people outside the organisation, you don’t need an intranet notice, or an internal memo.
You need a megaphone.
The CustomerGauge Testimonial Sharer is a tool that enables you to publish selected customer testimonials on your website, in-store or elsewhere, with just one line of code. Unlike the Digital Signage, the Testimonial Sharer does not narrowcast, but can be used to broadcast testimonials to potentially hundreds, thousands, or even millions of leads.
How to use it
Because it is customisable, there is a wide range of possible uses for the Testimonial Sharer. It can potentially be used to share:
- Select positive customer feedback on a public website or in a public physical location such as a shop floor.
- Unfiltered or partially filtered comments with registered users.
- Full comments and details on an intranet.
- Can be shared via URL or by adding an iframe to your site HTML.
- Can be customised to fit in with the look and feel of your website, including font, colour, border, and other style options.
- Looks equally attractive on desktop, mobile, and across operating systems, which is increasingly important as more and more shoppers start their purchase journey on their mobile device.
- Can create multiple versions, which means different testimonials can be displayed on different product pages or brand websites.
- Comments can be approved individually, filtered by score so that only Promoter feedback is shown, or filtered by location, store, or language to make sure people see only relevant recommendations..
- Scores can be displayed by number, with a star rating, or hidden altogether.
- Dates and other segmentation data can be displayed or hidden as required.
Do you have customer feedback that you’re proud of? If you are already a CustomerGauge user, speak to your client operations professional about introducing the Testimonial Sharer to your marketing arsenal. If you are new to CustomerGauge, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post is a follow up to one of our most popular posts: Boost your Net Promoter Survey response to 60%+.
Customer survey rockstars know a lot about how to maximise Net Promoter® survey response rates. They understand the importance of mobile-optimised surveys. They send relevant, well- timed, and appropriately-worded emails. And they set expectations with clients (and customers).
But another factor that has the potential to significantly affect survey responses, especially for B2C businesses that tend to send surveys to personal email accounts, is Email clients.
Curious to see if there was a difference in how users of Gmail, Hotmail, Ymail, and other email clients respond Net Promoter surveys, we analysed 400,000 records from Europe, North America, and Brazil across five CustomerGauge clients from Q1 of 2013.
And this is what we found…..
Microsoft is the most popular email client among B2C customers…..
Microsoft (Hotmail, Live, Outlook, etc) accounted for more than a quarter of all emails that were sent by our clients in Q1 of 2013. Google (Gmail, googlemail) came in a distant second at 14% and Yahoo! at just over 9%. Over 50% of emails sent went to five domains, namely Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, AOL, and GMX.
…but Microsoft gets only 54% of the response rate that Google receives…
There is a distinct correlation between email client and Net Promoter survey response rates. While it may be the most popular email client for customers, Microsoft delivers only 54% of the response rate of Google and retains a significantly lower response rate than all other email clients except AOL.
You will note that “All Others” has a similar response rate to Gmail – it appears that if people give you their work address it is because they are open to communicating.
…Microsoft’s lower response rate is not because of a high bounce rate.
A factor that may affect responses is bounce rates. But our findings show that although Microsoft accounts do indeed return a higher bounce rate than other domains, it is less than one percent higher than Google and less than half a percent higher than Yahoo and “Others.“
So what does it all mean?
Our research shows:
- If your business has a high level of Google and/or “Other” email contacts in your database, you will receive a higher response rate to your surveys.
- If your contact list includes a lot of Microsoft and/or AOL addresses, you will receive a lower response.
It is not completely clear is exactly why this is the case. Anecdotal evidence says that Microsoft accounts tend to be checked less frequently, or used as secondary accounts, but we have to be hesitant to draw firm conclusions without the appropriate evidence.
Likewise, our research does not measure variations across different markets – so if you operate in a market that has a significantly different mix of email clients, our findings may not be relevant to your situation.
Nonetheless, if your database has a high percentage of Microsoft and/or AOL accounts, we suggest being particularly diligent in communicating to customers any benefits they may receive by being contactable at that address, and possibly asking for email confirmation to ensure that the customer checks that account.
Would you like to know more?
In the interests of enabling businesses to drive higher response rates for their own surveys, we are happy to share more information about these statistics.
If you leave your details below, we will send you an anonymised email response presentation, including:
- Sample size
- Spread across clients
- Data contribution by email clients
- Response rate per email clients
- Bonus stats on email opens by device and mobile trends
“This is no time to take your chips down,” said Sean Parker to Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network. “A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”
The average marketing email clocks in a 3.4% response rate. In the world of customer survey emails, a 10% response rate is considered successful. But to paraphrase Sean Parker, a 10% response rate is no time to take your chips down. In fact, a 10% response rate isn’t even cool. You know what’s cool?
A 60% response rate.
This might sound like a total fantasy for a 40 question customer survey email, but for Net Promoter survey emails, it’s much more realistic. In fact, several CustomerGauge clients have reached 60%+ response rates via email in part by acting on the tips below.
