Email has become a popular way for businesses to collect customer feedback, but is it really the best option? The answer is No, No, and No. In this blog post, we’ll share all the cons of using emails for customer feedback – with ONE exception and why you should consider alternatives. Read on to learn more!
Before we begin – we should understand why email might be considered an effective medium, simply because of its use. In fact according to DigitalInformationWorld – email is the most popular B2B feedback collection method:
Moreover, consider the following reach and frequency statistics – which show emails in a receptive light:
REACH – HIGH
It is difficult to determine an exact number of email accounts as new accounts are constantly being created and old ones are being deleted. However, as of 2021, it is estimated that there are over 4.5 billion email. This means a business could reach almost all of its customers
FREQUENCY – HIGHER!
The average office worker receives 126 emails a day users worldwide – so they are used to receiving emails
ACTION – HIGH
And open rates can be high. In fact, the highest open rates are found in government-related emails, with an open rate of 28.77%.
INFLUENCE – YEP – HIGH AS WELL!
And they can be effective – 68% of Millennials say that promotional emails have influenced their purchase decisions
So why oh why are we complaining about emails being ineffective for feedback??
The Issues using Emails for Customer Feedback
Where do we start?
Emails end up in Spam – so you never have the opportunity for feedback – consider this:
According to Statista, nearly half of the emails sent worldwide are spam.
Emails are seen as phishing – so are never opened – consider this:
- Nearly 96% of phishing attacks are conducted using email.
- 39% of individuals have said they received at least one suspicious email attachment.
- 15% of individuals said they received an email impersonating their organization.
According to APWG’s Phishing Activity Trends Report for Q4 2021 phishing attacks hit an all-time high in 2021. With more than 300,000 attacks recorded in December, these incidents have become more than three times as common as they were less than two years ago.
Emails are sent to the wrong address – so no way are you getting feedback!
So, you’ve accidentally sent an email to the wrong person. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to Tessian research, over half (58%) of employees say they’ve sent an email to the wrong person.
Emails are ignored or forgotten – no feedback or late feedback
Remember that we get too many emails to really take care of them.
According to Oberlo, worldwide, the number of emails sent and received per day in 2023 is 347.3 billion—a 4.3% increase from the previous year, when the number of emails sent and received per day registered at 333.2 billion. This figure is set to further increase by a similar margin in 2024, hitting 361.6 billion.
This means that emails can be easily ignored or forgotten in a cluttered inbox.
Email survey response rates are low:
Assuming that the email is actually received and review – how many people respond? The response rate to email surveys is typically low, and the feedback collected may not be as detailed or specific as feedback collected through other methods such as in-person interviews or interactive surveys. The email response rate is lower than average according to PointerPro:
Email survey responses are inaccurate because they are after the fact
Response rates increase when you ask for feedback immediately after the goods/services are delivered. Immediate feedback is also 40% more accurate than feedback collected just 24 hours later.
Now the next one is important
Email survey responses are too late for action to be taken – so worthless
Imagine having a bad experience at a retailer, only to find they send you an email survey 4 days later. WHY? And what possible value does this have (assuming you even respond) 4 days after the event. Moreover this really means:
- 4 days worth of the same error affecting other customers
- 4 days worth of customer defection
- 4 days worth of negative online complaints
To sum up, email surveys can seem attractive AND for some customers maybe the only way they will talk hence a useful tool in gathering customer feedback. But it’s important to consider the pros and cons before deciding if it’s the right option for your business. Email surveys may be easier to set up, but they can also result in lower response rates, longer completion times and inaccurate results. Alternatives such as point of experience / on the spot feedback are more efficient and effective as they can be used at any point in the customer journey and provide an opportunity for the business to take immediate action.
We think, emails are an outdated and unreliable method for collecting customer feedback. Companies should instead invest in on-location customer feedback programs that offers a secure, fast, and convenient way to gather customer feedback.