How Teams can use Video to Boost Survey Replies & Customer Engagement

Craig Stoss Craig Stoss · 6 min read

Combining the power of engaging and simple survey software with the humanizing, personalized and scalable power of video can increase your survey reply rate even more.

Your customers’ voices are the most important input to driving positive change within your company, and you must engage effectively with them as often as possible. There are numerous channels with which to communicate with your customers and deciding which one is best is always a struggle.

While traditional channels, such as phone and email, are common, average survey response rates remain low. Companies that want to boost engagement need to find another way.

Jimmy Gagnon, Sales Manager at Vidyard, shared with me his thoughts about the increasing challenge of communicating with customers. “It is becoming harder and harder to engage with a customer base. Companies must choose methods that align with how their customers desire to be communicated to.”

Jimmy sees the industry leaning towards “video as the main channel customers want to receive information through and therefore from which businesses will market products and support their customers.” While Jimmy, as sales manager at a video analytics platform, might be a little biased in favor of video – he’s not wrong. YouTube has already seen incredible growth in people searching for how-to videos.

In this article, let’s review some reasons why survey response rates can be low for traditional channels and how video can help companies boost engagement through a variety of strategies.

Why Traditional Channels See Low Response Rates

Traditional channels for gathering feedback frequently have low survey response rates for 3 reasons:

Surveys are often delayed

The survey request is often asynchronous to the original interaction you are measuring. For example, an email survey is usually delivered after the completion of some event, such as a support ticket closing, and therefore is not seen as part of the experience. In your customers’ eyes, the loop was already closed when the ticket was resolved.

Everyone is inundated with emails and the customers aren’t expecting further communications. In addition, if the customer has had multiple interactions with the company, it may not be clear about which one the survey is asking.

Surveys Require Availability

Surveys require added availability of the customer to complete. For example, a phone call survey requires your customer to be available and willing to engage in a discussion. The customer is often caught off guard or has to agree to some time in the future to discuss. If you catch a customer off guard, there is little or no preparation or thought given to the feedback. If you have to book a later time you are exacerbating the first point above.

Surveying at Scale

Overall, in-person feedback is often regarded as the best. You are engaging directly with your end users and, assuming you have a trusting relationship, you can have an honest real-time conversation about concerns.

The issue here is that this feedback isn’t structured and is often hard to feed into a change process. It also doesn’t scale well and falls into the two problems above, specifically the need for customvier availability, and that the survey is often not timed with any specific event.

Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) fall into this trap. It is an excellent customer experience to want to make time to speak and engage with your customers, but real-time feedback and action are more valuable than a meeting that may be weeks or months away.

Engaging with in-the-middle customers is important

Regardless of which channel you use, it has been shown that response rates to feedback surveys are typically low and often focused on either the thrilled customers or the irritated ones. In other words, the extremes of your customers. These are useful to hear, but the more valuable feedback exists in the middle.

The mild annoyances or minor, yet impacting, aspects of your product or service are the ones that, if fixed can help to improve your NPS or CSAT significantly.

Missing these “in-the-middle” pieces of feedback can skew your decision making when trying to improve your service or product.

Think of the last negative piece of feedback you received. Often it is something like “The user interface is awful” or “I contacted support, they took forever to respond, and by then I had given up.” Feedback of this type is very emotional, hard to action directly, and frequently a massive undertaking if you take it at face value (for example, changing your entire UI).

In-the-middle feedback typically takes the form of “Loved the ease of saving my data, but really could use a validation step before my final submission.” That is tangible, actionable feedback.

You’ve been told your saving mechanism is easy. Meaning you can focus on user experiences that mimic that throughout your product, and you know the customers would like a new step in your product flow to make it easier for them.

So how do you capture this type of feedback? Using a tool such as Nicereply, you can improve response rates by 20-30%. This increase comes from making your surveys more personalized, more engaging and visual, as well as simplifying the ways to respond.

In addition to a more engaging survey, we can solve the issues of availability and asynchronous surveying by employing a new channel: video.

Video can be used in a variety of use cases:

  • in your self-help knowledge base
  • your product feature release notifications, or
  • in the product as a guide to your end users.

Video is scalable and engaging and can deliver a lot of information succinctly. Combining the power of engaging and simple survey software with the humanizing, personalized and scalable power of video can increase your survey reply rate even more.

Why Survey with Video?

Studies from Cisco have shown that 80% of internet traffic will be video by 2021. Social media companies are racing to make video more accessible through their platforms, and the Technical Service Industry Association has identified video within support services as a significant trend as part of their 2017 Support Services Technology Stack report. Why? Because video is scalable, engaging, re-usable, and makes a clear, natural visual and audio impression.

It also solves the most significant issues discussed above when it comes to feedback.

With an enterprise video tool, you can embed your survey directly inside the experience, therefore getting real-time access to your customer’s feedback. It removes the asynchronous nature of feedback, leading to more meaningful responses. Surveys within video are scalable, synchronous and real-time.

As an example, imagine you want to explain a new feature to a customer. You could call each customer, do group training sessions, or meet your customers in person. All of which are great ways to engage with customers. But these methods can be time-consuming, require planning or have a cost to them.

Plus, the feedback is hard to gather as the customer is focused on the conversation, not on the actions themselves. Alternatively, creating a short, concise reusable video that outlines the key aspects of the feature, the usage, and the value can deliver a similar experience, allow the customer to watch, comprehend, and try the new feature and present the feedback survey inline.

With the survey directly inside the content, you are able to capture the user feedback in real-time with few clicks, and while you know they are already engaged with your service.


This channel is cost-effective and time-effective for both you and the customer and will help you get more reliable in-the-middle feedback with a minimal investment. Video will help you provide a more humanized experience within your self-service channels, while helping you track and understand engagement, and solicit feedback.

Bonus Survey Boost with Video

Another type of feedback that an enterprise video analytics platform can give you is the ability to analyze your customer’s video watching behavior to help understand their feedback more deeply.

For example, if you receive feedback that a certain feature is not intuitive, you can use your video analytics to see which areas of the feature videos are watched and re-watched more frequently.

This information can help show where customers don’t understand something and can feed into your product team for UX improvements. Meaningful analytics add a layer of rich data to understand what your customers are viewing and helps you promote a more proactive approach while supercharging your survey results.

Engagement means Higher Response Rates

Video is the most cost-effective, personalized, scalable way to communicate with your customers and end users.

Trends in the industry point to video being a preferred channel to receive information. It truly is the next best thing to meeting with someone in person. The voice within a video can convey emotions like excitement, caution, understanding, and empathy, while the visual aspect is clear, easily understood, re-watchable and engaging.

Combine that with embedded surveys that send a clear, and simple call-to-action to your customers, you will help you get higher response rates through getting the customers input while you know they are available and in real-time to while they are working with your solution.

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Craig Stoss Craig Stoss

Craig has spent time in more than 30 countries working with support, development, and professional services teams building insight into Customer Experience and engagement. He is driven by building strong, effective support and services teams and ensuring his customers are successful. In his spare time Craig leads a local Support Thought Leadership group. He can be found on Twitter @StossInSupport

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