With many large companies currently grappling with the implementation of Customer Experience Management (CXM/CEM) systems, one tool currently being deployed is the Incentivised Feedback Survey.

In the UK, retailers particularly have adopted this tool on mass, with such companies as New Look, Primark, Mountain Warehouse and supermarket giants Morrisons and Tesco all having recently implemented such schemes. Fast-food is another sector in which this tool has also gained popularity, with brands KFC and Pizza Hut leading the way.

Incentivised Feedback Survey schemes themselves are designed in most cases to tempt customers into taking the time to complete a feedback survey with respect services and/or products, with the reward often being in the form of entry to a prize draw or a discount against future goods or services.

Typically Incentivised Feedback Surveys are based online, and utilise a unique URL (sometimes arrived at via a QR code scanned into a mobile device) directing the user to a site separate to that of the company’s main website, or redirecting to 3rd party survey services. In either case this extra site usually functions solely as a bespoke online survey tool that has been tailored to suit the author company.

It is important to recognise that the design of these surveys are currently not always to suit their customers too, often lengthy, there are some poor examples of this tool now in existence which can give rise to a high abort rate. Further to this when analysed, one struggles to find evidence that the data from Incentivised Feedback Survey schemes will be from a full cross-section of a company’s customer base, indeed there is clearly a danger that data will more often come from lower socio-economic groups who will be more motivated to sacrifice their time for entry to a prize draw, or for a relatively small future discount against goods and services.

Despite their drawbacks, Incentivised Feedback Survey schemes certainly do provide extremely valuable data to many organisations as part of a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program, but managers tasked with introducing CXM do sometimes make erroneous assumptions that it provides a total closed loop feedback solution which it clearly does not. Indeed the Incentivised Feedback Survey should ideally be used in conjunction with other feedback tools, and the feedback from all customer touchpoints rather than as the only the one instrument within a CXM system.

A touched on a good CXM system does requires as an integral part a closed loop feedback system for which an Incentivised Feedback Survey scheme doesn’t ideally tick the box, though some vendors have sought to adapt their systems to try to with ‘customer rescue’ as an option within the Incentivised Feedback Survey process. In devising feedback schemes as part of CXM systems it is vital to remember that the primary goal is to avoid customer churn, therefore catching real-time opinion by way of closed loop feedback from the customers who are disgruntled (and therefore less likely to fill out long surveys) and who are motivated to imminently change suppliers, is worthy of a greater focus than the general feedback data obtained from Incentivised Feedback Surveys.

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