7 Tips to Increase Customer Survey Response Rates

You’ve learned about the benefits of customer surveys. (Maybe you even read our blog post 3 Key Metrics to Go After in 2022 and took it to heart.) You decided which surveys are right for your company, put together a few different types, and placed them throughout your customer journey…

…And you got crickets.

Without any responses (or too few to be statistically significant), you can’t measure how well your support team is doing, if a new product is resonating with your customers, or if your online cart experience is frustrating your customers.

You need a way to increase your customer survey response rates.

Keep reading to dive into some top strategies.

Why are customer survey response rates important?

Are you secretly asking, why is this even a big deal? We get it. You’re getting responses, so you have some data to work with. But here are a few reasons your response rates need a boost:

  • A small sample size skews your data: Just because a couple of people don’t like your product doesn’t mean the majority of your customers don’t. The larger the sample size you collect, the more accurately it will represent your customers.
  • Your survey may suffer from non-response bias: There could be something in your survey design, tactics, or questions that makes it more likely for a certain type of customer to answer. Maybe only people that buy kitchen utensils respond, or only people who are at home on Tuesdays, resulting in more skewed data. You could inadvertently skew your service to help respondents and leave non-respondents out.
  • The more data you have, the easier it is to draw conclusions: Just a handful of results all over the place won’t do your team any good. It’s easier to identify trends and craft the appropriate action plan.

What is a good customer survey response rate? According to Customer Thermometer, the typical customer survey response rate is 5–30%, and anything over 50% is considered fantastic.

Tip #1: Pick the right survey.

How many customer surveys are out there? The limit does not exist.

You can emulate tons of surveys, but many in e-commerce and other customer-facing industries focus on three vital ones.

  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys ask customers, “How satisfied were you with [product/service]?”
  • Customer effort scores (CES) ask customers, “How easy was it to interact with [company]?”
  • Net Promoter Scores® (NPS®) asks, “How likely are you to recommend [business/product/service] to someone you know?”

While they all rely on similar rating systems, each question asks about a different aspect of your business.

You’re not bound to these three, but picking the appropriate customer survey for what you’re trying to measure is important. Not only will you get misleading data, but you’re also less likely to get customer responses.

Tip #2: Send it at the right time.

Don’t ask for a CSAT survey weeks after a customer service interaction. By then, your customer has already forgotten how the conversation went—unless it was really good or really bad.

Which surveys you use will dictate when you should send them. Per the example above, CSAT surveys work best when measuring something specific, like a support interaction or a product purchase. You should typically send these types of surveys within a day or two of whatever you’re measuring. Plus, response rates increase, and responses are more accurate if customers take surveys within 24 hours.

However, Net Promoter Scores are asking more about your customers’ loyalty to your brand. In that case, pick a regular interval to send out NPS surveys. It could be once a quarter or once a year—just make sure you’re giving your team enough time to analyze the results and make improvements in between.

Tip #3: Make it as short as possible.

We know you want to get as much valuable information as you can, but long surveys have much worse completion rates.

What’s the difference between survey completion rates and response rates? Completion rates measure how many people start the survey and finish it and compare it to people who began the survey and didn’t complete it.

Response rates simply measure how many people completed the survey against how many surveys you sent out.

Here are what the equations look like:

  • # of people who completed the survey ÷ total # of people who opened the survey x 100 = Completion rate
  • # of people who completed the survey ÷ total # of people you sent the survey to x 100 = Response rate

Both of these numbers decrease dramatically the more questions you ask. That’s why one to two question surveys like the three above are so successful. They don’t ask too much of customers, and customers can respond quickly.

You can still get the information you need to improve your products and services, just maybe not on that initial survey. Consider testing optional responses for the longer, thought-provoking questions, or ask those who complete the surveys if they’re willing to take a follow-up questionnaire or speak with one of your representatives.

Tip #4: Remove the friction.

Since you’re essentially asking customers for a favor, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to fill out your survey.

A great way to help you increase your customer survey response rates is to put your surveys in immediately accessible places. Think: Within your web chat platform after a customer service interaction.

