SMS messages

Customers want personalized, relevant experiences with brands. They say they’re willing to give up personal information to get those experiences, but often don’t follow through. Text messaging is easy, intuitive, and fast. Asking for feedback via SMS can help with your personalization efforts.

Online surveys have been around for years. Many brands send emails after a service experience or product purchase requesting customers to take a survey to provide feedback about their experience.

But response rates hover between 10 – 20%. This can be frustrating for businesses trying to go the extra mile to delight their customers.

Companies that use SMS text message surveys with customers can achieve as high as 50% response rates. Response rates like this mean you’ll gain valuable information that provides solid traction for improving customer experiences.

Crafting Your Text Message Surveys

It’s not just the channel that makes the difference in response, but the quality of the message or survey you send. Just because a text message is read within minutes of receipt doesn’t mean it will be responded to. And, since you can only text customers who consent to being contacted via SMS, you want to make sure every text message survey you send results in an engaging experience.

3 Steps to Designing Your SMS Customer Feedback Survey

1. Identify Purpose and Use. There can be many reasons you ask your customers for feedback. They don’t all need to be service or transaction related. Learning more about your customers’ needs, preferences, likes and dislikes can help you improve marketing programs, sales communications, and the ways in which you respond to service requests.

Some ideas to consider include:

  • Product interest
  • Attributes of interest; color, size, features
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Experience satisfaction from product purchase or service provision
  • Topic / Function interest

Make sure the information you ask for will be used. There’s nothing more frustrating than providing information yet never seeing its impact. By acting on the information discovered through a text message survey, your customers will feel appreciated and experience more relevant conversations with you.

In other words, if you’re not going to use the information, don’t ask for it. The cost could be higher than not communicating at all.

2. Define When and Who. Timing and relevance are everything in conducting successful surveys. Wait too long after a purchase and you may miss your window. But asking too quickly may result in skewed answers if the customer hasn’t had time to try your product.

Asking a question relevant to a recent activity is a solid choice. Luckily, with intelligent text messaging, you can automate your surveys based on triggers, such as recent purchases, purchase history, content interest, and service requests.

Additional examples of When and Who include:

  • Lapsed customers who haven’t purchased in the last 6 months
  • A specific segment of your customers to learn their interest about a new product you’re considering stocking
  • VIP customers who are frequent purchasers to learn what else they find valuable

3. What’s In It For Them? Surveys are often better responded to when an incentive is offered. Incentives don’t always need to be discounts or promotional offers. An incentive could also be helping them find exactly what they want or need right now.

A survey can be as simple as a “pick one” choice. For example:

“What does Autumn mean to you? Reply COZY or CRISP to see what we’ve got.”

Customers who reply COZY could receive a link to hot chocolate related items. Those who reply CRISP could receive a link to apple cider related items, for examples. Creativity helps provoke curiosity. And that curiosity gap can help to increase your response rate. Just make sure that the correlations to your key words will make sense to your customers given what you sell.

The Bottom Line

Surveys have been used for years to better understand how customers feel, what they want and how they perceive the experiences had with brands. As customer expectations grow, there’s no better way than asking them, to learn what’s most relevant. Text message surveys are an easy, effective way to do just that.

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