As your company is crafting the perfect survey to gather customer opinions, there are some essential tips you should think about when making mandatory questions. While yes, you want as much information about the client’s experience as possible, there is significant evidence to prove that it works in a negative way. Mandatory questions work only a handful of times and are not recommended in any survey. We have the top three reasons outlined in this handy guide.
Reduction in Responses
Customers are usually busy and do not want to spend more than a few minutes completing a survey about their experience. It is important to note that if you have mandatory questions, you are significantly impacting the amount of responses you will get. Instead of making your open-ended questions mandatory, leave them optional. If people want to give an answer, they will, and it will be accurate not fluff given to fulfill the requirements.
Mandatory is Disrespectful
Your customer has already given you their patronage, why shackle them to a ten-minute survey full of necessary questions? People who agree to these surveys are doing it because they have an opinion on the matter as it is, they will answer the questions anyways. For those who are not looking to answer each question, sometimes it may not even be relevant.
You Get Fluff Data
One of the main drawbacks of mandatory questions, the reason most companies have abandoned them altogether, is because of fluffy data. Fluffy data is inconclusive, it wastes your time and most of all, and it makes responding to customer feedback extremely difficult. Most customers willingly respond to questions and they do so because they’re strongly, or at least in mediocrity, opinionated about it. Forcing them to answer a question that they may not otherwise be interested in answering is likely to give you junk data since you don’t know if it was forced or if it is true. Why skew your own numbers?
Now that you know the top contenders that are impacting your survey performance, how are you able to fix it? Simple, leave your questions opened ended and use multiple choice as much as possible. Remember, the more simple your survey is, the more concrete your data can be!
There is an age-old question, “When is the best time to collect feedback from my customers”, finally, the answer has been nailed down. The absolute best time to gather feedback is right now. Feedback is vital to your business, and it is important to get that information as soon as the customer has engaged with your company to get the most valuable feedback. The main reasons you need to be proactive about getting clients to complete a feedback survey are outlined for you below.
Keep the Brand Fresh
Companies need to be collecting feedback as soon as possible for the sole reason of the customer may be busy and could confuse their visit with your business and another. Being able to recall an event with clarity, a customer service agent, or even an employee all play a part in getting a score that allows you to improve. If you wait several weeks before sending out a survey, your client may have very well forgotten all about their visit with you!
Ask For It When It Matters
While knowing about a customer’s experience is important, for most data, you want to be able to hone in on one aspect. It is important to remember that not every moment of the experience needs to be inquired about. Instead, you may ask about their visit on that day if they tried a particular product or the similar. Narrow your scope for more conclusive data.
Catch Them While They Are There
Most often, customers will neglect to leave feedback just because it takes more time out of their day. Instead, if you approach the issue by simply asking your clients their current thoughts, through prompts or small pop-up surveys, you can quickly address issues before you negatively impact your customer satisfaction. For instance, in restaurants, hand over feedback capture tools to customers while they wait for their bill to be processed; in hotels, while they’re checking out; in spas, after their spa experience is over and they’re enjoying a cup of tea in your lounge.
Collect Feedback Every Time, from Every One
When you are collecting feedback, you cannot be selective about who you collect it from and when. In order to get conclusive feedback, you must attempt to gather feedback from each and every customer you engage with, no matter the platform. Also, make sure that all of your surveys are consistent with each other. Not only will this make processing the data much easier, you will have a much clearer view of where your company is excelling, and where it could use some work.
Overall, collecting feedback is one of the single most important actions a business can take. The worst feedback you can get is no feedback at all, and customer will typically want to share their experiences with you. When it comes to taking your business to the next level, be sure to collect feedback each and every time you engage with your clients.
Customer feedback is the oil that keeps companies and business in working order, as with any machine, it requires proper care and maintenance. For you, that means responding to all customer feedback, both positive and negative and ensuring that you are providing your customers with an experience that is far superior to your competitors. In order to do so, you need to handle negative feedback appropriately.
Accept The Mistake
Mistakes happen, and there is very little we can do to prevent it. Humans can accidently mistype a number, computers may glitch over a sale item, it happens, nothing is perfect. However, when a customer or employee expresses a concern over a mistake, it is important to accept it. It would not be the client’s fault for a cashier or machine error, why try to blame them for purchasing your product?
