The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said: “Change is the only constant.” If Heraclitus were around today, surely he’d suffer whiplash from observing our rapid pace of change. Consumer sentiment can shift with one bad experience, one poorly phrased company tweet, or even the best intentions that ring hollow. That’s why more and more companies are augmenting their annual NPS efforts with quarterly or even monthly CPS or Customer Pulse Surveys.
What is a Customer Pulse Survey
To understand what a CPS is, let’s relate it to something familiar, school. We were given an end-of-year exam to objectively score how well we learned a subject in high school and higher education. That exam is much like your NPS, an objective score on how your customers feel about you. However, we also regularly took short quizzes and tests to monitor our overall progress on a subject throughout the year in school. Think of these regular quizzes as your CPS; only with a CPS, we typically want to ask the same (or mostly the same) questions each time.
Customer Pulse Surveys are more subjective and focus on just a few questions. They are sent out more frequently on a quarterly or monthly basis. Simply put, they are brief check-ins with your customers on one or two more focused topics.
NPS, or Net Promoter Score surveys, look at the data from a broad and objective point of view; how the customer would recommend a company on a scale of 0 to 10. CPS questions tend to be more subjective with a narrow focus. Here are a few examples.
Everyone is increasingly more cost-conscious these days. A supermarket chain might send out monthly surveys asking, “Please rate how our weekly specials are meeting your (or your family’s) needs.” Based on the score, the follow-up questions could be conditional and even influenced by the customer’s purchase history. A survey like this accomplishes two important things; 1) gathers valuable customer information and; 2) shows the customers they care about helping with cost savings.
B2B SaaS Software Company
The SaaS business model is typically based on usage. The more customers consume the service, the more revenue gets generated. A SaaS company might send out a quarterly survey that asks, “How familiar are you with all the functionality and features of our API?” Again, based on the score and customer information, the follow-up questions could be conditional, and even, “Would you take a free training course on the analytics features?” This example is excellent; it mixes product research while staying connected to the needs of the customer.
The above two examples are a good look at leveraging the same question asked at regular intervals. Customer Pulse Surveys are often also used for one-off customer check-ins. Here are two more examples.
Life Insurance Company
Products such as life insurance and home mortgages can have a lengthy onboarding process, often involving several steps and information gathering. Once an insured is approved and underwritten, a life insurance company might ask, “How would you rate the onboarding experience you just completed?” Follow-up questions could become very detailed based on the score given and the customer’s product mix. In this case, the insurance company is subtlely communicating that they know the boarding process needs improvement and would like the customer’s help.
What did we open with, “Change is the only constant?” Every company, at one point, goes through significant events that can influence customer perception. Examples are an acquisition, a change in leadership, an S-1 filing, a class-action lawsuit, and more. A short CPS can often get deep into the customer’s sentiment and reveal valuable insight that could influence corporate messaging.
Customer Pulse Surveys By Phone
You’re convinced, Customer Pulse Surveys are precisely what you need right now. The most important thing about the CPS is speed. You are engaging your customers because you need to know something important right now. Not weeks from now as email and web results are tabulated, and certainly not next year as part of your NPS effort. Voice surveys by phone provide you with the voice of your customer at the speed of now. Results are instantly compiled and pushed to your analytics dashboard (Qualtrics XM, for example) in real-time. For CPS, outbound voice surveys are the best platform for rapid and reliable results.
Improving Outbound Voice CPS Response Rates
Not everyone is going to be willing to respond to an unsolicited survey by phone. But there are tactics you can use that will dramatically improve response rates. Here are some ideas:
The supermarket might have in-store signage promoting the monthly survey and how it will help the company fine-tune its weekly specials. Even better, offer regular in-store perks for completing the survey, like a free coffee or donut from the bakery.
SaaS Software Company
Promote the survey in your regular newsletter to customers. Enter respondents into a drawing of $50 gift cards of their choice.
Life Insurance Company
Inform new customers upfront that you’ll be checking in on their progress with short surveys and that their feedback is vital to serving them better.
Customer Pulse Surveys: Get Insight NOW
Customer pulse surveys by phone enable you to stay on top of the change happening in the marketplace with real-time insight. You’ll be armed with timely feedback on the issues that are important to your customers right now. Contact us to find out more about customer pulse surveys by phone. You can be the change, and we can help.