Surveys have the potential to reveal crucial insight into customer sentiment and behavior. Through effective surveying, a brand can analyze shifting customer trends and predict how to best proceed with marketing efforts. Unfortunately, not all surveys are conducted effectively, and not all companies are getting a complete view of their consumer base.
That’s where Verint comes in.
During Tuesday’s webinar titled, “The Seven Deadly Survey Sins—and How to Avoid Them,” experts walked attendees through the process of identifying and avoiding pitfalls that companies often encounter when gathering data through a survey. Powered by Loyalty360, the webinar was presented by Verint’s Brian Koma, VP & CX Practice Leader, and Sean Mahoney, Senior Solutions Consultant.
First and foremost, companies looking to survey effective need to plan. Without a significant amount of foresight, surveys are often left without direction. Sometimes, a survey isn’t even necessary, as the desired information is already readily available.
“In many cases, the data already exists within the organization,” Mahoney said. “Silos can work against us in this respect, but reaching out to others within the company can save valuable time and company resources.”
The presenters noted that another common misstep is known as Columbo Syndrome, referencing the popular TV show from the 1970s. Like the famous character, companies conducting surveys must be careful when finding themselves saying “just one more question.” Lengthy surveys often lead to high abandonment rates, and usually lead to questions that aren’t relevant to the needed customer insight.
Mobile surveys have added an interesting fold to the surveying process; the growing platform offers both pros and cons.
“While the mobile format makes customers easier to reach, you run the risk of losing their attention very quickly if the survey isn’t engaging,” said Koma.
Arguably, one of the most dangerous survey factors to consider is the risk of bias. A biased survey can compromise results, and render the entire venture ineffective. On the other side of the coin, Mahoney told attendees that a neutral survey can do wonders for results.
“Customers will reward you for elimination bias with better, more truthful data,” Mahoney said.
On the topic of incentives, rewarding customers for participation can go a long way in guaranteeing a higher completion rate, but only if executed correctly. This means offering relevant rewards (money, gift cards, or even access to completed survey data) and keeping in mind that, as the old saying goes, less is more.
“Instead of giving one big incentive, opt for small incentives given to all participants,” said Koma. “Rather than one Apple Watch, for example, offer $10 Starbucks gift cards to everyone that completes the survey.”
Many companies leverage survey data and then ignore the results too quickly afterwards. Instead, organizations should constantly be on the hunt for ways to apply previous survey responses in new situations. “Too often we look at data from a siloed perspective, and we fail to see valuable opportunities to repurpose it,” said Mahoney.
By keeping these “sins” in mind when designing and executing a survey, companies can avoid wasting resources on incomplete data. A properly designed survey, however, can make all the difference in formulating an effective, targeted marketing effort.

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