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Feedback Management

SMS Surveys: How to Increase Your Response Rate

SMS is a proven effective way of communication. Companies use SMS as a means of sending useful information and updates to their customers. Whether it is promoting a new product, sending notifications of delivery of a product or a bill payment, or sending a bill of the services that customers are using, SMS is used for various purposes.

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When we talk about sending surveys, various other channels like email, website, QR codes, or social media websites cover a large pool of customers nowadays; but SMS never loses its value. SMS is still an effective mode of communication and has a great read rate of 98%, which is much more than email or most other channels having only a 20-30% open rate.

Customer Surveys are a great way to gauge Customer Satisfaction, loyalty and collect overall feedback about the customers’ experience with your products and services. Collecting this feedback is critical in improving your business and enhancing Customer Satisfaction, and SMS Surveys are effective for this purpose.

In this article, we will explore some ways to use SMS Surveys to derive the maximum response rate from the customers. Before that, let us examine what SMS Surveys are and how they are beneficial for your business.

What is an SMS Survey?

An SMS Survey is the one that is sent to the customers to collect the survey response data from them with the use of the Short Messaging Service (SMS) feature that is available on mobile phone devices.

In an SMS Survey, a survey invitation is sent to the customers along with a survey link, going to which the customers can open the survey and respond to it. SMS Surveys are an effective mode of sending surveys and collecting response data from the customers. Let’s explore the various benefits of an SMS Survey.

Benefits of SMS Surveys

Here are the benefits of an SMS Surveys:

1. It is Cost-Effective

One of the most significant benefits of an SMS Survey is its cost-effectiveness. SMS doesn’t require you to incur huge costs. You can easily send surveys to multiple customers through bulk messaging which has a meager cost involved. You do not need to employ people to send surveys to the customers. Neither you need to set up special devices at an appropriate location. Just a mobile device with an SMS value pack, and you are all set to send SMS Surveys.

2. It can be sent to any Mobile Phone

You can send your SMS Survey to any mobile phone and number. You don’t need to worry about the phone which your customers are using. Whether it is a smartphone or a traditional mobile phone without the internet, SMS with the survey link can be sent to all. One useful tool to consider when sending SMS surveys to phone numbers is a phone number lookup service. These services can help you verify the accuracy of the phone numbers in your contact list and ensure that the messages are delivered to the correct recipients. Additionally, some phone number lookup services offer features such as number blocking and spam detection, which can help improve the overall effectiveness of your SMS survey outreach.

3. It has a Wide Reach

The reach of the SMS Survey is too broad, as wide as the reach of mobile phones. Researches suggest that there were around 5.07 billion mobile phones users in the world in 2019, and this number is ever increasing. In the United States, 90% of the population uses mobile phones. You can imagine how vast the reach is.

4. It is Easy to use

Creating and sending SMS Surveys is an easy setup. You don't require a large team or heavy devices for this. With the help of an SMS Survey Software, you can easily send surveys to multiple customers within minutes in a matter of few clicks.

5. It has an Excellent Open Rate

As mentioned earlier, the open rate of SMS is 98%. And people open it within minutes. Researches suggest that 66% of Americans check their phones 160 times a day. When they check their phone and notice an SMS received in the inbox, they cannot avoid opening it.

6. It has a Good Response rate

Not only the open rate but the response rate of SMS is also better than other channels. Researches suggest that the response of text messaging marketing is 45%, which is more than that of email marketing, which is just 6%. Similarly, the response rate of SMS Surveys is also better than email.

7. It is a quick way of sending surveys and getting responses

One of the advantages of SMS Surveys is that it is a quick and instant way of getting customer responses. Most of the time, people carry their mobile devices, and if they get an SMS notification, it is a human tendency to check it immediately. When they open the message and see the survey link with the invitation message, people are most likely to go the link, quickly fill the survey responses, and submit them.

Increasing Response Rate of SMS Surveys

The response rate of SMS Surveys depends on several factors. You can follow these tips and tricks to have a good response rate on your SMS Surveys.

Tips to Increase Response Rate of SMS Surveys

  1. White-Label your SMS Sender ID
  2. Personalize your SMS Surveys
  3. Schedule your SMSes
  4. Automate your SMSes with Integrations
  5. Track your Respondents
  6. Avoid Over-sending Surveys
  7. Be Clear in your Messaging
  8. Create a Mobile-responsive Survey
  9. Follow-up Surveys
  10. Keep your SMS Surveys short

Let’s learn how these ways can help you to increase the response rate of your SMS Surveys:

1. White-Label your SMS Sender ID

There are a lot of promotional messages people receive nowadays. People treat many of them as spam. So it is essential to introduce yourself to the customers. White labeling your SMS Sender ID is the best way out.

White-Label your SMS Survey

The SMS Sender ID can be alphanumeric, and you can use up to 11 characters. Use your brand name as your Sender ID so that the customers can recognize you. If the brand name is more than 11 characters, choose a short form that your customers can easily recognize. This will not only help them identify you but also increases your brand visibility and brand recall.

2. Personalize your SMS Surveys

Personalization is a powerful way to engage your customers. According to some studies done in 2019, 72% of the customers engage only with messages personalized to their interests. For personalization, you should:

  • Mention their name
  • Mention your company name or the branch they visited.
  • Mention any products or services they availed.
  • Mention the name of the salesperson/customer care executive whom they interacted with (if any).

With the help of Placeholder in a good SMS Survey Software, you can easily send SMS surveys to multiple persons using these details without manually editing them in each message. You can send a message like this:

Dear [Customer Name], thanks for visiting us at (Branch Name). We hope you are happy with the new [Product Name] you purchased. We’d love to know your feedback about your experience and how our service agent [Agent Name] did in helping you find the right product for you.

