reminder survey

The Critical Importance of the Reminder Survey

We’ve recently heard some chatter within the NPS community that the reason why some NPS survey providers don’t offer survey reminders to their customers was because they believed that the potential negative impact (annoyance, unsubscribes, etc) would outweigh the benefit.

They also believe that sending your customer a reminder to take your survey is an old practice and only used with surveys that historically have had low response rates.

We feel differently, and our data supports it.

What’s important to remember is that Net Promoter is not an exercise in statistical relevancy like traditional surveys.

While it’s important to be able to extrapolate trends from your data with a high-level of confidence, the average response rate you’ll receive from a Net Promoter survey (without sending a reminder), is well beyond what’s needed for a reliable confidence interval at any level.

With that in mind, more responses are ALWAYS better with NPS (or any type of survey for that matter). Not just for relevancy though, but rather for increased insights and the individual growth/retention/learning opportunities they provide.

There is no such thing as ‘too much’ customer feedback.

Since we first started developing our platform, we have put a heavy amount of effort and emphasis on providing a solution that maximizes the response rates for our customers.

There is no such thing as ‘too much’ customer feedback. Click To Tweet

These efforts include everything from domain verification, to survey flow, and to engagement optimization.

We continue to analyze and update our survey approach based on the results of the tens of millions of surveys that are sent through our platform. Not only that, but we often share the results with our customers to ensure they are up to date on all the best practices available.

In fact, just a couple of weeks ago, we revealed 7 secret ways to increase your survey response rates, which was all based on our research and findings.

As a result, Promoter customers see an average overall response rate of 30 – 40%, with up to 70% of their customers leaving qualitative feedback (i.e. the good stuff).

The way we look at it though, is that if you have 1,000 customers let’s say, you’re hearing from 300 to 400 of them, with roughly 250 of them providing you with opportunities to improve and grow your business.

Our question is, why wouldn’t you want more of that?

Customer insights are the equivalent of hitting a gold mine.

If you find yourself a large gold nugget upon your first sift, it’s unlikely that you’re going to stop there, right?

Of course not, you’re going to continue mining until there is no stone left unturned.

This is the same with gathering customer feedback, where each customer is a nugget of gold. You just need to continue to increase your sifting to find more.

These gold nuggets are what helped companies like LiveChat grow to 19k customers without spending any money on sales and marketing. Or, what led Agree.com to discover a big Aha! moment, that transformed their marketing.

Again, our question is, why wouldn’t you want more of that?

Obviously, the answer is that you do.

This is why we offer intelligent survey reminders to our customers.

Benefits of reminders far outweigh any costs

As I mentioned at the start, some believe that there would be a greater negative impact of sending a reminder than any benefit.

Based on our research from over 25 million surveys, I’m here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth (specific numbers below).

That said, there certainly is a threshold in which your customer would become annoyed, but that could apply to reminders of any kind.

The key to success is proper execution based on the data.

What we have found is that one simple reminder is enough. Just one. Anything beyond that, the benefits begin to decline. It’s all about balance.

In terms of the timing of your reminder, anywhere between 3 to 7 days after the initial survey is sent shows to be ideal. Based on the data, there doesn’t appear to be any kind of discernible difference between which of those days it’s sent, but too soon or too late definitely impacts the results.

Note: Promoter’s survey reminder feature has baked in the best practices to help optimize the results and prevent any negative impact. If enabled, the reminder will be sent only one time (automatically) and offers the ability to be sent at a 3, 5 or 7-day option.

So, what kind of real-world difference does it make?

When looking at reminders sent across all of the campaigns and the tens of millions of surveys that Promoter has delivered, two important data points have emerged:

  1. On average, sending a reminder survey boosts response rate by an additional 15%.
  2. Only 0.3-0.5% of your customers will unsubscribe from future surveys as a result of the reminder.

In other words, going back to our example, out of 1000 customers, you’ll hear from 300 – 400 on average. That means 600 – 700 of your customers will receive your reminder. Out of those, you’ll hear from an additional 100 customers on average and only 3 will unsubscribe.

That’s 100 additional potentially game-changing customer insights and opportunities unearthed.

So, you tell me. Is sending a single reminder survey worth it?

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Chad Keck

As a product lead and executive for numerous successful ventures (Rackspace, HP Cloud, AppFog), Chad founded Promoter.io to help bring the actionable insights provided by Net Promoter to all businesses. He is a native Texan with a passion for helping other entrepreneurs.

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