Customers Could Stop Doing Business Because Of A Long Survey

Shep Hyken
3 min readFeb 28, 2024

Why does a company send out a customer satisfaction survey? Generally, it is to find out if they did a good job or what they can do to make the experience better.

In the weekly Super Amazing Show I do with Brittany Hodak, we talked about surveys. The general consensus was that shorter was better. After the show, we heard from John Hughes, who is connected with me on LinkedIn. Here is a shortened version of his comment:

“Saying, ‘Short surveys are better,’ is a bit like saying tall people are better at basketball. Yes, it helps, but you still have to be talented and have that extra ‘something’ to be a professional basketball player. … Rather than focusing on short surveys, I would say companies should truly investigate the principles by which customers choose them and then try to match the survey to the customers’ willingness to help. Ironically, customers at top service companies (think Ritz-Carlton, USAA, Chewy, Amazon, and Navy Federal Credit Union) are actually more willing to take longer surveys because they appreciate the relationship. An unwillingness to take a survey can be the most direct measure they do not value the relationship.”

First, I love John’s comment, especially the analogy to professional basketball. I won’t argue that some brands have customers who are more willing to take longer surveys; however, Brittany and I were talking in general terms. And in general, short surveys get higher response rates. I shared with John that depending on how many surveys are sent out — as in a large number — the company can keep the surveys short and ask different questions, which should give them similar feedback as if they sent out fewer longer surveys.

Here are some findings from our 2024 Customer Service and CX research (sponsored by RingCentral) that back up my comments:

  • In 2024, 67% of customers said they don’t complete surveys if they are too long.
  • Furthermore, almost one in five (19%) of customers stopped doing business with a company or brand because its satisfaction surveys were too long.
  • And 23% of customers stopped doing business with a company because it kept sending too many surveys.

It’s not all gloom and doom for surveys. There are plenty of people who are happy to complete surveys, and we’ll share some of those findings later this year.

Back to John’s comment about customers at top service companies who will take the time to answer longer surveys. There are some rockstar brands that are so good that customers are compelled to share their experience in a survey, be it long or short. But for most of us mere mortals, we should pay attention to what most customers are telling us about customer satisfaction surveys.

Shep Hyken is a customer service/CX expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling author. Learn more about Shep’s customer service and customer experience keynote speeches and his customer service training workshops at www.Hyken.com. Connect with Shep on LinkedIn.

Originally published at hyken.com on February 28, 2023

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Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken, customer service expert, business speaker and New York Times bestselling author, helps companies deliver AMAZING customer service and experiences!