If you want to drive your response rates to similar levels, read on!
Pimp your response rate: A ten-point checklist
1. Be Relevant
Before starting, consider the impact a survey will have on your customer. Is it relevant? Is it intrusive? Are you and your customer best served by a transactional (recommended generally for B2C) or relationship (B2B) survey? Should you survey all your customers or only a segment?
2. Set Expectations
You are asking your customers for a favour, so it’s only polite to clearly outline what you are expect them to do, how much you value their assistance, and what you will deliver in return. In fact, you can even consider being creative and outlining what you are asking and what you will deliver to your customers in contract form.
3. Continuously monitor and update your contact lists
Monitor and update your contact data across multiple touchpoints, including phone, in-store, or online, and use an email management system that helps you keep the contact data free of bounces, unsubscribes or old phone numbers. (Hint: CustomerGauge has all this functionality built-in.)
4. Time your survey right
The best time to survey varies, but for telephone support, ten minutes after a resolution has been reached on the phone is recommended, for eCommerce, a week after the transaction, so that customers have time to test their products, and for B2B relationships, we generally advise twice a year, staggered throughout the year, and so on.
5. Schedule your survey wisely
In a similar vein, optimal timing can vary by business, but we have discovered that sending surveys on Thursdays and Fridays often give a kick of around 3% for B2C.
6. Make a fantastic first impression
The average person spends three seconds on an email subject line and eleven seconds reading an email. Make your copy short, engaging and personal, and your email design clean and clutter-free. A face and personal signature tends to drive up response rates.
7. Be mobile-friendly
A third of B2C and a fifth of B2B surveys are completed on mobiles. Your survey design and layout needs to be optimised for different operating systems (especially iOS and Android), browsers, and devices, and look good on a variety of screens from a small smartphone to an iPad.
8. Keep it short
Keep your survey as short as possible – we have discovered that every extra question drives down the response rate by 5-15%. You should be prepared in advance to receive feedback on about 50% of your survey responses.
9. Follow up
A well-timed reminder a week or so after the original is sent can deliver up to 50% extra responses (example – 21% response from first email, 13% reminder after 7 days = 34%). Don’t send second or third reminders – these tend to deliver little extra response and and more unsubscribes.
10. Don’t forget to say thank you!
You’ve just asked your customers for a favour, so the polite thing to do is thank them and let them know what kind of feedback you received and ideally how you are acting on it. This is particularly important for B2B relationships, and can be done a month or so after the survey, when feedback has been received, analysed, and acted on.
Do you have any other advice that has helped you drive increase response rates? Let us know below!
This post is based on a recent webinar: Everybody Everywhere: Maximise your Net Promoter response.
You might also enjoy:
- How (and why) to optimise your Net Promoter survey for mobile
- Use Net Promoter to put your sales team in the fast lane
Note: This post is based on a webinar we gave: “Bake Retention into your eCommerce Pie.” The webinar recording and presentation can be accessed at the link.
Wining and Dining the Magic 8
For CustomerGauge eCommerce clients, an average of around 8% of customers account for around 48% of revenue – a figure we have dubbed the “Magic 8.”
Since these customers were spending so much in their online stores, you might assume that they are brand advocates. But after segmenting these customers with Net Promoter, our clients tend to find that they are split into the usual mix of Detractors, Passives and Promoters.
It should be a concern to any eCommerce outfit that some of their high value customers are at risk of leaving. But by identifying and segmenting this group, you have an enormous opportunity to rescue your high value Detractors, nurture loyalty among the Passives, and activate advocacy among Promoters.
Here are three tips on how to do it:
1. Segment as many high value customers as possible
Because it is short, demands little effort from your customers, and generally yields a high response rate, Net Promoter is an excellent metric to use.
Any business can implement a Net Promoter survey, but to maximise your response rate by ensuring that your survey is optimised for as many platforms as possible we highly recommend using a specialised software package (such as CustomerGauge). With this kind of software, expect survey response rates of 30%+.
2. Demonstrate to your customers that they are valued
High value customers appreciate being treated like an insider. Ways that you can demonstrate to them that they are valued include:
- Thank you messages: Personal thank you messages that outline what steps you are taking based on their feedback. (This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses forget basic manners when asking for feedback from their customers).
- VIP service: This may take the form of Club Cards, differentiated service, or newsletters where fans can receive inside information on product updates, special deals, and events – information that they can share with their friends and families.
- Phone calls: A phone call (especially to a Detractor) where issues can be discussed and action plans decided is often enough to completely turn around a struggling relationship.
3. Empower Promoters to activate new customers
Wining and dining Magic 8 Promoters can help deepen your brand’s relationship with them, but with a little creative thinking and effort can also bring new customers in with a minimum investment.
One CustomerGauge client sent a branded, personalised thank you email to the top segment of its Promoters by value, along with three vouchers – one for the recipient and the others for him or her to give to friends. This simple gesture gave an impressive sales return – with an average of EUR 40 for every email sent.
