How to increase your response rate

by SmileBack
clock
11 min read

Increasing your response rate is key to increasing customer retention and reducing churn. 

But even with a feedback system designed specifically for MSPs like SmileBack, there’s no magic bullet to driving more survey responses.

The good news is, the response rate is something that you can easily manage if you follow the right steps.

And that’s precisely what we’re going to show you how to do in this guide. We’ll share our best tips and practices for increasing your response rate, including drag and drop templates that you can use in customer communications.

Table of contents 

  • Run onboarding campaigns to introduce SmileBack to clients
  • Launch promotion campaigns to reward participation
  • Incentivize employees to collect customer feedback
  • Reply to negative or neutral feedback immediately
  • Leverage feedback to build more personalized relationships
  • Tips to get NPS and CSAT campaigns more visibility
  • Wrapping up

Run onboarding campaigns to introduce SmileBack to clients

First and foremost, your clients need to know:

  • That you have a feedback system
  • What it is (and why it matters)
  • How to use it

If you skip over this critical first step, your clients may be confused as to why they’re receiving surveys in the first place. And, they’ll have no idea that their responses will help you to provide them with a better service and experience.

To overcome initial barriers, tell your clients about SmileBack immediately. It’s important to have these conversations during onboarding and kick-off, but the information could get lost in the shuffle.

The easiest way to ensure it sticks is to promote SmileBack in an email blast. In the email, let them know:

  • How often they’ll receive surveys
  • Where they’ll receive them 
  • How to respond to them
  • How your team will manage and reply to their feedback (and how quickly)
  • Why surveys are important

Here are some email templates to help you navigate this initial communication:

Email template to introduce CSAT surveys

Subject: Introducing quick and easy CSAT surveys

Email copy:

Hi [Name],

At the close of every support ticket, you will receive an email with a one-question survey that takes less than one minute to complete.

Your answers help us understand:

-How you feel about our products, service offerings, procedures, and level of service

-What you feel could be improved 

At the top of each email, you will see three smiley faces. One happy (green), one neutral (yellow), one red (sad).  

To let us know how we did, select the one that most represents your experience. You’ll then be able to leave a comment if you’d like to detail the reasons behind your rating.

These insights help us provide you with a consistently positive service and experience. If you leave a negative or neutral response, we’ll respond within [INSERT TIMEFRAME] so we can address and fix any issues immediately.

All the best,

[Your Name]

Email template to introduce NPS surveys

Subject: Introducing quick and easy NPS surveys

Email copy:

Hi [Name],

Once a [MONTH/QUARTER] you will receive a one-question email survey that takes less than one minute to complete.

The question asks how likely you are to recommend us to a friend or colleague on a scale of 0-10. 

Your answers help us understand:

– How well we are able to meet your needs

– If there’s anything we can do to improve your experience

After choosing a number on the scale, you’ll be able to leave a comment if you’d like to detail the reasons behind your scoring.

These insights help us provide you with a consistently positive service and experience. If you leave a negative or neutral response, we’ll respond within [INSERT TIMEFRAME] so we can address and fix any issues immediately.

Note: The email will be sent from [insert email NPS survey will be sent from]. If possible, please add this address to your contacts list so it doesn’t get caught in your spam folder.

All the best,

[Your Name]

Launch promotion campaigns to reward participation

You’re asking your clients to continuously take time out of their day to leave you feedback. Thanking them is critical, but to increase response rates, consider rewarding their participation. 

We don’t mean monetarily. The last thing you want to do is skew the results towards the positive, as negative and neutral feedback is incredibly valuable and helps you improve your operation.

Instead, once a month, choose a review at random and send that individual (or office) a gift with a card from your team. This works to:

  • Show your gratitude
  • Add a personal touch to your client-interactions
  • Motivate clients to continue to leave feedback, as they understand how valuable it is to your business

Here’s what the card could look like:

Card template to reward participation (for positive feedback)

Card copy:

Hi [Name],

On [DATE], you left us a positive review. 

We wanted to thank you for taking the time to leave us this valuable feedback. Understanding what we’re doing well helps us expand well-performing processes on a wider scale. 

In short, you’re helping us get better. 

In return, we thought we’d send you a token of our appreciation. We hope you enjoy it!

Thank you from all the team here at [YOUR COMPANY NAME].

Card template to reward participation (for negative or neutral feedback)

Card copy:

Hi [Name],

On [DATE], you left us a [NEGATIVE/NEUTRAL] review. 

We wanted to thank you for taking the time to leave us this valuable feedback. Understanding where we’re falling short helps us improve our services and ultimately provide you with a better experience.

