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Vishwadeep Khatri
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Positive Response Rate (or simply the Response Rate) is the rate or proportion or percentage of people who have responded to a survey (completed the survey) compared to the total number of people surveyed. It is best represented in % terms.

 

An application-oriented question on the topic along with responses can be seen below. The best answer was provided by Sumukha Nagaraja on 12th Jun 2024.

 

Applause for all the respondents - Nethaji, Sumukha Nagaraja, Amol Ingole, Abhijeet Sonake.

Question

Q 677Surveys is the most common method to capture the Voice of Customer (VOC). However, the problem with surveys is the low response rate. What are the different methods of improving the response rate in order to capture a holistic VOC? Provide examples to support your answer.

 

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VOC (Voice of Customer) refers to capturing and understanding customer feedback, opinions, and preferences. It helps organizations to enhance and improvise products, services, and overall customer experience. VOC encompasses both explicit (directly expressed) and implicit (indirectly observed) feedback.

 

VOC Surveys are structured questionnaires designed to collect inputs and insights from customer. These surveys can be overseen or managed through different channels (online, mail, in-person) and cover points such as fulfillment, devotion, needs, and desires. By analyzing VOC survey data, companies can make informed decisions and enhance customer-centric strategies.

 

Below are some of the reasons or causes for low response rate for VOC Surveys which can hamper reliable insights:

  • Lack of Understanding the Big Picture: Survey creators frequently struggle to ask questions that yield meaningful data.
  • Neglecting Reminders: Respondents may forget about the survey.
  • Rude Email Tone: Politeness matters. Audiences aren’t obligated to respond.
  • Negative History with Surveys: Past bad experiences can deter participation.
  • Irrelevant or Unimportant Questions: If questions don’t matter to respondents, they won’t engage.
  • Wrong Question Types: Poorly chosen question formats can confuse or frustrate.
  • Platform Choice Matters: Using the wrong survey platform can affect response rates.
  • Survey Length Overload: Lengthy surveys discourage participation.
  • Biased Questions: Biased wording can skew results.
  • Illogical Question Sequence: Poorly organized questions confuse respondents.
  • Dull User Interface (UI): Unattractive surveys lead to disengagement.
  • Lack of Real-Time Interaction: Delayed feedback reduces motivation.

Improving survey response rates is crucial for obtaining reliable data. Here are some effective methods:

  • Personalization and Targeting: Customize surveys based on respondent characteristics (e.g., demographics, past behavior).
    • Example: Address respondents by name and tailor questions to their interests.
  • Incentives and Rewards: Offer small incentives (e.g., gift cards, discounts) to motivate participation.
    • Example: "Special rewards for Timely response".
  • Mobile Optimization and Convenience: Ensure surveys are mobile-friendly enabling to respond flexibly.
    • Example: Use responsive design and avoid lengthy forms.
  • Social Proof and Trust-Building: Highlight the survey’s importance and emphasize confidentiality.
    • Example: "Sharing your response or feedback empowers both to collaborate well and grow together".
  • Multi-Channel Engagement: Use various channels (email, SMS, website pop-ups) to reach different audiences.
    • Example: Send email invitations and follow up with timely reminders through various modes
  • Transparency and Communication: Clearly state the purpose of the survey and how data will be used.
    • Example: "Your feedback (positive/negative) will enable us to sustain, grow and enhance our services".
  • Gamification and Interactive Surveys: Add gamified elements (e.g., progress bars, quizzes) to engage respondents.
    • Example: "Earn points for each completed section!".
  • Timing and Frequency Management: Send surveys at optimal times (avoid weekends or late evenings).
    • Example: Schedule timely polite reminders to the clients

Organizations can combine above strategies for achieving better results and higher response rate.

