SMS surveys guide: How to get valuable customer feedback

Topic: How-to guides, SMS
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Engage customers and staff and make informed business decisions with instant feedback from SMS Surveys…

SMS surveys can help you engage your customers and staff, gather instant feedback, improve customer experience and gain a fresh perspective on the business challenges you face. 

Learn why they can be such a useful tool and how to get started in our guide below. 

What are SMS surveys?

Every organisation can benefit from gathering honest feedback, whether from customers, or staff. SMS surveys shrink down the traditional questionnaire into a two-way text conversation, with one survey question at a time sent to the recipient’s mobile phone or device using SMS software.

SMS surveys are convenient for recipients, who can respond in their own time and often find the personalised, quick-fire questions easy to engage with. And the higher response rates make it a cost-effective way for businesses to gather fast and valuable feedback and insights. 

Planning your SMS survey

There are three main steps to planning and creating an effective SMS feedback survey: 

  1. Decide on the survey type

Before you start, have a clear goal to work towards. Think about what you’re trying to find out, or the problem you’re trying to solve. 

  • Market research surveys allow you to gather information about customer perceptions and preferences, brand awareness and the competitive landscape.
  • Lead generation surveys help you grow your business – they give you a list of prospects and help you gauge their interest in your products or services.
  • Brand awareness surveys help to reveal how customers really see you, how effective your marketing and promotions have been and where you could improve.
  • Customer satisfaction surveys tell you how happy people are with your company and products or services and are useful in nurturing loyalty and retention.
  • Event feedback surveys allow you to collect attendees’ opinions and help shape future events. 
  • Employee surveys may take the form of new-hire surveys, employee satisfaction surveys, training evaluation surveys or exit interviews.
  1. Build your participant list

You can send your survey to any contacts you already have, providing they’ve opted in to receive SMS from your company. To grow your database, you could add a tick-box feature for customers to opt in to messages at the point of online purchase. You can also obtain contacts from SMS survey software providers. 

  1. Craft your questions 

To get meaningful, actionable survey data, you need to write your questions carefully. The SMS format lends itself to quick-fire questions, using straightforward language so there’s no room for misinterpretation. For ease of responding, and to avoid ambiguity, you might want to stick to mainly yes / no (or true / false) questions. A Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures satisfaction and loyalty on a scale of 1-10, can also be useful. 

Knowing when to use SMS surveys

The best time to use SMS surveys depends on how it fits into the bigger picture. 

Feedback and insights are invaluable when there are big decisions to be made – for example about the future direction of your business, brand, product range or communication strategy. 

But feedback requests can be a more regular thing too. As long as you’re not bombarding people or taking up too much of their time, routine surveys – triggered whenever the customer makes a purchase or calls customer services, for example – can be a valuable part of your ongoing customer retention strategy. 

Asking for feedback in this way can help you make continuous improvements as your business grows and gives you an opportunity to respond quickly to individual customer concerns and complaints. It can also help to create loyalty, particularly if you can demonstrate that you act on customers’ feedback. 

SMS survey use cases include:

Driving customer loyalty 

When you consider that winning new business can cost five to seven times more than retaining an existing customer, any opportunity to build loyalty and learn more about your customer base is worth taking. SMS feedback surveys are quick, non-intrusive, and get a great response rate. 

Determining product viability 

SMS surveys are cost-effective and yield high response rates, making them especially useful when you need a large sample size to understand the market. 

Improving employee wellbeing

Staff surveys can boost morale, open the lines of communication and support new ideas. They can also serve as an early warning system, helping you to identify and swiftly rectify any problems or concerns across the organisation.

Planning events

From menu choices to access requirements, SMS is a quick and convenient way to manage attendee preferences ahead of big events. Responses can be stored and shared easily to keep everyone informed and ensure the event runs smoothly. 

Cleaning up your database

Many businesses struggle with out-of-date or inaccurate customer data. SMS surveys are a cost-effective way to keep your database current. A simple text is much less intrusive than a phone call and means customers can respond at a time that suits them.

What are the benefits of using SMS surveys?

There are a number of benefits to choosing SMS as the channel for your surveys – some of the main ones include: 

Higher engagement

The fast and familiar format of SMS means you can expect consistently high engagement compared to other communication channels. 

Fast responses

With SMS, recipients receive notifications instantly – and generally open and read them in minutes. It’s great for getting feedback on things that have just happened, like an event or customer service call, when  it’s at the forefront of the recipient’s mind.

Scale and reach

Our powerful survey tool fits with your existing workflows and processes, making it easy to manage surveys at scale. SMS has huge reach and doesn’t require an internet connection, making it accessible to more people. 

Meaningful insights

You can use analytics to extract actionable insights from survey data, including trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. 

Cost efficient

Given the typical open and response rates of SMS, it’s extremely cost-effective. The more messages you send, the cheaper they become. 

Are SMS surveys worth it?

So are SMS surveys worth sending? It’s a resounding yes. Fast, engaging and super convenient, they allow you to interact with your customers on a one-to-one level – while gathering feedback at scale. 
To find out more, check out our web pages on SMS marketing and SMS surveys, or get in touch to talk about your requirements with a member of our expert team.

Author Avatar
Laura Haynes

Hey I'm Laura, UK&I Marketing Manager at Esendex 👋 I enjoy developing and implementing marketing strategies and campaign experiences that create brand awareness and drive revenue by winning, growing and retaining engaged customers.