SMS Survey Best Practices

SMS Surveys are perfect for reaching people that are always on the move. Quick and convenient, they can also be an ideal way to follow up on phone calls and in-person interactions.

There are many situations where SMS represents the ideal means of delivery for your surveys but we can address that directly in a later post. For now, here are 10 key practices that will help ensure the quality of you SMS Survey campaigns.

  1. Brevity is key
    Keep both the length of messages and number of questions to a minimum. The longer surveys are, the less likely respondents are to completing them. Therefore, make sure questions are clear and direct and only ask questions that are vital to the purpose of your survey.
    Keeping your SMS survey message brief doesn’t mean that you should use text speak, however, as it could make words harder to read and make you look unprofessional.
  2. Introduce yourself
    Even if you have exchanged messages with the recipients of a survey before, it is always good practice to introduce yourself. We all receive a lot of text messages so taking the time to reintroduce yourself and the purpose of the survey will help avoid any confusion and instil confidence in the customer.
  3. Following up on the Survey
    We are all busy, often juggling multiple things at once. This can mean that somebody who has opened the survey or has every intention to complete it might still forget to. This is why sending follow-ups can be so valuable. Automate follow-up messages to be sent to those who have not yet completed their survey and you’ll see response rates shoot up.
    It is also a good idea to follow-up when customers have given a response. MS are a very personal communication channel so you should treat it as such—there’s no better way to show that you care about the feedback.
  4. Make sure you are compliant
    Remember, SMS falls under regulations such as GDPR. This means that the individuals you send surveys to should be opted in to your communications and always be given the option to opt-out. For more details around this please click here.
  5. Experiment and respond to optimise your feedback
    There are a few different factors that can have an impact on the success of a survey that can be easily tested. Don’t be shy in trying different things to see what works for you and your particular audience.
    One great example of this is the time you choose to send your surveys. The best time to send your SMS survey is going to depend a lot on the demographics of your customers (such as working hours) as well as if you have customers in different time zones.
    Another could be the type of language you use. Sometimes a conversational tone will work, other times a more formal approach might be necessary.
    Try out different things, observe the results and use your findings to hone how you conduct surveys.
  6. Make sure your calls to actions are clear
    Whether the CTA is to respond to a particular question with a number from 1 to 5, or follow a URL to a webhosted survey or website, make sure you remove any ambiguity by using clear and direct language.
    Adding a straightforward CTA to either your survey as a whole, or a specific survey question, results in even the most distracted customer knowing exactly what you want from them.
  7. Limit the frequency of SMS communications
    Like with any communications channel, one of the worst things you can do is send too many SMS to your customers. The more frequently you message them the less important each message becomes.
    Not having a handle on your SMS frequency can lead to consumers opting out from your messages thereby reducing the effectiveness of future campaigns.
    Make sure, therefore, that your SMS Surveys are being sent out as part of a balanced communications mix. You can manage this on our platform by limiting the number of SMS communications any particular individual receives over a given time period.
  8. Utilise opportunities to personalise your outbound SMS
    As with any means of communications, people are more likely to respond to your SMS survey when they feel like it was meant just for them. In addition to the usual addition of personalising names, there are ways to automate the addition of taking a more personal tone by including the reason for reaching out.
  9. Think carefully about your questions
    Survey objectivity is of prime importance. This means you should take extra care when reviewing questions to make sure that both the content and style of question is correct for what you are asking. This means avoiding loaded language that might bias a recipient, wrapping up two questions in one, the use of double negatives and so on.
    We have another blog post that contains a thorough review of different question styles and when to use them so if you would like to find out more, please click here.
  10. Survey triggers
    There are lots of different ways to initiate an SMS Survey and it is therefore another important consideration when setting up a survey campaign.
    If you are looking for seasonal or time sensitive feedback from a large group then sending out survey invites directly to them at a scheduled time is an easy way to reach your audience directly.
    Alternatively, if you are wanting to receive feedback around a particular interaction such as the completion of a call, automating surveys so that they are sent out in upon completion of this action is essential for timely delivery.
    Finally, if you are instead looking to set up surveys as a voluntary feedback mechanism, the use of easy to remember shortcodes might be useful. When set up correctly, this would allow anyone who knows the shortcode to text that number to initiate the survey.

With SMS consistently enjoying some of the highest rates of engagement across the whole communications mix, whilst also offering exceptional value for money when compared with the alternatives, SMS surveys are a fantastic way to improve the quality of customer relations and receive valuable, timely feedback.

More Information on SMS Surveys

For more information, please see our SMS Surveys page – click here.