A survey is a simple and extremely effective way to gain information and feedback from your customers. You can then use this information to improve your services and products, based on what your customers are telling you.
But how can you get your customers to take the time out of their day to participate in your survey? And how do you get the best feedback that is straightforward and not vague? Let's review some survey tips that will show you how to create a survey that is both effective and simple.
Unless you want your survey to be anonymous, you can ask your customers for some basic contact information if they wish to provide it. This allows you to contact individual customers if they have issues that you need to follow up on in more detail.
Create a Survey with Customers in Mind
You are asking your customers to take the time to complete your customer satisfaction survey, so you need to be respectful to them.
- Tell your customers in advance how long it will take for them to complete the survey. Be honest. If it takes five minutes, tell your customers it takes five minutes. When customers know how long the survey is, they can prepare mentally and they are more focused on the survey questions.
- Think about the customer incentive for taking your survey. Yes, some customers may be eager to provide feedback, but in order to get a wider sample you may want to try offering a bonus at the end of the survey. For example, "If you participate in our brief customer satisfaction survey, you get a coupon for 20% off your next manicure or pedicure."
Just don't make the bonus incentive too enticing, or customers will rush through the survey just to get to the gift at the end, and their answers will not provide much real value. This is the risk you take when you include a bonus incentive, but it is often worth it because more customers will participate in the survey.
How to Create Survey Questions that are Easy to Understand and Answer
Surely at some point you have taken one of those surveys that has questions like: "Tell us which of these products is your favorite and please rate them one to five, beginning with your least favorite."
This question is convoluted and asks the participant to do different things in the same question, which can get confusing. It also throws in a rating system that may be difficult to understand. This question would be better if it was broken up into multiple, more focused, questions. That way, the customer can concentrate on providing the best answer and not on trying to sort out what you are really asking.
- Focus on one thing in the question, such as "Which is your favorite product?"
- Don't ask leading questions, in other words, questions that sway the participant to think a certain way. Allow them to state their true opinion.
- Keep your questions brief so your customers don't lose focus. People tend to skim longer questions anyway, so they may miss what you are actually trying to ask.
- It helps to put simpler questions first, or ones that are easy to answer, such as "Which of our locations do you shop at most often?" This practice helps to get customers accustomed to the survey before they get to more difficult or more time-consuming questions. If you put difficult questions at the beginning, the customer may
Allow for "Other" Customers when You Create a Survey
If your survey features multiple choice questions, be aware that not every customer's answers will fit into the pre-created answers. Always leave room for different answers that you may not have thought of.
- If you're asking a question with multiple possible answers, be sure to have an "other" option. Include a small text box so a customer can elaborate if they select "other".
- Allow for feedback that does not fall into the normal range of your survey questions. Always be sure to include a large text box at the end of the survey and ask your customers to provide any additional feedback which they believe the survey questions did not address. This allows customers to bring up additional issues which you may not have even thought about.
Follow Up After You Send Your Survey!
Of course, you need to review your survey data to spot customer trends, problems and possible product or service improvements. Yet you also need to address individual concerns. If a customer had a very negative experience, for example, this may highlight a rare product issue that needs to be fixed or a customer service problem with a specific employee.
Ask the customer if you can contact them to discuss the issue in more detail and resolve any problems they may have had. You can offer them a coupon, a refund, or a discount on your services to help make up for any inconvenience they have experienced.
Remember, you want your customers to be honest! You need to know what is good and what is bad about your business so you can continue to improve and show customers that you truly value their feedback and work hard to keep them satisfied.