Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Emailing Customer Surveys

Last week we sent an email to all customers who had selected email as their preferred method of notification. As we see in my prior post, that is about 13% of our 360,000+ customers. This email asked our customers to fill out a survey. The last time we sent an email out like this was back in 2005 for our last customer survey.

We have since had about 2,800 people fill out the online survey. With many more weeks to go in our survey collection period, we have far surpassed the 1100 online surveys collected in 2005.

Also, about 20% of these emails bounced back. Over the years, people changed their email, but they did not inform us. Or, the email was entered incorrectly.

We regularly receive bounce backs from email notices we send daily. Circulation staff receive those bouncebacks and they change the customer's notification method to PHONE, erase the email, and place a note on the account requesting an updated email. Or, if an obvious error is found, it can be corrected (ex. blahblah@yahoo.cmo).

There is not much we can do about people changing emails and not informing us. But we can eliminate any typos (whether written down wrong by customer or entered incorrectly by staff). One way we will do this is by sending out a welcome email. This will be sent weekly to all customers who have created an account in the past week who have also chosen email as their notification method. This email will inform them of the types of notices they may receive. It will also allow us catch any bouncebacks before we actually send an overdue or hold notification.

While we do not want to start sending random emails to our customers, we feel that this will serve both the customer's needs and our own.

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