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The Alternative Board Blog

Create a Customer Satisfaction Survey that Gets Results

Jun. 20, 2019 | Posted by The Alternative Board
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Crafting a customer survey that gauges satisfaction with your business isn’t as easy as it looks. If the survey is comprised of misleading questions, or comes burdened with too many instructions, chances are potential respondents will ignore it entirely. At the other end of the spectrum, a confusing or cumbersome survey might produce results that don’t actually offer any insights into the level of customer satisfaction with your business.

The stakes involved are pretty high. As the National Business Research Institute (NBRI) notes, a satisfied customer “is more likely to return and also more likely to recommend you to others,” while disgruntled customers are “unlikely to return and apt to speak of a poor experience” with others in their network, including “potential customers who will be discouraged from sharing that experience.”

To get a stronger sense of customer satisfaction levels with your business, here are tips on crafting a customer survey that gets results:

Be respectful of your customers’ hectic lives.

Don’t give in to the temptation to load your survey with a ton of questions. Any survey that takes more than a few minutes to complete isn’t likely to garner the feedback you want. Focus on one or two key areas—service, product quality, etc.—and frame 5-10 questions (at most) that get to the heart of the matter.

Offer easy-to-complete questions.

Generally speaking, customers are more inclined to complete questionnaires “that offer quick and easy multiple choice answers that they can simply tap and complete instantly,” says Onsight, a mobile business app firm. It’s also a good idea to ask questions that “allow free-form text responses” to hopefully produce added insights into how well your business serves customers.

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Focus on questions with the best potential ROI.

If you want to know more about the quality of customer service your employees provide, you’ll come away with a better ROI by asking just a few, highly focused questions. VerticalResponse, a leader in market research, recommends questions like these:

  • How do you feel about your recent appointment with us?
  • What might we have done better?
  • How likely is it you will recommend our business to friends or colleagues?
  • What do you rank as highest in your customer experience?
  • Why did you decide to choose us over the competition?

Enabling customers to respond to inquiries like these should give you a much more concrete idea of how well your service business is doing.

Reward survey participation.

The goal with any customer survey is to gather as many responses as possible. In addition to sending a short email (with the questionnaire attached) to those in your customer database, promote the survey on your various social media platforms. In both cases, providing an incentive (or reward for participation) may boost the desired response rate.

Such incentives can include a discount on the customer’s next purchase or some other reward, such as free shipping and delivery on the next sale. Not only is this likely to garner a bigger response, it demonstrates how serious you are about listening to your customers.

Finally, it’s important to act on the survey responses you receive. When a customer “makes a specific complaint in a survey and you have a way of contacting them,” advises the NBRI, inform that customer that you “understand their frustration, apologize, rectify the issue, and find a way to incentivize that customer to give you another try.”

Learn more about building your employees’ customer service skills and achieving greater levels of customer satisfaction.

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Written by The Alternative Board

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