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  • The Biggest difference between the successful business and other is successful business attention to what customer is saying.  Customer voice is a way to understand the gap between exception and reality. There are some analysis which states that, acquiring a new customer is 5 times costlier than the retaining the existing customer.
  • Here are the some of the ways to collect the VOCs
    • Customer Interviews, Online Customer SurveysLive ChatSocial Media, Website Behavior, Recorded Call Data, Online Customer Reviews, In-Person Surveys, Net Promoter Score, Focus Groups, Emails, Dedicated Feedback Form
  • Here are some more Ideas which may improve the positive response rate of getting VOCs.
  • Customer Journey based design - Many times the Businesses design a very high-tech solutions to get the VOCs. But some of the consumers are not able able to work with new digital tools. In this case, Business needs to look at their way of getting VOCs and try to give freedom to consumer and give option to them (Physical paper, Digital Forms etc.). Customized VOC form to be implemented.
  • Targeted and Hyper-Personalized – VOCs can be collected as and when completing the service. For example, if a hotel is providing Gym, Swimming pool experience, then VOC can be collected to those audience, who utilized and to be collected after completion of service. Which will give more insights towards the used services rather than the generalized.
  • Image Analytics(Emotional AI) – As the lot technologically tools are available in the market, we can record the video and AI Tools can analyses the provide a consolidated feedback based on the Video & Speech. While recording the video recording can be placed at (In case of hotels reception, Dining, Lift any other suitable areas). The hotel team can have the interaction, which should include the VOC questions inside it. By leveraging the technology tools, we can get the better insights without consumer intervention.
  • Rewards or Offers – Many consumers are very attentive to the offers provided by the business. For example, if we connect the VOCs to small vouchers or the offers for some period of time, user can start filling the VOCs of any form. Every VOC completion, consumer will get coupons, where it be diverted to lottery with valuable rewards
  • Creative VOCs – As an individual it is difficult to get time to either fill the form or reply the mails of VOCs. But the same individual can spend more time on social media. Hence VOCs to be created such a way that consumer cannot feel that he is filling a form. VOCs to be designed as a game, so that while playing itself consumer can fill the VOC. For example, if our game user is more doing more activities on water actives, which means he might recently experience with the swimming pool or the pool side area is good. If he is selecting certain type of food, which he may like in our restaurant recently.
  • AR, VR VOCs – Instead of a filling a form, we can present the hotel, room, in the 3D style, ask him to selected the like or dislike areas by making it green or red. There by we can collect some insights from the consumer (VOC). Even we can ask him to put some objects which he thinks that could improve the customer experience. From here we can also consolidate many customers and can decide the new buying items.
  • Intermittent VOCs – Instead of sending the VOCs after completing the service, where the return VOCs % is very less. We should plan to send the VOCs intermittently to get part of the insights.
  • VOC request time: Many times, after the service we send the VOCs irrespective of day & time. For example, I am travelling to Bombay and stayed hotel for business reason. Immediately after coming from Bombay, I got so many things to do. If I get the VOC in between, I will not reply and even I delete. If the same VOC mail or call came on weekends, there might be high chance of replying the call or message.
  • Digital Omni Channels – In the modern age, businesses are reaching to upto last mile in getting the requirements such as POS transactions, calling directly to consumers. But the biggest challenging here is to connecting all the data points related to the one service to derive a meaningful insight. If we look it in silos, it will not be fruitful.
  • Every one in this world is busy and have limited valuable time. Some time the business who looks for VOCs, they don’t even give the VOCs to their supplier or Vendors. VOCs collection has changed greatly with lot of evaluations. With the new era of AI & Digital, it has already taken upto next level. Instead of Business focusing on the volume of VOC, we should focus on the quality.
  • There are some software which can help the companies to use the AI VOCs - Question Pro, Monkey learn, Medallia, Response Tek etc.
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Improving the response rate of surveys is crucial for capturing a Voice of Customer (VOC).  Below are few examples to improve survey response rate :

 

  • Personalizing survey invitations can make respondents feel valued, increasing the chances of attempting a survey.
  • Offering incentives can motivate customers to complete surveys.
  • Choosing the right time to send surveys can significantly impact response rates.
  • Sending reminders can prompt customers who may have forgotten or overlooked the initial survey invitation.
  • can make the survey short and easy to complete
  • Offering surveys through multiple channels can reach a broader audience.
  • Clearly explaining the purpose of the survey and how the feedback will be used can encourage participation.
  • Ensuring that surveys are mobile-friendly can increase responses from users on the go.
  • Assuring respondents that their answers will be anonymous can increase the likelihood of honest and complete responses.

 

By employing these strategies, organizations can significantly improve their survey response rates and obtain more comprehensive and accurate VOC data.

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Capturing the VOC with a good response rate is like trying to catch butterflies with a net: you need the right strategy and a bit of finesse.

Below are some of the methods to improve the response rate:

1.     Keep the review / feedback very short and crisp, probably only pictorial view:

Applicability: Where one required to gather the feedback on the mobile app service

 

UAE government applications – RTA App ( Road and Transport Authority, DARB, UAE Pass, UAEICP & ADDC (Abu Dhabi Distribution Company)

Medical hospital Applications like Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Burjeel Hospital

These applications show 03-05 Emojis towards end of transactions and by clicking one, your feedback is completed.

 

2.       Personalized Invitations: People love feeling special. Use their names and reference their past interactions to make your survey invite feel like a personal letter rather than a mass mail-out

 

3.       Timing when the feedback is requested is very essential: Catch them when they’re most engaged. Post-purchase or post-interaction moments are prime times for feedback.

 

E.g.: Post motor repair, customer visits Garage / Agency to collect the car and good service with some very good car cleaning post repair, customers are obelized to provide survey feedback


4.  Incentives: Offer something irresistible. Discounts, gift cards, or entry into a prize draw can   

     Motivate even the most survey-averse customers

5. Multiple Channels: Meet customers where they are. Use emails, SMS, social media, and even

    good old-fashioned phone calls to reach out
 

6. Follow-Up: Send reminders. Sometimes people just need a gentle nudge (or two)

7. Clear Purpose: Let them know why their feedback matters. Transparency about how you’ll use their    

     input can encourage participation

8. Thank Them: Show appreciation. A simple thank-you message can go a long way in making them

    feel valued

9. Confidentiality: Assure them their responses are confidential. People are more likely to be honest if

    they feel safe


   Remember, capturing VOC is like having a good conversation – it’s all about being engaging,   

   respectful, and appreciative.

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