Practice What You Preach: A Look At Our Own Customer Survey Results

A few weeks ago we did what we think every good customer survey company should do – practice what it preaches.

We sent a survey to a majority of our customers and asked them to provide feedback around a number of areas relative to our services and how they get delivered. We were delighted with the response and specifically delighted with the quality of feedback our customers provided.  We’d like to share a bit of what we learned and what we’ve decided to do about it.

30 Percent Don't NotifyWhat we learned: 30% of respondents don’t inform customers that they will be receiving a survey.

Our analysis: While we know the overall response rate across our entire network is stellar, over 51%, we also know that we have many clients who are getting significantly higher return rates. There are several factors that contribute to this, but one of them is the fact that agents in those high performing companies consistently inform customer in advance that they will be receiving a survey.

Many of our clients have their survey invitations sent by their broker. Their invitations are either sent via an integration with our API, or they are handled by an administrator. In these cases, agents may not know if or when a survey was officially sent.

Action we took:

In an attempt to improve both situations, we launched a simple new feature. Clients whose surveys are sent for them will be notified when the survey has been sent via email. This will allow them to better follow up and will also remind them to let clients know their input is valuable. We think this new notification is an important addition and thank those of you who suggested it!

Displaying-Your-Ratings-1_SnapseedWhat we learned: 30% of respondents would prefer star ratings.

Our analysis:  It should be noted that 50% of the respondents indicated that they would prefer to keep the % format just as it is today. Since only 3% of our clients opt to hide their ratings, how they want them to be shown is an important factor for us to consider. The full results were as follows: 50% said they would keep the display as a % number as it is now, 30% said they would like to show star ratings, as other sites do, only 9% said they would do away with showing the ratings entirely, and the remainder had no opinion or asked for other options.

Action we took:

In response, we’ve decided to give our users the option of choosing to show their ratings as either a percentage, as it is now, or to display their results as star ratings. We have completed this development and this option is now available in your profile settings. Simply choose which method you wish to display and it will be changed immediately.

40percentdontthankWhat we learned: 40% of respondents don’t thank their customers for completed surveys or testimonials.

Our analysis: One of the benefits of receiving a survey response of any kind is that it allows you to see exactly where you stand with a recent client. What better way to start off your ongoing relationship with that client than by following up with a phone call, a letter, or even an email thanking them for taking the time to give you their input, and addressing any concerns they may have expressed. In the case of a customer who may have been less than pleased, this is an opportunity to take them from someone who might not have recommended you, to someone who definitely will.

Action we will take:

We are going to review the notification we send out that alerts our clients when they have received a response and modify it to include reminders designed to keep the benefit of sending a thank you top of mind. We know it will have a positive impact.

What we learned: 55% of respondents liked the idea of a gift card as thank you for a survey response.

Our analysis:  This number may have actually been larger. In looking at the comments, a large percentage of those who did not like this option  and answered the question on the assumption that the gift was an incentive offered as part of the survey invitation. They answered the question in a way that indicated that they thought we were attempting to entice a response. This was not the case. We were asking about making it easier and more meaningful to say, “thank you” after a response was already received.  So we took this as a clear indication that we should build a system to do just that.

Action we will take:

We are in the process of building out a system to allow you to quickly and easily send a thank you gift card to clients who have taken the time to provide feedback and/or a testimonial. We will be updating you on progress and we get closer to a launch.

01widgetWhat we learned: 75% of clients not using WordPress would like to display ratings & recommendations on their own sites.

We have had a WordPress plugin available for our clients to use for almost as long as we’ve had profile pages (this week we released an update to the plugin to making it more compatible with responsive designs). However, our survey revealed that 65% of those who responded the survey do not use WordPress. Of those 65%, 3 out of 4 would like to be able to display their ratings and recommendations on their own sites. While we also have an RSS feed available for this purpose, we realized an option for non-wordpress sites was a must.

Action we took:

We now have a widget for non-Wordpress sites. You will find it in your dashboard just above the WordPress widget box on the left hand side. There are several basic designs that you can use without editing, or you can choose to edit those designs, to give your widget colors and fonts that match your site. Or, using some simple style controls,  you can start from scratch and design your own.

What we learned: Many clients suggested that we make it easier for clients to use comments made in the survey as testimonials.

Our analysis: While the option to pull in comments has always been part of the survey form, it is something a client would have to seek out to take action on. The way they have been lead to this has not been at the forefront of the testimonial options.

Action we will take:

Our plan is to rework the final page of the survey to provide a more visible and useable option for consumers to use any comments they’ve made in the survey as the basis of their testimonial. Consumers can do this currently, but the interface will change to make this easier.

Pinterest_Quote_04_640x640What we learned: 80% of respondents would like to see client testimonials turned into visuals.

Our analysis: This is a feature we have been thinking about for a long time. We know that images shared to Facebook and Twitter get shared more often and that a visual would make the content shared from our system spread further. It would also open up the option to share to other social media sites.

Action we will take:

We have our designer working on mockups for making this happen as we write. We would like to roll this feature out as quickly as possible and will update you when we’re ready to let it fly. We think this will be a great addition to the tools available to our clients.

Those were the big things we learned.

But that’s not all we learned. The following two items are things we intend to take action on in the coming months, but have no specific plans to share with you at this time. We want you to be aware of them and know that they are in our sights.

What we learned: 35% of agents have not connected their profile page to Facebook/Twitter/

Plan of attack: build awareness across customer base for this. Create simple tutorials to explain how/why.


What we learned: Over 80% of respondents agreed that appending testimonials with media is a good idea.

Plan of attack: This one requires a bit of research, and there are lots of additional questions to be asked about the kinds of media that are appropriate, but we’re confident we can find a solution.

One of our clients, Seth Jenson, is already using tools available in Social Bios at to append media to his testimonials there.  (see Seth Jensen’s recommendation tab).

What we also learned: Our clients rock.

Thank you for your input and for your support.