Respond Quickly and Efficiently
Having a customer support team is essential for quick responses and making sure all the data that can be gathered can be. Your company should respond to all inquiries within 24 to 48 hours of receiving them. It may take time to resolve the problem, but ensure that you are doing as much as you can to provide the customer a feeling of importance. Many companies find that dedicating a particular agent to the ticket helps, that way there is no gap in communication.
Investigate The Issue
If an investigation was not conducted upon receiving the ticket, it is important to see where the problem happened, to prevent it in the future. Most companies will handle the customer first which will allow for a more thorough investigation of the issue. If you are opting to wait, be sure to keep the client posted on the progress.
Act On It
Once you have found the problem, act on it. Does a machine need to be replaced, is a database starting to fail? No matter what the situation is, once you have pinpointed the problem, take the appropriate action according to your company standards. At this point, it would be wise to send out personalized messages to the customers impacted by this failure. After all, they deserve a thank you for providing the negative feedback that helped to show a flaw in your system.
Bring Them Back
One of the most upsetting points of negative feedback is that occasionally a customer’s experience was so horrible; they turn their back to your brand. You can get these customers back if you follow the steps we have here. In fact, more than 70% of customers decide to give a brand a second chance based on how the company handled their complaints. That is a huge profit margin for a little bit of email correspondence!
Resolving customer issues and handling the negative feedback that came with it are crucial to maintaining the integrity of your brand. When a situation arises where you need to handle one customer, to hundreds, have a plan in place to handle it. The more prepared you are, the more you can learn from the situation. Mistakes happen, but don’t let that be the last impression your customers have of your company.
You have spent months building your brand, promoting your product, and your customer flow certainly reflects all that hard work you put in. One of the many things businesses look over is the rate of return of their customers. Many things can make a customer either come back to your brand or avoid it like the plague. So how is a business able to keep these personal ratings in check? By implementing a customer feedback system called NPS.
What is NPS?
NPS stands for Net Promoter Score or Net Promoter System; all it implies is a single question that provides an incredible amount of feedback to a company. The magic question is “How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?” When doing a survey, this question is frequently answered on a 0-10 scale. With this information, you can see which customers are going to be committed to your brand, and those who you need to work with more.
Understanding the scale of a Net Promoter Score is pretty straightforward once you understand the three main concepts it conveys.
They are the customers who answered below or equal to 6. They were not entirely satisfied with their experience and would probably tarnish your brand’s reputation with negative word-of-mouth. It would be highly unlikely that they would even return as customers again.
They are the customers who have answered the question with from 7 to 8. They probably had a good experience with your brand, but not so convinced with your service offering that they would go out of their way to recommend your brand among their social circle. They could be loyal to your business, but quickly switch to a competitor if needed.
The customers who answered the question with a 9 or a 10. They are the customers who loved your product or service offering and are most likely recommend your brand to their friends and family. They are your most loyal customers and would look forward to repeating business with you.
The Net Promoter Score is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. Theoretically, it can range from -100 to +100. Practically, it is most likely to hover around 15 for most businesses in a competitive space. An NPS above 40, in fact, is considered exceedingly rare and is regarded as the benchmark for top players of any industry. This feedback system is a critical application in most businesses, restaurants, and hotels.
Advantages of using Net Promoter System
But why should your business rely on such a simple method? Here are a few of the reason we trust an NPS.
- It is an industry-recognized metric that was incorporated by the leading management-consulting firm Bain & Company, so any business manager using it can be confident of its credibility.
- It results in an easy-to-read number that can tell at a glance what percentage of the customer base is extremely satisfied with the service and performance. In essence, it gives the customer relationship manager an insight into their overall performance of customer retention and acquisition with just a single question.
- Using an industry-recognized numeric can help companies identify their position in the competitive landscape and established players can use their high NPS to set a benchmark in the industry.
- It is easy to implement and interpret, with results from day one. It is a simple out-of-the-box package that requires no experts to set up or analyze.
- Research has shown that NPS correlates strongly with a company’s revenue, so implementing this system in a business can motivate employees to strive for better customer service, and hence a higher NPS.
