Beat Survey Fatigue with Omni-source Analysis

By: Lisa Sigler

August 2, 2016

Survey fatigue is a problem. People are tired of customer surveys – especially surveys that are too long, too frequent, and too general to be relevant. Research shows that:

  • Survey response rates are down, in some cases from 20% to 2% over the last 20 years.
  • 80% of customers have abandoned a survey halfway through.
  • 52% of customers say they will not spend more than three minutes on a survey.
  • Data quality deteriorates the longer someone spends on a survey.

Still, surveys are an important way for organizations to learn what customers want. As Forrester recently stated, “[There is] no evidence that companies can forgo surveys anytime soon.” So how do you avoid survey fatigue while still getting all of the feedback you need?

Better surveys
The first step is to optimize your surveys. Make them shorter, and send them less often. Whenever possible, use dynamic surveys (surveys that change based on the user’s profile and his or her answers) so people only answer relevant questions. Use open-ended questions so customers can tell you what you need to know (not just what you remembered to ask about).

But even simply optimizing your surveys is no longer enough.  To truly overcome survey fatigue, you need to think beyond surveys as a way of collecting customer feedback. There is so much data available today, you can get an incredibly rich and accurate picture of how your customers feel about you without a single multiple choice question.

Beyond surveys
analysis means listening to and analyzing all customer feedback. And when I say all, I mean all: both solicited and unsolicited, from all sources, including, but not limited to, social media, inbound calls/emails, online chat, blogs, forums, agent chat notes, third party review sites, CRM systems, and call recordings, in addition to surveys.

Using all of these sources of data together will give you a much broader view of your customer experience. You can create shorter but more targeted surveys that will help complete your customer’s profile – not build it up entirely. Think about how much information is out there:

  • Nearly 75% of adults in the United States had a social media profile in 2015
  • 66% of customers prefer to give feedback by actively reaching out on social media.
  • Despite the rise of social, there are still over 270 billion customer service phone calls each year
  • The number of reviews posted every minute by Yelp users is 26,380

Once you have all of this omni-channel data, you can analyze it and put it to work. Text analytics gives you the meaning in the words and phrases in the feedback. Sentiment analysis gives insight into the emotion behind the words. Categorization reveals the trends and relationships in the text so you can easily spot the insights you need.

These insights support and complement your survey results. You can know what your customers want—without making them so very tired.  Use a combination of updated surveys and omni-channel analysis to completely beat survey fatigue once and for all.

Looking for more? Our eBook, “The Cure for the Survey Fatigue Epidemic” dives into Clarabridge’s two-part approach for improving the quantity and quality of your customer feedback. Download it now using the form above.


Lisa Sigler is Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Clarabridge. For over 16 years, Lisa has used her writing and editorial skills to bring the value and benefits of technology to life. In her current role, she works to demonstrate Clarabridge’s position as thought leader and trailblazer in the Customer Experience Management market. Lisa holds a B.A. of English from Kent State University. Read more from Lisa on Twitter @siglerLis.