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Should companies abandon asking for surveys on receipts, sending email surveys, and forcing pop-up website surveys? Wouldn’t they be better served to exclusively use Social Media as a conduit to their clients concerns and feelings (both good and bad)?

Should companies abandon asking for surveys on receipts, sending email surveys, and forcing pop-up website surveys? Wouldn’t they be better served to exclusively use Social Media as a conduit to their clients concerns and feelings (both good and bad)?

6/12/2012

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Question
Should companies abandon asking for surveys on receipts, sending email surveys, and forcing pop-up website surveys? Wouldn’t they be better served to exclusively use Social Media as a conduit to their clients concerns and feelings (both good and bad)?

Answer

No to both of your questions. “Surveying” – which is where a company solicits feedback can be a very positive activity – when it’s done right. But, these are the operative words – doing it right. Few companies know how to do it right, which includes having a corporate surveying strategy, applying findings on a timely basis and getting back to participants to let them know how their feedback was used.. Secondly, customers must have the option to use their channel of choice; this includes paths for capturing voice of the customer. Restricting feedback channels to social media exclusively will also skew the results as there will be many demographic groups not adequately or accurately represented.

Social media is powerful and we (the world at large) is just beginning to figure out what to do with social media. It is exciting and has unbelievable potential. It can (and should) be used as an input stream – but organizations should not close off other input streams, particularly since most companies have not yet figured out how to leverage (capture, convert to metadata, identify insights and apply) findings from the various social media channels. Additionally, the same “bad” practices that are currently being applied to more classic survey channels will be applied to social media feedback, as it will be the same people managing the process. It’s the process that is flawed, not the channels being used to solicit the feedback.

Think about it this way – surveying is an activity. Enterprises need to survey their customers and social media is one of the tools that organizations can use to perform this activity.

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