More and more businesses are showing a preference for web-based customer surveys over phone-based customer surveys. So, for instance, you find that almost every major company in the retail industry has an ongoing web-based customer survey. But very few have active phone-based customer survey campaigns. There has to be a reason, or several reasons, as to why companies are showing a preference for web-based customer surveys over phone-based customer surveys. In other words, the has to be a way (or indeed several ways) in which web-based customer surveys are better than phone-based customer surveys. Otherwise you wouldn’t be having businesses abandoning the phone-based customer surveys for web-based surveys. Those ways in which web-based customer surveys are better than phone-based customer surveys are what we will be focusing on, in this article.
As it turns out, there are 4 primary ways in which web-based customer surveys are better than phone-based customer surveys:
- Web-based customer surveys are more cost-effective than phone-based surveys: If you are running a phone-based customer survey, you have to be ready to pay the huge phone bills that will be incurred in the process. Even if you are using the ‘free’ IP telephony technology, there will still be a cost somewhere. Then there is the even bigger expense of paying the individuals who would be making the phone calls to the customers, and soliciting feedback from them. Even if you are to use software for this purpose, the software would still have to be paid for. And this sort of ‘artificial intelligence’ software tends to be costly. Sometimes, you just can’t find a ready-made solution that is capable of doing exactly what you want. So this means that you have to pay a developer to create and configure such a solution for you. Sometimes you find that you want to use ‘calling software’ to run a phone-based customer survey, but you just can’t find an appropriate solution: forcing you to go back to employing human callers. So you can’t avoid costs. Now it is not that the web-based customer surveys are entirely free either. But you find that the costs are much lower. For one, with a web-based customer survey, you don’t have to pay someone to make phone calls to customers, soliciting feedback. Neither do you have to have to incur astronomical phone bills. If you compare the phone bill you stand to incur in the process of a phone-based customer survey with what it would cost to keep an online survey webpage running, it becomes clear that the latter is much cheaper. It is actually possible to keep a web-based customer survey running at all times – so that you are always getting feedback from your customers at all times. But businesses that opt for phone-based customer surveys find that they can only keep them running intermittently (at best). That is because the costs associated with phone-based surveys are simply unsustainable for most businesses.
- Customers tend to respond better to the web-based surveys: People who are confronted with phone calls seeking feedback tend to feel as if they have been ambushed. Actually people respond to such phone calls in much the same way that they respond to those ‘cold calls’ from marketers. Some simply decline to give the feedback, on account of having been ‘ambushed’. Others will agree to go ahead with the survey, but you can’t help sensing hostility on their part, for having been ‘ambushed’. You also notice that the people who are confronted with phone calls soliciting feedback tend to exhibit a certain level of impatience, as they want to get done with it and go back to doing whatever they were doing before the phone call. But with web-based customer surveys, it is the individuals who (on their own initiative) go to the webpages where the surveys are being run. And they do so at their convenience – which is different from phone-based surveys, where individuals often receive the phone calls soliciting feedback at the most convenient of times. When all is said and done, you find that the response to the web-based surveys is better, in most cases, than the response to phone-based surveys.
- Web-based customer surveys tend to be more objective: It can be very hard for most people to give candid answers to questions that are being asked on the phone. So if you opt for a phone-based customer survey, you will tend to find the customers mostly giving positive feedback, because they don’t want to ‘disappoint’ the person at the other end of the line. Even if they weren’t satisfied with the manner in which they were served, they will lie that they were (satisfied) just for the sake of not disappointing the caller. It is something that is ingrained in us, to avoid disappointing people. But with a web-based survey, there is greater freedom, and people are better positioned to be candid. They are not dealing on a one-to-one basis with people on the other end, and this has an impact on the responses given/feedback obtained. The people taking part in a web-based survey are not under pressure to impress, and this translates into more candid, more honest feedback – which is what you need, if you are to improve your business. It also helps that the framing of questions in web-based surveys, and the manner in which the question are answered (typically by clicking on checkboxes or radio buttons) yields much more objective feedback.
- It is easier to collate data from web-based customer surveys: With phone based surveys, the people making the phone calls (the surveyors) often have to write down the responses received from customers, for future analysis. Alternatively, the phone calls soliciting feedback have to be recorded. This is very different from web-based customer surveys where the answers given to the customers survey questions automatically go to databases. So those are databases from where the answers can be very easily analyzed. With phone-based customer surveys, you find that you sometimes have to replay the recordings of the phone calls made to customers, to know what the customers said. It can be maddening having to listen to hundreds or thousands of such recordings, and analyzing what is being said, to get a clear picture of what the customers are saying. With web-based customer surveys, things are obviously much easier.