Paper surveys. For a long, long time they were the only way to collect feedback from clients. This has changed. Not only are they no longer the only way, paper surveys are, quite frankly, an obsolete way of collecting information.
The vast majority of our clients recognize that the ability to gather and display survey results in a meaningful format requires a system that moves away from analog processes. In an age where 90 percent of U.S. households have three or more Internet-connected devices, this shift just makes sense. I can only imagine that % is higher among those who own their home. As a result, concerns over a lack of ability to complete a RealSatisfied survey don’t surface as often as some might think. But they surface often enough that I felt it was time to address it here.
While sparse, when questions do arise around the sending of paper surveys, there is often emotion attached to the questions. The help desk ticket that spurred me to write this blog post was worded this way, “Why are we punished when our clients don’t have email.” That is certainly a question fraught with emotion. I don’t find that all too surprising. What is surprising, however, is the lengths some agents will go to, and the arguments some brokers will make as to why we should accept surveys filled out on an agent’s computer, sent to temporary email addresses created on behalf of clients who have no email. We simply wont accept them.
We are quite certain that some of these creative measures are indeed taken on behalf of clients who truly do not have access to email. We’re also sure a number of them are not. And one of our jobs is to protect the integrity of the data we collect. As a result, some of our rules around rejecting survey responses into our system based on where they originate are not up for negotiation. We know this will not please everyone.
Change is hard. Digital is here to stay.
Even change that is perceived as positive can have negative emotions attached to the process. Many of our current clients have used paper surveys in the past. When pressed, they will be the first to admit that response rates were dismal at best and nowhere near approaching the almost 50% return rate we see at RealSatisfied. They will also readily admit that those paper process did not deliver the quality of data or allow the kind of access to data that our system provides. It makes tight integrations with other platforms possible as well. We live in a digital world. We don’t apologize for moving this process forward.
So, there are never going to be paper surveys accepted on the RealSatisfied platform. The benefit of higher return rates, easier aggregation of data, and improved methods for sharing results both internally and externally make the extremely small percentage of clients who truly do not have access to email the necessary negative exceptions to an otherwise very positive rule.
Your Company should really consider a paper survey. This has now happened to me for the third time and this Client would have given our Company a great review. Just because you don’t have a paper survey, we will miss out on a great review. Yes, digital is here, but there are still people out there that don’t use computers and it is selfish of you to not include them.
Thanks for listening!
Bruce, I do understand your sentiment, and there are always going to be exceptions to rules. In this case, it’s not possible to build an effective strategy around paper surveys. I am sorry that you feel this is selfish, but we believe our approach actually delivers a much higher response rate than paper surveys ever delivered. We hope the rest of your experience with our product is positive. We do appreciate the feedback.