We all understand that customer satisfaction is essential to the survival of our businesses. Any business that wants to grow long term needs to acquire and act upon customer feedback. The best way to find out if a customer is satisfied is to simply ask them. One of the easiest ways to ask them is with an online survey.
The problem is that building a good survey with the appropriate questions is not nearly as simple as it sounds. Here are a few guidelines to help you turn your survey into a reliable source of insightful customer information.
DO start with interesting questions
Start your survey with questions that will attract your customers’ attention. If you have questions that might require more contemplation or seem more difficult to answer, place them later in the survey.
DON’T survey the same pool of customers too often
More often than not, customers don’t mind taking a few minutes to provide constructive feedback. The key is not to annoy them by asking too often. I’m sure you’ve seen the website pop-ups asking you to answer a few short questions about your experience every single time you visit. It’s annoying and counter-productive. Whether or not filled it out the first or second time, enough is enough.
DO ask what is important to your customers
Consider these the questions before the questions. If you want to know what customers care about, you need to ask them. Contact a few of your customers in advance and do some qualitative interviews to get a good idea of the areas they feel are important.
DON’T ask too many questions
Keep your survey as brief as possible. Some circumstances may require a more lengthy survey to pinpoint specific areas but as a guideline, limit your survey to 10 or 15 questions. With those questions you should be focusing on just three to four topics in your survey.
DO word your questions carefully
Survey respondents could have a variety of backgrounds. Unless the survey is industry specific, use simple language and try to avoid terminology or acronyms that may be confusing. Also, avoid using double negatives, as they make questions difficult to decipher. Ask open ended questions so that customers are likely to go with their gut response. This will allow them to be more honest and open with their feedback, and give input that may not be on your radar.
DON’T write leading questions
Leading or loaded questions fully or partially answer the question being asked. Online survey tool SurveyMonkey offers up this example of a leading question: “We have recently upgraded SurveyMonkey’s features to become a first-class tool. What are your thoughts on the new site?”
This is a clear example of letting your ego get in the way of asking a good question. Instead, you could use the more neutral, “What do you think of the recent SurveyMonkey upgrades?”
DO realize that the survey is a reflection of your organization
The survey is just like any other touch point with a customer. You need to ensure the experience of taking the survey is consistent with the rest of a customer’s (hopefully positive) experience. A poorly executed survey will reflect badly on your company.
DON’T mislead respondents about timing
It is important to give your respondents an idea of the time commitment needed to complete the survey. Ask several people to test your survey and time themselves so that you have a realistic idea of the time commitment. Like any other exchange with customers, it is best to be upfront and honest so that there are no surprises.
DO share the information
Communicate the survey results with your organization. Your staff will be the ones needed in order to implement changes based on customer feedback. Use the information about customer loyalty drivers as an opportunity to let your teams make an impact.
DON’T ignore the feedback
Do something! Nothing is worse than wasting time and money by ignoring what your customers are telling you. Drive change within your business by using the data that you captured during your feedback process and be sure to let your customers know that you heard them loud and clear.
This is certainly the tip of the iceberg when it comes to survey best practices but keeping these guidelines in mind will help you in your quest to create a great customer satisfaction survey. If you are looking for more information or assistance with surveying customers be sure to Contact Launch Marketing today! You can also follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.
Image Source: SurveyMonkey.com