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CSAT: 5 Main Reasons Why Customer Satisfaction Surveys Aren’t Working In 2023

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

CSAT: 5 Main Reasons Why Customer Satisfaction Surveys Aren’t Working In 2022

Customer Satisfaction or CSAT Survey responses are at an all-time low. This causes problems like ‘non-response bias’ leaving customer and employee experience specialists baffled as to what their results truly indicate.

5 Reasons Why CSAT Surveys May Have Lost Value In 2023

Survey Fatigue

Regardless of what critics say, survey fatigue is real and has become a worldwide issue, especially in the post-pandemic era where work silos and lapse of communication has become a norm. Almost no one likes to fill out a long questionnaire with a lot of questions. Surveys with too many questions or poorly structured response alternatives will certainly cause your user to abandon the survey before finishing it, and they will be less likely to participate in the future.

Focus on the questions that “really matter” while creating your survey, if any of the questions feel remotely useless, get rid of them. Ask yourself “Do we really need to know the answer to this question?” or “Do we intend to act based on the answers to this question?” If you answered “No” to either of those questions, you may want to delete it.

Lack Of Personalisation


The majority of survey respondents are presumably aware that any of their personal information in an email, such as their name or company name, has been filled out as part of an automated process. However, it has an influence on whether or not people reply. People enjoy seeing their own names, so make your surveys as personalised as possible. It can go a long to way to encouraging engagement with your surveys.

Send surveys from an email address that the receiver is likely to recognise, as well. Keep in mind that your receivers may be receiving a barrage of emails from unknown addresses. We highly advise avoiding sending your survey using a “no reply” email address for these reasons.

Bad Subject Lines

Before they open your email or complete your survey, your participants will read the subject line. This may be the only part of the email they can view without opening it on some devices. A subject line should provide a positive first impression while also being informative and convincing.

A subject line like “Acme Company Survey” may not be enough to pique the reader’s interest. If recipients have a greater understanding of the time commitment they are going to make, how this will benefit them, and if there is a clear call to action, they are more likely to react.

Bad Timing

While ‘what’ you ask your participant matters, ‘when’ you ask them also plays a significant role in the success or failure of a survey. It’s crucial to deliver the survey at the proper time to get a response from your users. This varies by industry, but in general, it corresponds to the onboarding phase of the client lifecycle.

Bad Timing

Source: SurveyMonkey

According to SurveyMonkey, it’s ideal to deploy customer surveys on Mondays, when you’ll get roughly 10% more answers than usual. Mondays are also the greatest days for employees, with roughly 13% more answers than the average.

Average Response Rates

Source: SurveyMonkey

Wrong Target Audience

It’s critical to think about who you want to reply to your survey and take efforts to ensure that they are included as a participant. You may want to distribute surveys to certain points of contact, end-users, or decision-makers inside the firm, depending on the type of input you’re seeking for.

It’s also a good idea to rotate who receives surveys inside a corporation. This not only helps to avoid survey fatigue but also allows you to obtain a range of opinions from your consumers.

5 Effective Ways To Boost CSAT Survey Response Rate In 2023

Try out the five suggestions below and keep track of your improvement. It’s important to remember that increasing response rates is a war of inches. What important is that you’re becoming better over time, which leads to more and better customer and employee feedback.

Move On From Survey Emails

Attract the attention of your employees and increase response rates. Connect with workers directly with timed and targeted pop-up alerts that they can’t ignore. Only deliver communications to workers that are relevant to their digital experience to ensure that they respond. Tools like Nexthink allow such pop-up alerts on your employees’ screens that have proven to be more efficient in getting their response.

Nexthink Pop-up

Credit: Nexthink

Try Different Question Scales

Implementing interactive question formats such as five-star ratings is another method to make your surveys more interesting, but make sure they operate on all devices, including desktops and mobile devices. The simplest choice is a two-scale survey, but its black-and-white nature might miss the shades of grey that customers may be experiencing between “Everything is amazing” and “You’re the worst.”

Configuring a survey to contain three, four, or even five options may help clients who feel “in the middle” respond more quickly. If you don’t believe in neutrality, you could always set up an even-number scale while removing any chance of respondents giving a “diplomatic” answer.

Incentive-Based Surveys

Incentive-Based Surveys

Survey responders can be rewarded with positive sentiments, which is an efficient strategy to enhance response rates. However, ensure that the willingness to answer a survey is incentivised and not the answer itself. If the target audience is “bribed” into giving fake responses, your survey outcome will be polluted with inaccuracies. Such results may look good on the board, however, they will never solve the real problems.

Ask A Professional

Sometimes, finding out the real problem that lies within a survey can be more challenging than it seems to be at first. On the surface, it may look like a very basic issue to solve but when you try to find an answer, it could feel as if you’re stuck in a loop. This is where Bright Horse experts step in.

We have deep experience in designing and delivering customer satisfaction/user sentiment surveys that are aimed at gathering user experience data. We assist customers with both the Art and Science of Surveys, including:

  • The number of questions you should ask.

  • How should you score the answers?

  • How should you phrase questions to solicit a higher response rate?

  • When should surveys be sent out?

  • How often should they be sent out?

  • What is the right coverage for a statistically valid survey?

  • What response rate is statistically relevant?

Find out more about the sentiment survey consultancy provided by Bright Horse.

Monitor Response Rate Over Time

Many factors can influence your organization’s response rates, including company size, ticket volume, the kind of requests you get, client connections, and so on. Of course, the survey itself is a significant element. If a couple of surveys don’t show a decent response rate, don’t get disheartened. Dust yourself off and revise the survey. Was the survey sent out at the wrong time? Did it look too corporate? Reflect and refine.

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