Could your Customer Experience surveys be more ‘Netflix’?

Personalisation is key to Netflix’s success. The same can be said for Spotify, Amazon, Google and a host of other tech giants. They have become experts at leveraging the vast amounts of data they collect from their customers.

They track every search we make, every product we buy, every post we share, and every film we watch. This helps them to deliver more tailored content and build stronger relationships with us. As a result, we feel more connected and engaged and these brands are more likely to retain our long term custom.

This is behavioural personalisation at its best. And, it’s a big step up from the more traditional demographic personalisation, where marketing messages are targeted to customers based on such characteristics as age, gender or occupation. Behavioural personalisation is based on the actions a customer takes; instead of ‘who they are’.

Typical behaviours include clicks, purchases, page visits or content downloads. For example, Netflix or YouTube recommend content based on what you’ve already viewed, while Amazon recommends a product based on what you have purchased previously. Tracking behaviour provides more insight than broad-brush demographics and makes it easier to learn customers’ habits and predict their next move.

How can we adapt behavioural personalisation to customer surveys?

Surveys are a vital part of the customer experience management process. But, time-constrained customers receive many surveys from different companies requesting feedback on their experiences. Analysing survey response behaviour is a crucial step to increasing survey engagement.

Here are three factors to consider when sending out customer surveys:

1-Timing should be based on customers’ habits  

Our experience tells us that respondents have preferences for when they complete a survey. There is little point in automating your surveys if they all get sent at a time when it isn’t convenient for your customers to respond. Tracking optimum response times is an important leverage to increase response rates.

For example, you can easily track if your target audience prefers to respond during lunchtimes or after work hours. This can differ for individual survey respondents but there are also some country-based trends. So, if you are a multinational company, reaching out to your customers across the globe to understand their needs, it’s smart to analyse each country’s response timing as well as individual differences.

2-Track and adapt to changing conditions  

It’s logical to send surveys at 7pm if that is when customers tend to respond. But, you also need to track any changes in their behaviour. For example, during the Covid-19 lockdown, we found that survey response times (across all countries) shifted an hour earlier.

That makes sense; as people commuted less, they had more flexible schedules. By tracking survey response times, we quickly spotted this behaviour change. Then, by adapting to these new conditions, we were able to keep survey response rates the same.

3-Use your customers’ preferred language

When we send out bilingual surveys, we track which language version of the survey each customer chooses. Then, in future surveys, we show them that version first so they don’t need to search for their preferred language. Even this small, simple adaptation has increased response rates by around 2% – that’s significant when you consider that total response rates for customer surveys are approximately 20%.

Track, Tune and Trace

Personalisation is the new norm in marketing. Content marketers pore over data analytics because customers respond better to messages and services tailored to their needs. It’s the same when customers receive your surveys.

You can increase response rates and boost customer engagement by adapting to customers’ survey response behaviour. To do this successfully, we recommend this 3-step approach:

  1. Track your customers’ response behaviour
  2. Tune your system to their behaviour
  3. Trace your customers’ behaviour to see how well your changes are working.


Would you like to know how our Happ Customer Experience Management Platform can give you real-time customer insight? If so, you can contact us.

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