Surveying customers is an effective method for evaluating your business’s products and services. In today’s customer-centric market place, it pays to see your customers as partners which can help you build a more effective and sustainable business.
Use their feedback to help you make improvements and drive positive change.
Begin by asking yourself what exactly you want to know. Set a goal for your survey. Maybe your company has launched a new product or service; focus your questions around it.
Or maybe you are looking to expand your business; develop your survey to spot trends in consumer buying habits.
Whatever the case, the following are some best practices you’ll want to apply when developing your survey:
Ask questions to drive actionable insights
Ask relevant questions with clearly defined objectives. Doing so will add focus to your survey, keeping your customer engaged and providing you with more useful feedback.
Yes, you want customer feedback but why?
Before beginning 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 deliver actionable insights to create positive change.
Avoid asking leading questions
Leading questions run the risk of frustrating or even alienating a customer. At their worst, they can seem manipulative and dishonest.
Asking a question like, “How quickly did we resolve your problem?” assumes you have solved the problem. Don’t assume anything.
Hopefully, your company has been responsive but if it hasn’t been, 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.
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. Turn unhappy customers into supporters by showing them that you are listening.
Your questions should help you strategically deal with problems.
Use the feedback you receive from your customers to improve overall efficiency or address specific problem areas in your company.
Ask questions about individual transactions
The first is to 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 questions to measure customer satisfaction.
Focusing on individual transactions will provide insights into customer service, which will enable you to more effectively monitor front line support.
Ask questions about the overall impression customers have of your company
Instead of focusing on individual transactions, you can ask questions 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, and give you an idea of the impressions people share with others about your company.
With this information, your company will better position itself with customers and against competition.
Whatever your intent, stay focused and stay clear. To create the best possible customer satisfaction survey, know what your objectives are and never deviate from them in designing your questions.
A well-designed smart survey will result in actionable insights which will help your business continue to grow and innovate.
Careful initial consideration of which questions to ask will result in improved overall performance and services, strengthening your customer base.
What are your customers saying?