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Customer feedback is important to any loyalty program - but when is enough enough?

Written by: Jim Bergeson, Vice President, Customer Engagement Group
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Today the average American household is enrolled in around 29 different loyalty programs. But, on average, they are only truly active in about 4 or 5 of them.

As a consumer, all these different companies are vying for your attention and ultimately your business. We are often bombarded with messages that fill our email accounts, our social media interactions, our phones and our mailboxes. The average consumer sees or hears between 4,000 to 10,000 messages per day! But how many of these companies have truly earned the right to your attention?

Our attention is like a currency; we get to choose how and where we’re going to spend it. Changing consumption patterns and information overload has conditioned people to have a very low attention span. A marketing message has a 3-5 second chance of engaging a customer. Content that doesn’t immediately resonate is quickly dispensed with and often leaves a negative effect if perceived as wasting a customer’s time and focus. Relevance of content and respect of a customer’s attention currency is the winning formula for engagement.

All too often after a purchase, we immediately start receiving a barrage of messages trying to interest us in other products, services and feedback. Customer surveys have become overwhelming. Minimal, everyday purchases now trigger a customer survey asking you how the experience was and include a multitude of questions where you are asked to rank numerous aspects of the product and sales interaction. Recently, I purchased two AA batteries from my local home improvement store. I was in and out of the store in about 5 minutes. The next day I received an online survey asking me all about my experience, if I would refer a friend, etc. It was a simple battery purchase that took minutes and now they were asking me to complete a survey that would have taken me 10-15 minutes to respond. They had not earned my attention and had little respect for my time. I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences and this customer survey trend has probably turned off more customers than endeared them to the company, product or brand. Many of these surveys are automatically triggered to customers without any strategic thought supporting them—if you buy something, you get surveyed for your feedback.

The bottom line is we are all consumers living very busy lives with so many things demanding of our time. Companies need to really think about their messaging to customers and how it affects loyalty. Time is valuable and any content delivered should be relevant to your target audience. Customers are not all the same. They are not all in the same place at the same time in your product lifecycle. Blanket or automatically triggered surveys and irrelevant content do not endear customers to engage more. And the time and money spent on such marketing activity is better allocated to customer segmentation strategies where content is relevant and timely in terms of where that customer might be at in your lifecycle journey.


Customer attention is a precious currency with real limits. Customer surveys can be a powerful marketing tool to engage and keep loyal customers.

Make your customer feedback initiatives meaningful and limited so you don’t wear out your welcome.


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Jim Bergeson

Jim Bergeson

Division Vice President, Customer Engagement

Jim is responsible for BI WORLDWIDE's Customer Engagement division, offering a wide range of strategic capabilities to help move your customers from a prospect, to a customer, to a repeat customer and eventually to being an advocate of your brand or product. Jim believes his many years in marketing and the agency business have proven the need for businesses to continually reinvent themselves and look for better ways to engage with their customers. New technologies and media platforms have changed the marketing playing field but the strategic goal of earning the trust of your customer or client has not.