The best part? Some conversational platforms like Quiq give you rich messaging capabilities to enable customers to answer surveys right within the channel. Customers won’t be scared off by unknown links, making it faster and easier for them to respond.

Tip #5: Send follow-ups.

Just because customers don’t respond right away doesn’t mean they won’t. Your customers are busy, and things slip their minds just like everyone else. The survey can land on the bottom of the to-do list or not make it on there at all. Sending a follow-up is not only a good idea—it’s a best practice.

Sending email follow-ups is standard, but try reaching out through other channels if customers ignore your survey. Things get lost in emails, sent to spam, or deleted.

Instead, consider outbound SMS/text messaging as an alternative. While email open rates are around 20%, text messages have nearly a 100% read rate. And you get the added benefit of rich messaging that allows customers to answer the survey questions right within their text messages.

Remember, you’re asking for a favor. Keep it friendly and keep follow-ups minimal. Sending multiple emails with “or else” messaging won’t get you anywhere.

Tip #6: Try incentives.

Incentives might not be a feasible long-term solution, but they’ve been proven repeatedly to encourage survey participation.

Here are a few incentives you could try:

  • Coupons and discounts
  • Free shipping
  • Monetary incentives
  • Donations to a favorite charity
  • Entry into a sweepstakes
  • Free swag
  • Free samples
  • Exclusive content
  • Rewards points

Keep in mind that small monetary gifts for everyone actually incentivizes responses more than entry into sweepstakes with large cash prizes.

Tip #7: Test everything.

You can learn all the best tips and tricks and still not produce surveys that resonate with your audience. How do you determine what will work? Test everything.

A/B test survey subject lines, find out the best time to send them, how long after a purchase or interaction, and even what type of questions you ask and how you ask them. You can even test which incentives work better: free shipping, a percentage discount, or a dollar discount.

A good way to use testing is to figure out how to talk and engage with your customers. Figure out if they like being called by their first names or just their last name. See if incorporating their purchase into the email copy works. Does “How are you liking that new spatula, Jane?” work better than “Rate your new spatula”? Test and find out!

Bonus Tip: Respond to submitted surveys.

A big reason people don’t respond to surveys? They don’t think it’ll make a difference.

Send automated thank yous immediately after the survey (as the bare minimum). But if you’re going through responses and see bad ones that you can address directly, do so and let your customers know. Alternatively, when they’re really good, let the customer know how appreciative you are of their response and their business.

If you’re really adventurous, you can even work their sentiment and feedback into future engagement messaging. If customers had a problem with an app, let them know that you’ve updated it. If they really liked a product, share when you get new color options.

While it might not immediately increase your survey response rate, customers will appreciate that their voice is being heard.

It takes a grab-bag of tricks to increase customer survey response rates.

If your customer survey response rates are low, try implementing several of these tips. It’s no secret that consumers are reaching survey fatigue, so the more you can do to make it easy, appealing, and beneficial for your customers, the better off you’ll be.

Social Commerce 101: Tips and Tricks

You already know that e-commerce is booming.

But what about social commerce?

For years, businesses have primarily used social media for marketing. Now, selling through social media is not just possible—it’s prospering.

Even if you haven’t heard of it before, your company is likely already engaging in social commerce. It falls under the e-commerce umbrella, but it refers specifically to purchases made on a social media platform. Any time you connect a social media post with a product page and end up with a sale, you’re engaging in social commerce.

Social commerce is gradually becoming its own market entirely. Consumers spend more time on social media, and new tools are released regularly to make it easier to complete transactions without ever leaving the platforms.

How can you capitalize on social commerce? We’re breaking down what it is and how to use it in your e-commerce strategy.

What is social commerce?

As we alluded to above, social commerce is when your customers purchase directly on a social media platform, like Facebook or Instagram. It can also include sales made from a social media click.

Social selling is also wrapped up in social commerce, with slight differences. Social selling is when a salesperson reaches out to a customer to engage in the selling process.

