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POS Surveys Are Ineffective

Jul 10, 2020 | Blog, Retail

POS Survey Problems

Therefore, the POS Surveys have very little value…but there is something MUCH better

Introduction to the POS Survey

Point-of-sale surveys (POS), also known as receipt surveys, are one of the main ways that retailers gather customer feedback. This is done offline, at their brick and mortar stores. The customer’s receipt contains the request for a survey and instruction message  – delivered at checkout. This is done automatically via the POS system. This means it should be a great time to receive feedback.

But we’re finding that this method is ineffective and seriously flawed, so we conclude that the POS survey is pointless.

In fact, receipt customer feedback is quickly being replaced with other on-location methods that are better in delivering feedback. Particularly resulting in greater customer loyalty.


What are POS Surveys?

A point of sale or receipt survey collects feedback by requesting it on the receipt of the purchase. While you maybe have never noticed them before, they are likely on most of your till slips, usually in the form of a web site, QR code or 1-800 number.

The feedback usually covers the shopping experiences, purchases, the customer journey and general satisfaction levels. Feedback is usually via survey questions. Time of visit is automatically recorded as is the store location.

Retailers liked to use this method because it provides an unobtrusive way to get responses from confirmed customers (sometimes on specific products) while also being easy and inexpensive to implement. There is no labor cost and the data is very recent. Moreover, after the initial investment, the ongoing cost is small. However, the initial investment is huge!

In most cases, retailers generally offer some kind of gift card or monthly draw to increase response rates from these types of feedback request.


Who Uses POS Surveys?

Many industries use them – these include:

  • High-street stores
  • Hotels and accommodation providers
  • Movie theaters
  • Other attractions
  • Restaurants, cafes and fast-food chains
  • Health care facilities
  • Gift shops (often seen at attractions – perhaps with in the form of a zoo survey)
  • Independent shops


Does the POS Survey Work?

No….in fact:

POS Surveys Do Not Work





There are just too many disadvantages that other feedback methods overcome. Let us look at some of these problems:

Problem ONE: Environmentally Unfriendly

Paper Receipts and their surveys are choking the planet. According to Square:

Paper receipts do some serious environmental damage. Every year in the United States alone, we waste 1 billion gallons of water10 million trees, and 250 million gallons of oil on something that’s ultimately going to be thrown in the trash. In fact, paper receipts account for 1.5 billion pounds of environmental waste a year.


Accordingly, cash till surveys should not be part of this, nor contribute to the problem.


Problem TWO: You Cannot Get Feedback from Everyone

BUT it is not just about going paperless. POS surveys only receive data from those who have made a transaction. In doing so, they omit data from visitors who browse but did not buy. This is a tremendous waste of an opportunity for data from other visitors.

We think that the more valuable information would be delivered by these non shoppers. For example:

Why didn’t they buy? OR Who else would they buy from?

The answers to these would be of huge strategic value to the retailer, likely yielding a higher return than the confirmation of existing information from customers. 


Problem THREE: Low Response Rate

It has been increasingly found that shoppers will rarely, fill out the survey they find on the receipt. In addition, that only very particular types of shoppers fill out those receipt surveys. Survey response rates are correspondingly low, therefore this causes skewed feedback so never fully represents the entire customer base. This means that any changes you make because of this data will be flawed.

In fact, according to Benbria – today, the response rate of receipt surveys is less than 1% , a significantly low statistic when you consider the number of receipts printed every single day.

This has caused Research-Live to state:

The CONS outweigh the PROS – POS Surveys get a reality check.


Problem FOUR: Inaccurate Data

People have a hard time remembering things accurately. Gartner has proved that this applies to customers, as well. One of their studies concluded that data collected during or directly after a customer experience is 40% more accurate than data collected 24 hours after the experience. Yet we know POS surveys are have super low response rates, and almost never answered on the spot, no matter how simple the question. So any feedback becomes less relevant and less usable over time. Specifically, businesses will never know if there is an issue, so employees are stopped from taking the right corrective action.


Problem FIVE: It’s Too Complicated

POS requests for feedback often involve a long survey code to input…no matter the  incentive or cute survey message. They are not engaging, fun or concise. These complications cause the error rate to skyrocket. Why can’t businesses make it simpler?


Problem SIX: Strong Likelihood of a Poor Customer Experience

When it comes to receipt surveys, shoppers have to go through an entirely different interaction with businesses. Likely this is going through whatever web portal or site is set up to administer the survey. This could completely taint the accuracy of the information, particularly if the online web portal is not an easy or enjoyable experience. Businesses usually make this tough and give few options.

If the survey experience is negative – the impact on the brand will likewise be negative.


The Alternative to POS Surveys – Use Everyone’s Cell phone for on the spot Feedback

Real customers and real browsers are authentic – so enable them to give feedback at ANY point in their journey with you. Moreover, give input options in your customer feedback process. Make it easy for the customer means an improvement in variety of customer giving their view.

Feedback systems exist to provide you with validated, instant feedback. Armed with this, you can now overcome these five major problems with POS surveys and continuously improve the aspects of your business that you know your shoppers care about.

There are solutions out there that provide customer feedback which captures comments, ratings, and feedback from real shoppers shopper using their mobile phone . This on the spot (at the point of experience) data is in real-time and feedback is generated throughout the customers’ experience and delivered to the business instantly. This means it is used to assess any part of the offer eg. Staff courtesy, queuing, product availability, cleanliness, product quality – even restroom cleanliness . All without external systems or complicated survey codes.

Consequently, you can fix the problem and connect with the shopper – while they are still in your location.

The big benefits here are:


  1. Improved customer retention
  2. Greater long term revenue
  3. Increased operational standards
  4. Fewer complaints on social media
  5. Lower maintenance and HSE exposure
  6. Lower overall feedback costs


The Age of Cell Phone Feedback is Here

Opiniator is a customer feedback and recovery platform, delivered as SaaS.  It captures on location comments, ratings and feedback from real customers using their mobile phone. Negative feedback is immediately sent to the right employees for action. This allows you, as a business owner, to track all feedback and monitor a resolution to any issue. This closed-loop feedback system will help improve business operations and customer satisfaction. There are many options for in store shopper and browser feedback.

This form of real-time feedback capture means that a business can respond and connect with a disgruntled customer before they take their business elsewhere.

It’s time to give receipt surveys and mystery shopping up and use a digital alternative instead ie. a real-time data capturing and actionable customer feedback system using their own cell phone.

Say ‘Adios’ to the POS.


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