The majority of customer surveys are customer satisfaction questionnaires, and you’ll want to get as much data from them as possible. However, the first rule is not to ask too many questions – people are busy and they are doing you a favour just by answering one question! Make sure each question is useful and has a clear purpose before including it in any survey. Long surveys will get abandoned, so cut to the chase!
Creating a customer survey which is helpful for the company and as convenient as possible for the customer is a difficult balancing act. Here are some top tips from the market research gurus at Prospect Research to get the most out of your surveys.
Multiple choice isn’t always the best way
Remember that every customer is different, and although most are in a rush, some will want to take the time to give you their views – their extended opinion. While multiple choice questions are great for collecting data and grouping answers, it can be frustrating if you’ve restricted the options. Always aim to provide an ‘other’ box where respondents can write out their own answer. The more detail you’re getting from customers, the better.
Short, concise questions
Making a question too complicated is easily done, and runs the risk of creating inaccurate answers. Make each question concise and as short as possible – don’t go around the houses, as the saying goes. For example, the question “If you have contacted us via post, phone, email or in store, how friendly were the customer service staff you experienced?” can be cut down to: “How helpful and friendly is the company?”
Ask ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions
The principal reason for conducting customer surveys is to find out what you are doing well, and what needs to be improved. Ticking boxes won’t deliver this useful information. Get to the root of the issues by asking customers how they feel about you and why. How did we fulfil your expectations? How can we improve our service? Why would you or wouldn’t you recommend us to a friend or family member? This type of personalised data can be the most valuable for businesses, even though it’s more difficult to process.