Customer Success | 7 MIN READ

Customer Pulse Survey: What Is It and How Is It Different from Other Surveys such as NPS

What is a Customer Pulse Survey and how does it benefit the company? And, is it any different from the NPS? Read on the blog to get your answers right.

Simran Mohanty
Apr 2, 2021

Customer-Pulse-Survey

Pulse Survey

As they say, ‘Change is the only constant.’ And it is no secret that people’s sentiments change too often, especially when they are a customer. With the rampant competition of brands and the prolificacy of customer experiences being served to the customers on a silver platter, it has become critical to check these changes. Thankfully, there is a survey strategy that addresses this issue, with the name of customer pulse survey. Today, in this blog, we will dive into the nitty-gritty of this topic. Let us begin!

What is a Customer Pulse Survey?

Customer Pulse Surveys are the miniature versions of the traditional customer surveys. They largely zero in on one or two questions instead of a bucket load in the traditional ones. Also, they are sent out more frequently to the customers, say on a quarterly, monthly, or even a weekly basis. Simply put, they are the brief check-ins with your customer base to whom you earlier presented the full-fledged questionnaire.

Think of these as the templates to meet the in-the-moment needs of a customer. Basically, all you need to do is modify the initial survey question and add a dollop of ‘open-ended answers’ to it. The hypothesis is that the customer will be less annoyed with a series of questions and will be more likely to respond.

According to a recent report, 50% of B2B customers will respond to a short survey, where most traditional full-scale customer satisfaction survey struggles to get a 10% response from B2B audiences. Now that we know what a customer pulse survey is, let us now look at some of the ways in which it benefits the customer as well as the company.

Benefits of Customer Pulse Survey

Before we jump into some of the major benefits of a customer pulse survey, let us first look at an example of the same. This is a glimpse from a pwc’s report on Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey.

Source: PWC
  1. To begin with, pulse surveys spot insights that need immediate care. As the nature of these surveys is more instantaneous, they allow the respondents to identify those concerns that are happening right now and not the ones that took place a month ago.
  2. They stand as a testament to the users that you really care about their presence. As and when a customer receives these feedback bits, it acts as an alert to them that they are being appreciated and valued.  
  3. With the pulse surveys, you will be able to measure the impact of both small and large events. You will soon start to see if an internal or external event has had a conscious impact on your numbers.
  4. Further, pulse surveys allow you to take immediate action and investigate the running issues that a customer faces, without having to wait for a long period of time.
  5. This will also let you see a rigid peak towards customer loyalty. A customer feels recognized with this effort.
  6. You can now track your performance over brief instants, and not have to wait for a specific time of the year to conduct a survey.
  7. Pulse surveys are rather significant yet simple.
  8. This gives you the golden chance to note down immediate real-time data that the customer wishes to pass on to you. Who knows, things could have taken a complete turnover if met with a little delay.

How do Customer Pulse Surveys differ from NPS?

  • Objectivity vs. Subjectivity: NPS or Net Promoter Score looks at a survey from an objective point of view. Here, the customer has to rate the brand on a scale of 0 to 10. This does not allow any room for any open-ended question that a customer might add to compliment. Whereas, the pulse surveys are rather subjective in nature.

    For example, for an educational organization in NPS, the question goes something like this: How likely are you to recommend curriculum X to your friends and relatives? The same note in a pulse survey goes something like this: How far along are you in work on your assignment paper due on Tuesday? Although the same 0-10 rating scale applies to both, the answers will differ in their objective-subjective approach.
  • Moment vs. Month: The pulse surveys give you the results based on a specific moment. They are more instant than NPS, or any other metric being used. On the other hand, NPS takes the results into account over a certain period of time and does not happen suddenly.

    For example, for a food delivery service provider, the NPS question here can be like, ‘How much has your business been affected by COVID-19?’ But a pulse survey question would be like, ‘Do you need more resources around in pick-up, maintaining the influx for the bulk deliveries, and handling the safety guidelines?
  • Broader vs. Narrower: While the NPS questionnaires are broader in nature (lengthwise), the pulse surveys are more direct and narrower. A customer might get annoyed answering a series of questions put forth in an NPS questionnaire which is not the case in the latter. The latter has limited, specific questions and is more open-ended, which includes a 1-5 scale, thumbs up or down, and emoticon reactions to name a few.

Customer Pulse Survey Questions

  1. On a scale of 0 through 10, how likely are you to suggest working at [company-name] to your friend?
  2. What challenges have you faced with using our product?
  3. If you could change one thing about our product or organization, what would it be?
  4. How well did our customer-facing team handle your complaints?
  5. 6. Are you satisfied with our service delivery?
  6. Do you enjoy using our product?
  7. How valuable are you finding our product at this time?
  8. How clear are our company values to you?
  9. What 3 things have changed since you started using our product?
  10. Have you ever referred someone to our business?

Customer Pulse Survey Templates

Customer Pulse Survey: A customer pulse survey is a great way to measure your customers’ experiences with your brand and your product across different touchpoints.

Customer Pulse Survey Template
Source: formplus

Brand Awareness Survey: This survey has been deployed how many people know about your brand and how well. It is a great way to know and study your target audience. Some of the key considerations that are analyzed in this can be quality, price and packaging.

Source: formplus

Logo Testing Survey: Before you are all set to launch your logo, it is pertinent to run a cursory glance from your beloved customers and know their thoughts. This survey helps you to find out what people are thinking about your new logo and to make any changes as suggested.

Source: formplus

Customer Cancellation Survey: Before a customer wishes to leave your business, it is only fair to know what are the reasons behind it. Ask them to fill up this customer cancellation survey before they go.

Source: formplus

That’s a Wrap

It goes without saying that the customer pulse surveys help your company stay on top of your customer’s choice. Because they offer your clients the latest information on what they are looking to accomplish, they divulge the company’s real performance at a given point in time. Further, they account for the unpredictable changes in the customer’s tastes. Therefore, at times, it becomes more than necessary to implement their changing preferences before they change their minds. Over the longer run, what truly matters is understanding your customers better and improving their experience with time.

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Originally Published April 2nd, 2021, Updated May 3rd, 2021

Simran Mohanty

Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her 'gift of the gab' to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens.

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