The top four social platforms for selling are:

  1. Instagram
  2. Facebook
  3. TikTok
  4. Pinterest

Why care about social commerce?

Social commerce is a growing segment of the e-commerce market, and you should absolutely claim a slice of the pie.

According to Insider Intelligence, US social commerce sales are expected to reach $45.74 billion in 2022, with more than half of adults making a purchase directly on social media.

And eMarketer predicts it’ll reach nearly $80 billion by 2025. (That’s a big pie.)

There are also a lot of opportunities to improve mobile sales. While mobile traffic contributes to more retail site visits, it doesn’t correlate with retail sales. Cart abandonment is much higher on mobile than on desktop.

Social media commerce helps businesses capture those lost sales.

Many customers already turn to social media to discover new products, check reviews, and ask for advice. Social commerce simply closes the loop by making it easy to buy, too.

Not convinced? Here are a few more reasons why social commerce is worth your company’s time:

  • Users don’t have to leave whichever app they’re using to make a sale.
  • Fewer clicks removes the friction of selling online and leads to higher conversions.
  • Consumers are less likely to abandon their carts before completing a purchase.
  • The entire customer journey happens within the platform, improving your customer experience.
  • You can hyper-target your customers with audience tools available on social media platforms.

Tips for capitalizing on social commerce

Social commerce is already happening all around the world. Put together a strategy now to jump on the growing trend.

Start small with a strategic plan of action.

You’re probably already engaging in social commerce, but there are different things to consider when making it part of your e-commerce strategy. The biggest takeaway? Start small.

  • Pick your social platforms: Even if your brand is active across multiple social media channels, start your social selling strategy on just one or two. Not all platforms are great for selling, and you likely have different audiences across each.
  • Don’t make it a second store-front: While smaller businesses might be tempted to use Facebook Shops to open their store, larger retailers should hold off on sharing their entire product catalog. Social commerce is primarily driven by small purchases, and offering too many options to your customers can easily lead to confusion and indecision. Start with carefully selected products and add as you go.
  • Offer platform exclusives: An easy way to drum up excitement for social commerce products is to make them exclusive to a platform. This can help launch your social commerce strategy while you’re getting started. It’s also an easy way to test your campaigns on different platforms to see what sells.

Lean into social media marketing tactics.

There have been tons of blog posts dedicated to social media marketing, so we won’t dive too deep into it here. But there are a few important tactics to keep in mind while driving sales.

  • Engage with your audience: The best thing about social media? It’s social. A great strategy doesn’t just include passive posts. Make sure your team actively asks and answers questions, engages with audiences’ posts, and collects user-generated content. When switching to a commerce strategy, it’s easy to overwhelm audiences with sales messaging. Keeping it social and engaging will keep you from alienating your followers.
  • Use influencer marketing: Influencer culture gets a lot of flack, but it’s a proven method for encouraging your audience to engage and purchase from your brand. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations. Whether you target micro-influencers or the big fish, it’s important to find the right balance between social and selling.
  • Test paid advertising: There’s no denying that many social media platforms have turned into pay-to-play channels. Facebook and Instagram especially offer a wide range of ad options that can draw a clear line between advertising and sales. This makes it easy to test out what messages work for your customers and what kind of products work best for in-app sales.

Tap into your customer service team.

It’s likely that you’re already leveraging your customer service team to help answer customer questions on social media. They’re also a great resource to help drive your social commerce efforts.

  • Train your customer service team to convert. Consumers (especially Millennials and Gen Z) prefer the casual nature of social media over retail websites and traditional communication channels. So your customer service team should take a different approach to chatting and selling to customers on social media. Create social media best practices, so your team hits the right conversational notes and genuinely connects with your customers.
  • Sell in the DMs: When customers reach out for specs, sizing recommendations, and the like, empower your customer service team to complete the sale right within the messaging platform.