Because you helped us identify and address a problem, we thought we’d send you a token of our appreciation. We hope you enjoy it!

Thank you from all the team here at [YOUR COMPANY NAME].

Incentivize employees to collect customer feedback

If your employees don’t understand the importance of client feedback, they may not feel motivated to take it seriously.

Just like introducing SmileBack to your clients, you need to explain to your employees: 

  • Why feedback is important
  • What you expect of them in regards to acting on feedback
  • What they will receive in return for their hard work

To do this, build business processes that explain exactly how to respond to feedback. Keep them short, simple, and easy to understand. 

At SmileBack, our general processes are as follows:

  • We ensure feedback is visible to the entire team via a dedicated Slack channel so that everybody stays in the loop
  • We respond to every negative or neutral review within two hours, and appoint a designated role to manage ongoing client communications around the issue (this ensures negative responses are handled swiftly and seamlessly) 
  • We internally celebrate positive feedback (especially if the client leaves comments) and tag the agent to celebrate their win
  • In our weekly support meeting, we share the week’s best comments as “Highlights” and run on a retrospective on what went well and why
  • We publish the best comments on our website through the website widget to boost social proof 

Once they understand how to respond to feedback, consider rewarding them for a job well done. Similar to thanking clients with a gift, rewarding your employees will motivate them to keep up the good work.

In your SmileBack dashboard, navigate to the “Reporting” tab, click on “Performance Reports” and then group by “Agent”.

Here, you can see “Client Satisfaction by Agent”, including their Net CSAT Score, Response Rate, number of Reviews, and a specific breakdown of positive, negative, and neutral feedback.

If your teams are arranged in boards (rather than individually), you can also see which teams are performing the best by filtering by “Segment”.

You can reward your top-performing employees with gifts or with public praise. However, be cautious about leaning on rewards as the primary way to motivate employees. Receiving a reward (or not) should not affect how hard your employees work to act on feedback.

Instead, tie performance incentives to a measurable customer experience. Rather than rewarding the top-performing employee of the month, for example, give out team bonuses when team CSAT scores are above a certain threshold. This not only motivates individuals to perform well but incentivizes teamwork and collaboration.

Reply to negative or neutral feedback immediately

The sooner you reply, the better chance of improving customer satisfaction and reducing churn. When customers see that you care, they’ll realize their feedback is valued and they’ll keep giving it.

To keep on top of feedback, set up an MS Teams integration to monitor responses in real-time from a dedicated feedback channel. You can also set up a Slack integration and monitor it directly from within that platform.

Here’s what a negative review in our dedicated Slack feedback channel looks like at SmileBack:

Here’s our process for addressing this feedback at speed:

  1. When a Negative or Neutral review is received, we see it immediately.
  1. The agent who was working on the ticket comments on our internal discussion thread about what happened. These comments remain factual and describe what they feel could have gone wrong (and why).
  1. Our Customer Lead looks at the ticket and the agent’s comment to gain context. Then, the Customer Lead escalates and answers the review. Their primary goal is to understand what could have been done better and figure out how to fix the problem immediately. If that’s not possible, they present a plan and schedule for a fix.
  1. We create an issue to discuss the negative or neutral feedback in our next Customer support team weekly meeting. For each review, we make sure to find at least one element that could be improved in our processes. We then formalize this element by writing it down and possibly adding it to our support policies.

Templates for answering negative or neutral feedback immediately

The basic structure is always: 

  • Acknowledge and say sorry
  • Try to solve the source of their dissatisfaction immediately
  • Explain that you’re using their feedback to improve

Responding if the issue is unclear

Hi [Name],

Thank you for taking the time to write this feedback to us. I’m sorry that this ticket wasn’t a positive experience for you. 

We’d like to do better, so we’re hoping you’ll give us additional information so that we can ensure we’ve properly dealt with your original request. Or, solve any other issue that has come up since you first opened a ticket with us.

I’d be very happy to talk to you in more detail about this. If you’d like to get on a call let me know some times that work for you.

Best wishes,

[Your Name]

Responding if the resolution was too slow

Hi [Name],

Thank you for taking the time to write this feedback to us. I’m sorry that we didn’t get to the bottom of your problem more quickly.

In reviewing your ticket we have learned how to investigate similar issues more effectively in 

the future, and since updated our processes to reflect those changes. 

If there is anything else that you think we could do to improve our product, service, or support, please let us know. We value your feedback and hope to do a better job from here on out.

Best wishes,

[Your Name]

Responding if the ticket is closed but the problem is still present

Hi [Name],

Thank you for taking the time to write this feedback to us. I’m sorry that we closed this ticket prematurely, and we want to fix our mistake.

