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How to Write a Great Customer Satisfaction Survey

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Customer satisfaction surveys are an outstanding way to measure not only how happy your customers are with you but also gauge how you look in their eyes.

Consider a customer satisfaction survey as your company's report card.

What area needs the most improvement? The least?

With an awesome customer satisfaction survey, you'll gain insight into your company's reputation, customer loyalty rates, and, in some cases, learn more about your company than you ever knew before.

Start at the End

What do you hope to gain from this online survey? What is the focus? Or, more to the point, what is the one truth do you want to learn?

Without a clear picture on what particular data you're looking for, then crafting a survey will be more difficult and, frankly, irritating to your customers.

Do you want to find out about how well your customer service department is doing? What about learning about the last purchase your customer made?

Whatever your goal is, spell it out. Focus on learning one thing instead of throwing a smorgasbord of unrelated questions out at your customers.

Figure out Your Rating System

Whether you're going to offer your customers multiple choice answers or ask them to plot their responses on a scale (say, 1 – 10), the important thing to keep in mind that the answers dictate what questions you're going to ask.

Some marketers swear by using different answer types (multiple choice and scale). This is a tricky strategy. Not only are you making your customers take more time out to fill out your survey, it'll be harder in the end to crunch your data. Make your answer types consistent throughout the entire online survey.

Write Objectively

Now you've figured out what your focus is and have nailed down what answer types you're planning on using. Here comes the fun part: writing!

One of the pitfalls of online survey writing is to remove bias from the questions. To ensure that you're data accurately reflects what your customers actually think rather than what they think you want them to say is to write without subjectivity.

Sure! You already know that your products/business/sales team are awesome, so to write as if you're a stranger to them is challenging.

A simple and easy tip to be unbiased (even when you're not) is to write in the third person. This removes any sort of connection between you and your customer. For example, a sample question may read: "Please rate the quality of our customer service representatives."

Without even knowing it, this question is driving a relationship between you and your customer. People never like to speak ill of their friends even when they're disappointed.

But, if you remove "our" and replace it with your company's name, that bias is immediately eliminated.

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