See how Quiq integrates messaging payment solutions so your team can securely make a sale without the customer ever leaving the app >

  • Personalize the shopping experience: Selling in the DMs or through other social methods allows your team to connect personally with your customers. Be friendly, use your customers’ names, and offer personalized recommendations.
  • Test and collect feedback: Your customer service team is already primed for collecting customer feedback, and social media is a great place to get quick insights in real-time. See which products will sell on social platforms, what type of messages work, and which purchasing methods your customers are most comfortable using.

Convenience is key.

Convenience is the main driver of social commerce’s success. Customers are able to discover, research, and purchase products without ever leaving their preferred social media app. Make purchasing from your company as easy as possible.

  • Provide multiple options to make a purchase: Social media platforms provide a variety of ways for you to capitalize on sales. Facebook and Instagram have shoppable posts, there’s Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Shops, many “link in bio” platforms, and or sell directly in the DMs.
  • Use AI chatbots for quick responses: When your customer service team isn’t readily available, your friendly chatbot is there to help. Answer customer questions quickly, so they’re less likely to second-guess their purchases and abandon their carts.

Quiq’s customer service chatbots will help you connect with your customers when you can’t. See what they can do >

Optimize for mobile: Since most social commerce will happen on mobile, ensure your checkout and website experience is mobile-friendly. You want to avoid any kind of inconvenience during the purchase process or risk losing the sale altogether.

Don’t sleep on social commerce

While this term is relatively new, there’s no denying that social commerce is here in a big way. Developing a strategy to capitalize on this new form of selling can give your e-commerce business the edge. Plus, you’ll be able to capture the interest of younger generations as they increase their buying power over the next few years.

Now’s the time to jump on this revenue-boosting opportunity.

Facebook Messenger for Business 101

You’re connecting with your customers via email. Your customer support team is available by phone. And now you’ve heard you need to be on Facebook Messenger for business—but you’re left wondering: What is it, and how does it work?

We’ll break it down for you, along with some tips and tricks for getting the most out of the platform.

What is Facebook Messenger for business?

Messenger is Facebook’s app and platform for sending text, pictures, video, and link messages. Using Facebook Messenger for business allows your customers to message you directly (and vice versa) using your company page from the Messenger mobile app or the chat window via desktop.

There are several ways Facebook users can reach out to you using Messenger. They can: Facebook Messenger app displayed on three aligned smartphones

  • Send a message from your company’s Facebook page
  • Search for your business’ username in the Messenger app
  • Engage with a click-to-messenger ad
  • Follow a messenger link
  • Follow a QR code

In order to mitigate spam, Facebook requires users to reach out to your page via Messenger first before you can send a message.

Why should you use Facebook Messenger?

Adding Messenger as a way for customers to communicate with your brand is just the next evolution of customer service. Here are four ways Facebook Messenger enhances your customer experience and improves your business.

1. Be more available to your customers.

Customers are more likely to engage with your brand in the same way they engage with family and friends. You’re available the moment they wish to connect with you, and in a platform they’re already using. You’re more top of mind, and it takes less effort to take quick action.

It’s as simple as being available where your customers are: Facebook. 64% of people across generations said they prefer messaging to a call or email, according to a Facebook IQ survey.

Customers expect customization and personalization from brands, and that’s expanded to when and how they communicate with you. Many shoppers today like the personal and informal service that messaging inspires. It allows them to get immediate responses from a brand without having to respond instantly themselves. They’re in control and can connect quickly but still at their leisure.

2. Give your customers a better experience.

The customer experience is super important, especially for e-commerce brands that have few opportunities to impress their base. When it comes to creating a good customer experience, Facebook Messenger for business hits multiple targets.

Messenger improves the chances of your company hitting three of the top four criteria customers say indicates a “good customer experience,” according to a Zendesk survey:

  1. Resolve issues quickly (61%)
  2. Support is available 24/7 (i.e., in real-time) (42%)
  3. Support is available through my desired contact method (32%)

And the data proves that messaging produces results. It has a CSAT of 98%—the highest across channels, according to Zendesk.

3. Resolve customer issues faster.

Messenger provides the perfect opportunity for chatbot integration. You can provide quick information to your customers while easing the stress on your support team.