Would you be open to hopping on a call to discuss your issue? We’d like to work with you to identify any underlying issues so that we can fix them immediately.

Please let me know some times that work for you this week so that we can resolve this for you.

Best wishes,

[Your Name]

Leverage feedback to build more personalized relationships

Collecting feedback and making improvements based on it is important. But if you don’t show your client how this feedback has helped you better support them, you’re missing out on a big opportunity.

In your dashboard, navigate to “Reporting” and click on “Client Reports”.

Next, in the left-hand box “All Clients” box choose the client you want to send a report to and then click the right arrow button. 

This will move their name to the “Selected Clients” box on the right.

Next, press “Generate Report”. This will prompt the report to populate at the bottom of the screen. 

From here, click “Download PDF” to generate a shareable PDF version of the file. 

We recommend downloading and sharing performance reports on a monthly basis. You can also include a summary of key insights and analysis, such as processes or feature improvements that you’ve made as a direct result of feedback from their team. 

 This way, your client:

  • Understands that feedback is not only meaningful to you but exactly how it helps you do a better job for them
  • Gets to see how satisfied their team is with your business
  • Gains access to key insights and activities that they otherwise may not have been aware of (like key changes you made based on feedback)

Top Tip: You should also share NPS feedback reports in a monthly cadence. To learn more about how to report on NPS data, read our guide to How to Act on NPS Data to Reduce Churn.

Email template for sending a monthly feedback report

Subject: Monthly feedback report

Copy:

Hi [NAME],

We’ve compiled your feedback for the past month and uploaded key metrics and insights into a report. This month, your feedback helped us to:

-[INCLUDE MOST VALUABLE FEEDBACK]

-[INCLUDE MOST VALUABLE CHANGE TO PROCESS/FEATURES BASED ON IT]

Thank you (and your team) for taking the time to give us such valuable feedback this month. It helps us improve our operation and service at every level.

We’ll see you here again next month!

All the best,

[Your Name]

Tips to get NPS and CSAT campaigns more visibility

Besides the general tips we’ve listed above, there are some specific actions you can take to increase response rates and reduce friction.

For NPS, it’s important to automate follow-up reminders to customers that have not yet responded to your campaigns. If they forgot or didn’t have time when they received the original email, this nudge will remind them to take action.

To set this up, head to your dashboard, click on “Campaigns” and then “Campaign Settings”.

Set the toggle to “On” next to “Automatically resend surveys to contacts who have not responded in [timeframe].

We recommend setting the time frame to “1 week”. This way, you’ll be able to closely compare the belated responses to the immediate replies. If you wait too long, the delayed responses won’t be as integral to the campaign results and insights.  

For CSAT, visibility is everything. Make sure to include your survey snippet at the top of your CSAT email (directly underneath the email addresses).

If you place it at the bottom, it can easily get missed. That’s because people are busy and unless they see a CTA right away, they may not scroll to the bottom of an email to find it on their own.

To ensure your snippet is placed correctly, head to your dashboard, click on “Tools” and select “Survey”.

Set up your CSAT survey, then click “Preview Survey and Generate Snippet”.

Press “Copy Snippet” and then follow the instructions given. The screenshot below is ConnectWise specific, but the instructions will change based on your platform.

Once you paste the snippet at the top of your email, it will look like this:

Another tip for CSAT is to remind clients ​of the upcoming survey before closing the ticket.

Your agents can send the following message to clients or users before closing their tickets:

“You’re going to receive a feedback email after I close this ticket. The survey takes less than one minute to complete and involves clicking one of three smiley faces, then leaving optional comments. This feedback helps us improve our services, so please click a smiley face if you have the time. Thanks!”

This way:

  • Clients will expect to receive a survey ahead of time, which sets expectations and gets ahead of any confusion 
  • They’ll understand what it is and how to complete it, which reduces friction
  • They’ll understand that the survey is in fact important to your team and helps you improve your operation

Wrapping up

The key to increasing survey responses is to educate your clients (and team) about the importance of surveys and how they work. 

Once they understand what surveys are and why they’re important, it’s all about continuously showing appreciation when you receive survey responses (or your team does a job well done) and sharing results with your clients so they’re kept in the loop.  

If you follow the tips and templates in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to increasing survey responses in no time.

Want to talk to a member of our team about increasing your response rate? 

Book A Call

Latest Articles

Hey there! Want to stay up to date? Leave us your email address

Stay on top of Customer Success Content

News and articles to help you build
customer loyalty.

    mailing list
    Want to stay up-to-date? Join our mailing list!