The lines between customer service and marketing are often blurry. This is especially true when it comes to customer surveys. Marketers may say these surveys are all about customer service but they often take the chance to push loyalty while asking for opinions. Now, consumers are saying – enough already.

Writing for the New York Times News Service, William Grimes described the ubiquity of the customer survey. Forms may pop up while a consumer is making an online purchase. Or, a shopper buying shoes in a traditional store is handed a receipt with a link to an online survey and is promised a chance at a huge reward for sharing their honest opinion.  These surveys have been made easy and inexpensive for marketers to carry out. Jonathan Barsky, a Market Metrix founder, says, “Anyone who can craft a customer survey and throw it on the Internet is doing it.”

Not everyone minds taking a survey, but, it seems that some of these surveys are taking up too much time. At the 10-minute point, when a customer feels she has already answered the same question asked 3 different ways, she may not complete the survey.

Some may wonder why customer surveys are even necessary in the age of social media. Marketers can tap into a general sentiment using social media streams but that only gives them part of the picture. And, not all customers are spending time on social media, liking and commenting on brands. In addition, the types of feedback that come from a well-crafted survey can help marketers determine why customers have specific opinions about a product or service.

The experts say that surveys are here to stay but marketers may soon realize that they need to focus on exactly what they want to know and be respectful of customer time. Otherwise, they may risk losing the customer completely.

[Source: Grimes, William. When Businesses Can’t Stop Asking, How Am I Doing. NYTimes.com. 17 Mar. 2012. Web. 29 Mar. 2012]