Customer satisfaction and experience has become the key competitive battleground in almost every industry. As it becomes harder to differentiate business on product or price, and with Customers having greater access to comparison tools and online reviews than ever before, providing great Customer experiences is crucial to winning and retaining Customers.
As a result, maximizing opportunities to collect feedback from your Customers and acting quickly on that critical data on an ongoing basis is becoming essential to future business success.
Below a few points you should avoid or consider when developing and deploying surveys.
Lack of Purpose: The whole point of doing a survey is to collect data that you can do something with. Define the objective(s) of the survey at the beginning and start with the end in mind.
Too many Questions: There is a trade-off between survey length and response rates. A good rule of thumb is that you can ask about 10-15 simple questions before your Customers start to drop out in the middle. Make sure you define how the answers to each question will be sued to drive actions later.
Delayed Survey: To avoid made-up answers, get the survey to your Customers while the experience is still fresh in their minds. They will not remember every detail of a specific transaction that took place months ago.
Undefined Comparison: Asking questions about product quality and Customer satisfaction are especially tricky, because the basis for comparison is usually undefined. Are customers supposed to measure you in terms of your competition, the price they paid, your past performance, or their own expectations? If you don’t specify, any data you get back may be meaningless.
Ambiguous Language: We write questions that make perfect sense to us, and then we find that 20% of our Customers thought we meant something entirely different. The best way to catch ambiguous questions is to pilot test the questionnaire.
Scoring Bias: Survey authors sometimes create scoring systems - for instance, “excellent, good, fair, poor” - that are subtly weighted in favor of positive answers. It’s surprisingly tough to find exactly the right language to produce even intervals and symmetrical scales.
Inadequate Sample Size: There’s a whole science to the relationship between response rates and statistical accuracy, but a handy rule is that you need at least hundred responses. Getting a higher number of responses is more important than the percentage response rate.
Be Brief: Five or six simple questions seem to be the ideal length for a Customer satisfaction survey. Multiple choice and thermometer-scale questions get the best results and are easily aggregated. Another reason to keep surveys short is that problem areas are easier to spot when there are relatively few variables.
Avoid Neutral Responses: This is a highly controversial topic. My suggestion is to not give customers the middle of the road to choose from. Make them choose ‘satisfied’ or ‘not satisfied.’ Otherwise, many will choose the average answer and that won’t tell you much.
Ask open-ended Questions: Don’t restrict your Customers to selecting options A, B, C, D, and E from a checklist. The best feedback and direction on ways to improve your operations often comes from free-form text comments.
Be Consistent: A steady flow of survey data can be a remarkably sensitive indicator of satisfaction trends, but only if there’s strict consistency in the questions and even the overall survey format. Continuously adjusting and streamlining a particular survey may result in losing good comparisons on the progress and improvements you achieved.
At last, a few tips how to increase the response rate for an online Customer Satisfaction Survey.
Experience - Passion - Results
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