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Understanding customer experience by using telephone surveys

Why Phone surveys win over online in B2B

Web surveys are everywhere and seem to the absolute winner in customer experience world, but this is true only in B2C, while they are kind of useless (my opinion) in B2B.

A good question is: why do we survey in B2B?

My answer: to understand the behavior of customers and bring change whenever the company is not delivering the brand promise.

In order to take action, you need customer insights and they are not captured by online surveys.

Let’s see why.

The main advantage of web surveys is that they are cheap and easy to be answered. That’s why they’re widely used.

But why are they not suitable in B2B?

Online surveys main problems are:

  1. Low response rate

In B2B the respondents are mainly Executives and Managers that tend not to fill in an online form.

In my personal experience online response rate is lower than 10% (average is 5%) while using the phone is close to 60%.

  1. Scores are not reliable

This is due to the non-measurement errors which are a direct consequence of the low response rate.

The majority of the respondents to online surveys have strong opinions, good or bad, and “those lacking strong feelings are underrepresented in the sample data, causing a non-response bias” as claimed by Dr Van Bennekom and Klaidman in their paper “Survey Mode Impact Upon Responses and Net Promoter Scores” published on “Managing Service Quality” Survey-Mode-Net-Promoter.pdf

  1. Qualitative feedback collected is very poor

“When you add qualitative questions to web surveys, a few things may occur. First very few respondents take the time to fill the information out. Second, they use two or three words with little elaboration…” as Alan Hale wrote in his article How to create raving fans in B2B markets | Articles | published on “QUIRK’S”.

On the contrary Phone surveys in B2B give you back:

  1. High response rate
  2. Reliable scores (no bias)
  3. Good customer insights

What really matters is the WHY behind the score.

Insights feed the decision making process and enable Management to empathize with their customers.

Because customer experience without CHANGE is just a hobby!

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