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Get Client Feedback Without "Survey Fatigue"

April 23 2012

surveyThe escalating trend in customer satisfaction surveys has reached such a crescendo in recent years that some of us dread even the smallest query to a technical support number, sales support representative or even a doctor's office. Inevitably at the end of the call, we're asked if we wouldn't mind sparing a few moments out of our busy day to "rate" the experience. The experience of a two minute phone call, that is. When we have a bad (or especially good) experience it's a no brainer, but according to a new article in the New York Times (When Businesses Can't Stop Asking, 'How Am I Doing?'When Businesses Can't Stop Asking, 'How Am I Doing?'), because software companies like SurveyGizmo and QuestionPro have made it possible for small companies to create customer surveys cheaply, we are having these questionnaires come at us so often that a new phenomenon called "survey fatigue" is setting in.

So, how do you prevent this onslaught of surveys from interfering with the reputation marketing you conduct for your real estate business? Here are a few pointers:

Make It Quick and Painless: Our agents recommend presenting client review surveys at closing. This is an opportune time, because everyone is in the same room and in most cases are feeling positive about the transaction.

Communicate the Purpose: Often the customer satisfaction surveys we're asked to complete are tied up to the salary and bonus structure of the people helping us. This fact can make consumers feel at once cynical and guilty about completing one. Communicate to your clients that their opinions are only going to be used to help you hone your skills and services, in addition to displaying for future customers what your strengths are.

No Pressure: It's important to not be pushy about customer feedback. Even those who feel good about their experience with you during the home sale transaction might clam up if they feel pressure about rating your services.

The good news is, as younger homebuyers enter the market, your ability to gather their testimonials for online promotion could increase. According to the article, "There may be a third powerful force that will keep the consumer survey alive — the cult of the personal opinion and information exchange that Internet culture has nourished among younger Americans."

Claes G. Fornell, founder of the American Customer Satisfaction Index and a professor at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, says "Young people send and receive communications at a rate we've never seen before. They don't seem to mind answering surveys if they're not too long. When you think about it, the whole concept of social media is, I'm going to give my opinion whether I'm asked or not."

If you have any suggestions for gathering surveys without creating "survey fatigue," please let us know in the comments section.

To view the original article, visit the ReachFactor blogReachFactor blog.