Why haven’t customer surveys gone mobile?
ChargeItSpot, which deploys charging stations within retail stores, is adding a survey feature to its offering.
Shoppers are asked three multiple-choice questions about their shopping experience as they unplug their phones from the charging stations. Despite being optional, a test with eight retailers saw a 70 to 90 percent completion rate, according to Bloomberg. Importantly, the feedback came back in real-time.
The arrival of social media and the many touchpoints added through omnichannel retailing appear to offer a variety of ways for retailers to seek out feedback through similar mobile surveys.
Yet the two most common methods for collecting customer surveys continue to be the back or bottom of a receipt and via post-purchase e-mails. In both cases, retailers encourage shoppers to go online to answer a quick survey and often incentivize the action with the promise of a sweepstakes entry or small discount.
However, survey methods in general have received poor grades. According to a 2014 study from OpinionLab:
- Sixty-six percent of customers prefer to give feedback by actively reaching out;
- Seventy-two percent said surveys interfere with the experience of a website;
- Eighty-percent have abandoned a survey halfway through and 52 percent would not spend more than three minutes filling out a feedback form.
An article from Pew Research Center notes that one challenge with mobile surveys is ensuring the software properly renders the questions regardless of the type of device respondents are using. Grid-formatted questions, typical in some survey methods, don’t translate well to mobile screens. Mobile survey takers are also found to respond better to fewer questions that are shorter in length.
“The problem isn’t that consumers are impatient with mobile surveys,” wrote MFour, a creator of a survey app, recently on its blog. “It’s that they’re downright dismissive of any experience on their phones and with their apps that doesn’t live up to their extremely high expectations of smooth-functioning elegance and convenience — the qualities that make using their phones so appealing in the first place.”
- Retailers Are Offering Free Phone Charging to Get Customers in the Door – Bloomberg
- Retailers: Your Surveys Are Making Customers Suffer – Forbes
- What’s wrong with customer satisfaction surveys? – RetailWire
- Tips for Creating Web Surveys for Completion on a Mobile Device – Pew Research Center
- 7 Mobile Insights into What’s Crucial for Research in 2017 – MFour
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What is preventing retailers and brands from making better use of smartphones as a customer feedback tool? What are the best current methods of soliciting customer feedback and where do you see such methods heading in the future?