In our own survey of Quiq clients, 70–80% of inbound inquiries via Messenger are resolved with automation. Where’s-my-order inquiries have an even higher automation resolution rate at 86%.

When Facebook users first head to your page, you can have a welcome or get-started message waiting for them. Putting together a few pre-programmed responses will go a long way. Your customers get the quick answers they need, while your customer support team is free to spend more time providing high-value service. 

4. Increase sales.

Yep, you read that right. Using Facebook Messenger can actually help you increase sales. 

Sometimes it’s as simple as being available when your customers need you. 65% of people said they’d be more likely to shop with a business they can contact via chat, according to Facebook IQ.

And 69% of surveyed Facebook users who message businesses say it makes them feel more confident about the brand, according to a Facebook-commissioned survey.

Plus, you can tap into a variety of creative strategies to increase conversions and even sell to your customers with Messenger. 

How to use Facebook Messenger.

If you’ve used Facebook in the last ten years, getting started with Messenger should be fairly simple. But we’ve provided some basics to get you started.

  1. Make sure messaging for your business page is turned on. (It’s on by default.)
  2. Create a username for your page so users can easily search for it in the Facebook Messenger app.
  3. Tell users you’re active on Messenger by earning a “Very Responsive” badge. Keep your response times under 15 minutes and maintain at least a 90% response rate to see this appear on your page. (This should be very easy to do with the right bot integration.)

An important note for using Messenger: Facebook requires users to send the first message before you can chat with them, so it’s crucial you give them ample opportunities to make the first move. 

Here are a few ways to encourage messaging:

  • Add the “Send Message” button to your page and your posts
  • Create a welcome message that will appear when users head to your Facebook Page.
  • Create click-to-messenger ads on Facebook. These ads will appear in your prospects’ feeds and encourage them to start a conversation with you.
  • Add your Messenger link or a QR code to various marketing materials when you want to start a conversation.

Once a customer messages you, you only have 24 hours to respond. After the 24 hours elapses, you can send one additional non promotional message before the conversation expires.

Facebook Messenger enables creative strategies to increase sales. 

Like with all customer communication platforms, it’s important to have a solid strategy to provide top-tier customer service and capitalize on sales.

Adding organic conversations to your customer journey is a great way to build trust and brand loyalty. 

  • Create a post advertising an attractive discount or fun quiz and instruct users to click on the “Send Message”  button to receive the offer. Once they’ve initiated the message, you’re free to send additional promotional messages over the next 24 hours. (But avoid spamming!)
  • Personalize messages with information from the platform, including name, location, age, and other demographics.

Facebook’s robust advertising capabilities extend to Messenger for business. Any information you gathered during conversations with your target audience can be used to increase the efficacy of your Facebook ads.

  • Create a target audience using the conversations in Messenger. Start with users who have sent messages, and start refining the information you gained from those conversations. What type of apparel do they buy? What products did they show interest in? You can also use demographic information within Facebook to narrow down your audience even further.
  • Create a lookalike audience of the customers who have messaged you and target them with similar messaging. 

Quiq: Your CX wingman.

We get it. Adding another messaging platform to your already-full customer experience seems daunting—but we have your back.Quiq's Facebook Messenger user interface

Quiq is the future of business-to-consumer messaging. Our leading conversational AI platform will help you connect with customers at scale.

  • Support customers directly in Messenger
  • Route messages between chatbots and live agents
  • Continue conversations across channels

See what you can do with Quiq.

5 Tips To Enhance eCommerce Customer Service

For many consumers, purchasing a product is about more than just the product itself. Consumer demands continually grow as they prefer faster and higher quality customer service from brands. That’s why many businesses today are choosing to implement a more effective online customer service experience strategy. eCommerce businesses are ramping up their digital customer service to make sure their customers keep coming back to them instead of exploring other options.

How to Improve Your eCommerce Customer Service Strategy

Online shoppers want instant replies and easy answers. eTailers that are catering to their customers in these ways will benefit from consistently refining their service, sales, and marketing communication strategies. Five common ways to improve eCommerce customer service include the use of the following communication channels and automation.

