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How Timing Feedback Requests Improve Your Response Rates

How Timing Feedback Requests Improve Your Response Rates

Many factors can determine the response rate of your feedback survey: how the survey is delivered, how it looks, the quality of your contact list. But another key factor is when you ask customers to provide feedback. One way to improve the response rate of your feedback survey, especially those launched via email, is to carefully consider the timing of the survey.

Some research studies argue that companies should see a response rate for emailed surveys of at least 50%. However, each also reports that response rates are based, in part, on timing. When a survey is delivered is an important contributing factor to the completion of the survey.

Here are a few considerations you should make when emailing customers a feedback request.

Avoid Lag Time

As the saying goes, strike while the iron is hot. If your company allows too much time to elapse between an event and survey follow-up, you’ll miss out on a prime opportunity to reach customers while they still have specific details in mind. You’ll also lose the ability to detect—and begin diffusing—any complaints or service issues at the earliest phase, when they’re generally more solvable.

Timeliness helps response rate (and improves the accuracy of the feedback gathered). Look at when you are going to send your survey. Make sure your customer has their experience fresh in their mind. If they conducted business with you earlier this week, they’ll remember. If they conducted business with you 2 months ago, their feedback might be hazy or colored by a more recent experience.

  • Oracle recommends a 24-hour window from the time of last transaction.
  • Gartner confirms this finding, adding that feedback collected immediately after an event is 40% more accurate than feedback collected after the initial 24-hour window.

If customers wait any longer to provide feedback, there is a good chance their responses will be more reflective of their feelings of the brand than their actual experience. The feedback is, then, less useful, as you will will not receive specific insights which could be used to provide better service in the future.

Consider the Time of Day

Sending your online survey during a time of day when people are generally very busy will likely reduce your chances of survey completion. Additionally, sending your online survey during a time when your respondents are unreachable will also have a profoundly negative effect on your response rates. Plan your survey administration accordingly. Sending your online survey at the most ideal time of day increases your chances of reaching your desired audience.

Most of the research supports the idea that survey open and click rates will increase as the day progresses.

  • An Experian study shows that open and click rates are at their lowest in the morning.
  • Mailchimp suggests survey responses are likely to increase around 4:00 pm and peak at 8:00 pm.
  • MailerMailer’s 6-month study found that completion rates increase between 6:00pm and midnight.

The general consensus is that Monday mornings and Friday afternoons experience the lowest response rates.

Consider the Day of the Week

While there is no conclusive data to confirm that a specific day of the week is the absolute best for requesting feedback, studies do point towards some general findings that could affect how substantial or how weak your survey response rates will be.

  • For example, Zendesk reports the findings of a study which shows that, typically, most people tend to open and respond to email on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • GetResponse concurs, also citing Tuesday as an especially productive day for most people when it comes to opening an email.
  • Experian further reinforces the notion that response rates increase on Tuesdays.

Tuesdays may work for most businesses but, of course, every business will experience some variations. For this reason, it’s best for you to experiment to see which days work well for you.

Timing is Everything

There are many ways to ask for feedback but emailing surveys continues to be a popular and effective way to collect customer knowledge. By making a few careful decisions about when to email a request for feedback, you will likely see a noticeable difference in response rates.

Download Ebook How Top Fortune 500 Companies Increased Their Performance Using Customer Feedback