3. Schedule your SMSes

You should pre-schedule your SMS Surveys. This will help you plan and be sure that your SMSes will reach your customers on time. You can schedule your Relationship SMS Surveys to be sent at regular intervals like monthly, quarterly or annual surveys.

4. Automate your SMSes with Integrations

Connect your CRMs, Helpdesk, POS, eCommerce Portals, and other systems to the Feedback App you use to trigger SMS Surveys as soon as there is a transaction. You can trigger survey SMSes to be sent on a purchase just after a bill payment, a delivery, or a membership renewal to know the experience.

To collect product feedback, you can also trigger SMS Surveys after some days of purchase or a week after the purchase to give sufficient time for the customers to get an experience of the product and share more accurate feedback.

5. Track your Respondents

Tracking your respondents means tracking which survey response is sent by which customers. This information helps as a guideline to enhance the satisfaction of various customers. But make sure that it’s permitted legally in your country to track the respondents, as it is not allowed in some countries.

In that case, you can send only Anonymous surveys to the customers. Moreover, in some situations, anonymous surveys are best used, such as for Employee Satisfaction Surveys. Sometimes, employees are not comfortable sharing their feedback in the Employee Feedback Surveys with their names. In that case, sending Anonymous Surveys help better to get more accurate responses.

6. Avoid over-sending Surveys

Take care not to oversend your SMS Surveys. Oversending can cause your survey SMSes to lose value. For instance, you have set triggers to send SMS Surveys automatically to your customers with every transaction. As soon as your customers make a transaction, an SMS would be sent to the customers. This is good in terms of knowing purchase experience, but in the case of frequent buyers, it can do more harm than good.

Receiving the same message, again and again, can irritate your customers, and your survey will lose its value. In this way, your customers would ultimately stop responding to the surveys, and your response rate will fall. To avoid this, you should use the feature of Survey Throttling which controls the sending of surveys. By enabling this feature, you can ensure that no repeat surveys messages are sent to the same customer within a specific time interval.

7. Be clear in your messaging

One of the best practices for using SMS Surveys is to follow a crystal clear approach in your SMS Surveys. Tell the customers the purpose of the survey, how they need to take the survey, and how much time it will take them to complete the survey. You can also include this information in the short invitation message your send to the customers by using lines like “Would you please spare 2 minutes of your time to share your feedback to help us serve you better by filling this short survey.”

8. Create a mobile-responsive Survey

SMS is a feature of mobile phones. So whenever you send an SMS Survey, make sure that it is accessible, and the customers can respond to it through mobile phone devices. If you send the other way, there are high chances of not getting a response, as all the customers do not always have laptops or other digital devices handy. So they can leave the task for doing afterward, or may even decide not to spend time filling the survey.

On the other hand, if your survey is mobile-friendly, your customers are most likely to open the survey when they check the SMS, fill responses and submit it quickly in a flow.

9. Follow-up Surveys

To increase the response rate of your surveys, you can also send follow-up messages to remind your customers gently to respond to your survey. Make sure your reminder is soft, and you do not blame the customer for forgetting to fill the survey.

10. Keep your SMS Surveys Short

SMS is meant to be short. An SMS has a limitation of only 160 characters. If you send more than that, then it will be delivered in pieces separately. This will never appear suitable, and people may lose interest in reading the separate chunks of messages.

So ensure to cover all the things in the message along with your brand name and survey link in 160 characters to make it simple for the customers to read and respond. A long message will also add to your cost as it will take more messages to send a long survey invitation and link.

Simplicity is the key to do this. Send a simple and clear invitation message with the survey link, which should open in nano-seconds, and the customers can take the survey. If your link is long, you can also use URL shorteners like Bitly.

When to Send SMS Surveys?

Timing of sending an SMS Survey is an essential aspect that also determines the response rate of the surveys. A survey sent at an appropriate time can lead to an excellent response rate. On the other hand, sending SMS Surveys at inappropriate times can result in a no response or even a lower open rate.

Never send your SMS Surveys at odd timings like late at night or early morning. Everybody has his work stuff, and in the early morning, most people are busy rushing to get on their work. At such a time, your Survey SMS can be ignored, or the customers can postpone the task of filling the feedback survey for the later part of the day, which usually never comes as people tend to forget about such tasks.

If you send surveys late at night, your customers may be busy with their families, having dinner, or sleeping. At that time, they would not like any SMS alerts disturbing them and asking them to fill a survey. Therefore, you should avoid such odd timings and send SMSes at the right time, like after lunchtime or in the evening.

Similarly, sending surveys on Mondays mornings can result in a lower response rate. Whereas, in the mid of the week, like on Wednesday and Thursday, you can get a better response rate. However, these facts can vary depending upon the nature of your work and the customers' demography. You can also do A/B testing to find the most appropriate timings of sending SMS Surveys.

A/B Testing to Find Suitable Time for sending surveys

A/B testing is a technique where you experiment on two methods or timings to do a particular task. If you think more than one timings seem to be appropriate for sending surveys, and you want to discover the most suitable among them, you should use the A/B testing technique.

Suppose you are confused about two timings which seem to be most appropriate than all others, and you want to know which one suits you the best. In this case, you can use this technique. For this, you should divide your potential respondents into Group A and Group B. Then send SMS Surveys at one particular time to Group A and at the other time to Group B, and then see the response rate of both the groups.

Choose the time that yields a better response rate than the other. This would be the best time to send survey and collect Customer Feedback. In this way, you can discover the most appropriate timings to send your SMS Survey.

By using these tips and tricks and sending Surveys at correct timings, you can make your SMS Surveys effective to collect Customer Feedback and increase the response rate on your SMS Surveys.

Nikhil Dawer

Written by Nikhil Dawer

Sep 24, 2021

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