Voice of the Customer versus Survey Fatigue

Photo of a man holding his hand to his ear.

It’s a well-documented fact that Geonetric surveys our clients every quarter to find out how we’re doing. In fact, we just wrapped up our Q3 survey.

Some might ask why we survey so frequently. Doesn’t that lead to survey fatigue? Aren’t we worried about over-surveying leading to skewed results and lowered response rates?

On the other hand, good businesses have to pay attention to the “Voice of the Customer.” What are their preferences, expectations, and experiences with our company?

So how do we balance these two seemingly conflicted questions?

In my experience, it’s about taking action. In general, people don’t mind being asked their opinions if they believe the person (or company) asking is going to do something about what they hear. Address my concern this quarter and I’m likely to continue to respond next quarter. Ignore my comments this quarter and I’m less likely to take it the time next time around.

Participation

Geonetric continues to get well over 70 percent of our clients to participate in our survey. Consistently. Every quarter. That number tells me we’re doing something right. Our clients see that we care about their feedback. And that we do something meaningful with the results.

Overall Results

So how did we do? We scored an impressive 5.32 overall – our highest score in the past two years! You may recall our goal is 5.0 or better on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest) in the Overall Satisfaction category. Nice job, team Geonetric!

Bar graph showing client satisfaction over seven quarters.

What We Worked On

Last quarter, Eric mentioned we were going to work on turnaround time for client work estimates. We also wanted to make sure what we’re doing aligns with our clients’ goals. Did that happen? Survey says … “yes.”

In addition to the Overall Satisfaction score, we measure seven other categories. We saw improvement in four of those categories: 1) client support, 2) likelihood to recommend Geonetric, 3) aligning with client goals and 4) client communications. The other three categories showed no change.

Agile Culture

We think it’s our responsiveness that makes our clients willing to take time out of their busy work days to fill our out survey every quarter.

One of the things that makes it possible for us to demonstrate that responsiveness is our agile culture. It starts with transparency. Everyone in the company sees all the data from the survey. Every number. Every comment. Every quarter.

From there, each team is empowered to make decisions to respond to the results. Do we need to change a process? Get feedback to a client differently? Communicate more clearly? Then let’s do this thing differently.

And then, we measure again in just three months so we can see if those changes are making a difference. This quarter, we heard a resounding “yes!”

Where We Go From Here

The bar is set pretty high. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to rest on our laurels for the next three months. For one thing, we’d love to hit 100 percent participation. That’s a lofty goal, but we’re going to keep trying to inch closer.

For another, there were some great suggestions in the open comments section. Our teams will look at all comments and determine how to act on them. And we still have two categories that are just ever so slightly below 5.0 – our Stat Report and some components of our VitalSite software. Updates to those are already in the works, so we’re confident clients will see the improvements by our Q4 survey.

So we’ve got things to work on, but overall the feedback from our awesome clients is overwhelmingly positive.

As always, thank you to all of our clients who participated in our survey! And if you’re not a client, don’t you wish your vendor asked — and acted on — your feedback? If so, join us. And stay tuned — we’ll keep reporting survey results and what we’re doing to “Wow” our clients every quarter!

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This entry was posted in Agile, Geonetric Culture, Leadership, Transparency, Value by Linda Barnes. Bookmark the permalink.
Linda Barnes

About Linda Barnes

Don’t let Linda’s green belt in Lean Six Sigma or master’s degree in marketing and finance from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management intimidate you. This driven marketing executive brings her high standards for quality to every marketing campaign and branding initiative she manages. But she’s also a people person and values creativity. It’s this unique combination that makes her the perfect person to manage Geonetric’s business development efforts, pushing her team to find new ways to tell Geonetric’s story while still remaining focused on results. With more than 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, sales, strategic planning, and project management, Linda knows a thing or two about developing and executing integrated marketing strategies. Between traveling the country sharing Geonetric’s vision and approving marketing campaign ideas, Linda can be found assembling care packages for her two away-at-college sons and finding new and inventive ways to remodel their old rooms. Tea in the sitting room, anyone?

One thought on “Voice of the Customer versus Survey Fatigue

  1. Wow. I loved this article and I couldn’t agree more. Customers will take their time if they feel they are being heard. So often surveyors are not responsive nor do most have the information to satisfy any meaningful feedback loop. I have always felt managing the customer’s expectation with relative information and responses relieves anxiety and any negativity while encouraging greater customer participation and openness to new ideas and additional services.

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