More evidence is emerging from TPTracker SURVEY users that online surveys pick up negative feedback more effectively than postal methods.
A recent update to the 2016 TPTracker Benchmark Report on ‘The satisfaction of online survey respondents‘ adds further weight to the previous findings. This demonstrated that responses obtained online show generally higher levels of negative feedback than those obtained by other methods.
In the research reported in this latest update, responses obtained via email links to an online survey portal showed 9% lower satisfaction than those obtained by post for the same questionnaire.
AGE DIFFERENCES ARE NOT SIGNIFICANT
This difference was seen across ALL age groups, discounting the popular concept that more of the younger people respond online and younger people are less satisfied, therefore online results will show lower satisfaction. There is no evidence here to support this simplistic explanation.
Although the access to online surveys is greater amongst the young, they have a very low response rate (by any methodology). For those aged 65+ the access to online surveys is lower but is still significant and their response rate is very high: in this example around 47% compared with 32% by post.
And for those aged 65+ their satisfaction is around 15% points lower online compared with by post.
WHAT IS CAUSING THIS?
The data does not provide any insight into the reason why online respondents show more negative feedback than those using other methods, but this is potentially a valuable line of enquiry:
- Does a respondent find it easier to express dissatisfaction when responding online than when using other survey methods?
- Or is a dissatisfied customers willing to share their views online when they would not do so by other methods?
- Does ‘online’ feel more anonymous and therefore offer a safer environment in which to speak honestly?
If one assumes the negative feedback obtained is genuine, then postal surveys are clearly not picking this up and are therefore not accurately reflecting the views of customers, if used in isolation.
With multi-channel feedback are we now getting closer to the truth?