1. Text Messaging

Text messaging for customer service is fast and convenient making it easy for eCommerce companies to connect with consumers to assist in shopping cart conversions and follow-up with pertinent order information. This shopper-friendly channel allows consumers to be on-the-go, and in this busy world, text messaging has become the channel of choice for receiving information, solving problems, and answering urgent questions.

Consumers prefer text messaging because they are able to start the messaging conversation while on a mobile eCommerce site and finish them at their convenience while moving about in their normal life. Imagine an online shopper sending a message to a brand requesting help getting the details of their online shopping cart correct, but then needing to get on with their busy day.  The agent could build and confirm the order and send a link back to the consumer via SMS.  The consumer can then click the link that would send them to a secure mobile web page where they can confirm the contents of their shopping cart and complete the purchase securely.  

An asynchronous conversation like this allows for eCommerce businesses to move at the speed and cadence of their customers, making for better customer experiences and more modern shopping experiences.

2. Web Chat

When it comes to eCommerce and enabling customers with a fast and easy way to get in touch, web chat is the most obvious choice. Customers on your website may have a multitude of options for finding answers, like an FAQ page, sending an email, or calling, but none help customers as fast as the omnipresent option of web chat, typically presented in the lower right corner of your website. 

Online shoppers expect fast answers when they are adding items to their shopping cart or in the process of completing a purchase, similar to when they are shopping in-store.  Without web chat, customers may save their purchase for another day, or find what they are looking for elsewhere altogether. This is why the messaging channel is a critical part of any eCommerce website to ensure customers find what they are looking for and are being helped at every point in the customer journey, from product recommendations to purchase confirmations, and being available for any follow-up questions.  Never miss a chance to answer customer questions or assist in a sale.

3. Social Media Messaging

The market for customer conversations has grown beyond websites and call centers to include social media platforms, which is why more than 90% of businesses today have some form of social media presence. Consumers have not limited themselves to engaging with and conversing about brands to only in-person interactions and are now expressing themselves in more amplified ways across platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

eCommerce companies can engage with their customers across these social media platforms to build advocacy and highlight their brand in the broader marketplace.  These platforms offer more opportunities to connect with consumers in direct messages to answer questions and be a part of the conversation. Consumers are becoming increasingly agnostic to where they expect brands to provide support, and social media is an example of where conversations are happening and where brands need to ensure they are part of them.

4. Outbound Messaging

Online retailers reap huge rewards by keeping their customers in-the-know.  A prime example is regarding order status. Customers feel better when they know what to expect, like if their package may be late or even to hear it’s arriving early.  Never miss an opportunity to delight customers.

Outbound text messaging is an incredibly effective way to communicate with consumers, particularly if you consider they are reading texts at a rate of 98%. With this much attention being paid to text messages, it becomes an great opportunity to entice them with upcoming specials or promotional codes.

The best solutions don’t stop at just sending outbound messages.  Businesses should also enable 2-way conversations so consumers can respond and have agents or bots standing by to help answer any questions.

5. Chatbots

Retailers and eCommerce companies are increasingly leaning on the efficiency and cost savings that chatbots provide.  Chatbots are always available to answer pre- or post-sales questions, assist shoppers with their selections, provide order and shipping information, and answer common questions.  

Chatbots are truly revolutionizing eCommerce to encourage more sales and are becoming a key part of customer service strategies to improve customer satisfaction. Research indicates that the chatbot market will grow to 9.4 billion by 2024 at a growth rate of almost 30%, which means it’s predicted to become mainstream in the coming years.

Chatbots are increasingly important for companies with high volumes of traffic to be able to deflect questions that can be answered with an automated response, to resolve issues more quickly. This is critical in assisting agents and routing the most high-value conversations from consumers for extra-special customer care.

Contact Us for a Demo

You can improve eCommerce customer service for your business in a number of ways, from implementing business messaging software to including automation with bots into your customer service strategy. Whatever your company’s goals, Quiq is here to help you find the ultimate online customer service solution. Contact us today to request a demo.