I rarely fill in customer surveys. Mainly because I don’t feel that any of my answers will be noticed or acted upon. Just recently I did answer a customer survey questionnaire, gladly. I hope they don’t mind if I take you through the reasons why I would fill in this survey and perhaps you or your brand may learn from this. Alternatively you may have or have seen an awesome customer service questionnaire, I’d love to see it (leave a link in the comments.)
The survey was for Hildon Water from whom I order water on a regular basis. I have always rated their service and the delivery whilst their site could benefit from some PayPal support I have little to complain. I think, therefore that the brand loyalty or sentiment you feel will play a large part in whether you fill in a survey or not.
The second reason I chose to complete it was the offer of a free case of water. That was a valuable offer to me and one that I felt was a valuable exchange for my time. There was no prize draws or unrelated gifts to patronise me.
The questionnaire itself was two pages long with a link to an online version if I wished to. It was not daunting and shouldn’t take long.
The fifth question on the survey really impressed me – ‘What social networks do you use’? I thought this was a great question, finally a brand was paying attention to this shift in consumer behaviour. I think it would have been beneficial if they had asked my Twitter username – that way if they came onto Twitter they would at least have a base of people they could connect with.
The home delivery question threw me a little, did Amazon count as a ‘home delivery service’? That’s what I wrote anyway – the question could have benefited from some clarification.
On page two there was a slight wobble. I was asked my age, occupation, wife’s occupation, income and the age of any children in the house. I put a line through this – I didn’t see it was relevant to the survey but thought it was very interesting.
I can understand why they wanted this information – such data can be used to profile their audience like a Mosaic profile. Such profiles have been the backbone of customer research for years now and still play an important part for marketing. But in this instance they had already asked me about myself with their social network question. I understand that they cannot check every profile, although I would argue they should, but we had gone from page one ‘let’s learn about you’ to page two, ‘lets put you in a box’.
With marketing evolving at such a rapid rate there is a very real chance to understand your customer to become someone real, more than just a number or a socio-demographic group. I am not saying that Mosaic style profiling should not be used but there must be a potential to integrate this better into the overall ‘customer picture’.
The rest of the questions were good, asking about their service and would I be interested in another service they may offer and whether a recent promotion was my incentive to purchase.
Overall, this was a great survey from a great company. They didn’t give me an envelope or stamp to send it back [or I have lost it, that is a possibility]. The lack of stamp and envelope is not a biggie but could delay the sending of a survey until you root around to find what you need. Again, the online survey negates this issue.
So, a good survey from a good company which is why I completed it. I think there is a bigger picture to think about with the evolution of consumer profiles from ‘what box can we put you in’ to ‘who are you’ – no doubt with associated data protection and privacy issues.