Want more information?
This is not a comprehensive list, but is a few ideas to help get eCommerce organisations thinking about ways to improve retention among their high value customers. If you’d like some more information, listen to the webinar for more, or don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!
Are you (mobile) Experienced?
Like adventurers searching for El Dorado’s gold, the tech and marketing press have been predicting the fabled “year of mobile” each January for more than a decade.
We’ve been a part of the evolution from SMS send and respond to mobile-friendly survey landing pages over the last few years, and we’re always hesitant to make sweeping predictions. But after crunching some client data, we were interested to see that in January 2013, among our clients across the EU, US and Australia:
- Almost a third (29%) of b2c survey page visits are now made from a mobile device. For some clients its much higher – up to 50%.
- Almost a fifth (17%) of b2b survey page visits are now made from a mobile device, and based on current trajectory, this will climb over a fifth in the next six months.
- iOS is the dominant operating system overall, but it was also the only operating system to become less popular between the period of October 2012 and January 2013.
- Android recorded a 3% increase in popularity between October 2012 and January 2013.
- Although it remains a minor player Windows saw a significant increase in relative terms.
- SMS is dying: Perhaps even more tellingly, we recently sent out an SMS survey on behalf of a client with an option to reply by SMS or visit the survey online. An astonishing 87% of attempted responses came from the online survey rather than reply by SMS – despite SMS being the send out method.
Make sure your Net Promoter survey is optimised for mobile
But if you have not made mobile a part of your survey strategy yet, fret not. We have devised a simple checklist of questions that you can ask your supplier (Hint: The CustomerGauge platform has all these features built it – click on the image to take a test survey).
Checklist to make sure your NPS survey is mobile-friendly
- Is your survey compatible with all major operating systems in your market, including older versions of Android and iOS?
- Are there any emerging operating systems in your market that your survey needs to be optimised for?
- Does your survey work on old and new versions of different browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and IE (from IE6 to the latest)?
- Is your survey interface clear, easily read, and free of clutter? Will it read as well on an iPad as it will on a 3.5 inch iPhone 4?
- Keep in mind that a mobile survey is not just a technical solution. Is your survey simple, short and easily answered by someone with a few seconds on a mobile device?
We will follow up on this story later in the year to see if there have been more noteworthy changes in mobile survey trends. In the meantime, do you have any thoughts on what may lie ahead in 2013?
In 2005 an influential report by a UN body predicted “The Internet of Things” – a ubiquitous wireless network linking household objects and appliances, all talking to each other. The Internet of objects may encode and track up to 100,000 billion objects. Every human being is surrounded by between 1,000 to 5,000 objects.
No more lost keys, no running out of milk, waste is a thing of the past, and so on…
In our industry that means that “things” will report back to home base on their operation: “Running out of disk space – help!”. For CustomerGauge of the future, it may mean that systems have their own built-in survey mechanism that gathers feedback at the most appropriate moment. And, yes – we are working on that.
In the meantime, I can report that CustomerGauge has a small part of this future available from the November release.
We call this new report “Recommendation Score of Products” – or more snappily: “Score by SKU“, to help show customer satisfaction of each product. The results are compatible with the Net Promoter Score®, (jointly developed by SatMetrix and Fred Reicheld, also known as NPS®), and come from the question “Would you recommend this product to a friend?”
Until now, manufacturers have struggled to keep track of what customers thought of individual products (or stock-keeping units), and at best have relied on omnibus surveys taken once or twice a year. Results can be poor due to lengthy time lag, and low response rates (which mean that similar products can show markedly differing results).
CustomerGauge can be used to survey ALL transactions of a manufacturers online shop, or ALL product registrations. Automatically. And in a volume that gives reliable scores.
Results are shown in real time, and feedback can go straight to Product Managers.
We have already been piloting “Recommendation Score by SKU” with some of our clients over the last 90 days. One organisation has been using the report to sort their 2000 products by ranking into “Top 20 Best” and “Top 20 Worst” products, and examining the related voice-of-customer feedback. They distributed customer comments to product managers, de-listed many of the poor performers immediately, and changed instruction manuals on several others to help usability. On the best performers, some actions taken included more prominent marketing, re-pricing, and including some customer testimonials on web pages. The results have been impressive, with overall Recommendation Score (compatible with NPS®) increasing by several points.
Another organisation is taking the product feedback and recommendation scores from the direct sales division and distributing to product managers in the entire organisation. Although the direct division represents only small percentage of overall sales, the results give an excellent representation of total sales, and are available within 15 days of product purchase. This contrasts with 90 days or more from channel sales, and the results are unfiltered by store managers and account managers.
It’s one of the many new features on the ever-growing CustomerGauge platform that is already helping major organisations understand and measure customer sentiment. So until your products start to phone home with the latest user gossip, please let us know if we can arrange a demonstration for your organisation.