In today’s customer-centric market place, it pays to see your customers as actual partners, as it will help you build a more effective and sustainable business. By using customer satisfaction surveys and taking into account their feedback, you are using an effective method that will evaluate your business’s products and services, as well as make improvements by driving positive change.
Start by asking yourself, what exactly do you want to know? This means that you should set a goal for your survey.
If your company has launched a new product or service, focus your questions around it. Or perhaps you'd like to expand your business, then you can develop your survey to spot trends in consumers' buying habits.
Whatever the case is, here are some best practices you’ll need to apply when developing your survey.
#1 - A survey to help drive actionable insights
Asking your customers relevant questions with clearly defined objectives is very important. Your survey needs to be easily understood and you should limit your visitors' effort as much as possible. Doing so will add focus to your survey, keeping your customers engaged and providing you with more useful feedback.
So yes, you know you want customer feedback and that's good, but why? What are you aiming for?
Before you begin the process of designing your survey, ask yourself what you need to know, why, and limit your questions to the absolute essentials.
- Do you need information about a specific service or product?
- Are you attempting to trouble shoot a problem area in the customer journey?
- What’s raising red flags?
- Will you target a specific market segment or a broader consumer base?
Your goal is to improve business decisions, so ask specific and focused questions which delivers actionable insights to create positive change.
#2 - Avoid asking leading questions in your customer satisfaction surveys
Leading questions run the risk of frustrating or even alienating a customer. At their worst, they can seem manipulative and dishonest which is not what you're aiming for at all when surveying your customers.
Asking a question like, “How quickly did we resolve your problem?” assumes you have solved the problem. Don’t assume anything. Prefer a question such as :
Hopefully, your company has been responsive but if it hasn’t, you want to know. The truth may be unpleasant but take it for what it’s worth: an opportunity to close a loop, address a problem, or fine-tune a current process.
Remember: you are trying to build a better company. Any feedback that helps you make improvements is a step in the right direction.
#3 - Ask questions to close the gap between desired and actual performance
Build loyalty by asking survey participants to help you understand what you could be doing better for them. Turn unhappy customers into supporters by showing them that you are actually listening and taking into consideration their feelings, needs, complaints, etc.
If they know that you are giving them this opportunity to speak up about anything good or bad, and that you will actually act on it, they will be loyal customers.
This leads us to another extremely important point, acting on the feedback. You can ask your customers all the questions in the world, in the best shapes and forms, if you are not actually providing improvement and answering their issues or needs, you're killing your game.
The consequences will be dramatic because first of all it will make them feel like you are wasting their time, not taking them seriously; but also it means you are spending time and money without reaping the benefits of it for your company.
So keep in mind that surveys are a great tool, but they shine when being used part of a full strategy.
Your questions should help you strategically deal with these problems. Use the feedback you receive from your customers to improve overall efficiency or address specific problem areas in your company.
#4 - Survey your customers on their individual transactions
This is the first thing you should focus on, individual transactions. Remember that each time a customer interacts with the company – be it in-store, on the phone, through email, opening an invoice, or just using your product – he or she is engaged in a transaction.
Ask your customers questions according to each of the situations or interactions they may have had with your company.
Focusing on individual transactions will provide insights into customer service, which will allow you to monitor front line support more effectively.
Another element that is often underestimated although it has a great impact in the case of customer service, is having happy employees. Why? if your employees are happy with the company and so on, you'll feel it through their work and the customers will be the first in line to feel it, so make sure your company or yourself are doing a great job in making employees happy and performing.
#5 - Customer satisfaction surveys to evaluate their overall impression of your company.
Focusing on individual transactions is really good, but you can also ask questions in order to develop a more general picture of your company based on many transactions over time.
This kind of survey can give you insights into the overall impressions people have of your business and how it compares to the competition.
It will also provide you with insights into the relative value people place in your product or service, as well as give you an idea of the impressions people share with others about your company.
This can be mirrored through word to mouth actions, commenting on social media, etc. It's important that you evaluate these types of visitors, because it will set the light on the promoters of your company but also on the detractors, helping you understand how to approach them as well as the harm they are causing your company.
With this information, your company will better position itself with customers and against competition.
Whatever your intent is, stay focused and clear. To create the best possible customer satisfaction survey, know what your objectives are and never deviate from them in designing your questions, or it may have a bad impact.
A well-designed smart survey will result in actionable insights which will help your business continue to grow and innovate.
Having a careful initial consideration of which questions to ask will result in an improved overall performance of your products and services, strengthening your customer base.
So, what are your customers saying? Jump on the wagon leading to success by using an optimised approach to your survey tool and not missing out on these best practises.