- By tracking the trend of NPS over time, a company can use this as a proxy for measuring its growth and maturity. A start-up is not well known and will probably have a low NPS while an established player will have a high NPS.
Drawbacks of NPS
However, it needs to be mentioned that with NPS, there is more than meets the eye. It comes with inherent drawbacks that need to be mentioned:
- It is indeed difficult to quantify a customer’s loyalty, which is what the NPS attempts.
- The question asks the customers their “likelihood” to recommend the brand or service, and business managers must be mindful of this word. In no way does it guarantee that a customer giving a score of 10 will most certainly go ahead and ‘promote’ the business.
- There is some debate regarding the statistical validity of collapsing an 11-point scale into three components, as it may lead to loss of information in the middle ranges. The statistical assumption of classifying a customer as “detractor” if he gives a score of 6 or less, and a “promoter” if he gives a score of 9 or 10 has been challenged.
- There is still dissent over the efficiency of NPS across industries. What is regarded as a good NPS in one industry may not serve as a good measure of customer loyalty in another industry. The NPS would serve its intended purpose much better if accompanied with a detailed questionnaire that seeks to measure customer loyalty across all parameters of service and at all points of contact with the customer.
Three things to keep in mind while adopting NPS for your business
Well measuring the NPS is as easy as it can get. But the trick lies in understanding what it means for your business. There are three things that every business manager must keep in mind when adopting the NPS:
- NPS is only an indicative measure of a customer’s loyalty, not their overall satisfaction with the company’s product or service. Hence, it must be accompanied with a full-fledged customer feedback survey to gauge their satisfaction level that can be analyzed in depth to ascertain the reason behind a company’s high or low NPS and take corrective actions.
- The NPS by itself would mean nothing if not implemented with an ambition to increase it over time. This would require dedicated commitment from the company’s management to make the company more customer-centric.
- It is imperative to close the feedback loop. If you take a customer’s feedback, it is important to act on it and communicate with the customer. Implementing Net Promoter System must be hand-in-hand with the implementation of a system that enables businesses to capture Voice of Customer and Take Actions.
By taking the decision to implementing an NPS program, a business has taken the decision to improve its customer’s loyalty and increase customer retention, along with a new source of advertising. But it is important to go through with the decision in a well planned system that ensures that the program is a complete success.
When you create a survey, you ensure each detail is just right, you make sure every question is relevant, and you make certain that it goes out to all the right people. With all of that work you are putting in, shouldn’t you be getting more survey responses than you currently are? The answer to that is yes! There are simple mistakes or items that may be overlooked that will cause your customers to either not respond, or abandon their survey. Here are a few of the most common mistakes, and how to fix them to increase survey response rate.
Typos are any company’s worst enemy. Unfortunately, there are many people that will look at those typos as a poor reflection of your business, and may even rate your score lower for that misplaced comma. One of the best ways to avoid those kinds of scenarios is by having several people read and edit those questions until you have a polished copy. Hiring a professional never hurts either.
Making the Survey too Long
Getting in-depth feedback is something every company wants, but when it moves into interrogation territory, it is going way too far. When creating your survey, a good mix of open-ended questions, multiple choice, or even rating scales will help you get those most out of your questions. We suggest you keep open-ended questions to the minimum possible. Try to keep surveys under two minutes to complete to get better survey response rate.
Asking Needless Questions
Review your survey to ensure that you’re not asking silly questions; ones that don’t make any business sense to you as well. When you are looking for responses, keep the questions focused on one theme, from customer service, satisfaction, and so on and see an instant increase in your survey response rate.
One of the biggest deterrents for a customer is when the questions jump around. Try to group them together as it will help the customer recall their experience faster and easier than if you asked about various parts at different parts of the survey. Not only does this help boost your responses, it will allow you to quickly identify where your company is doing well, and where it may need some extra attention.
Including mandatory questions
Not all questions may be important for your survey. Try and keep questions as non-mandatory in your survey. Think of this, customers only tend to skip questions that they either don’t want to disclose or don’t have strong opinions about. By making it mandatory, you’re either inviting junk data or discouraging them to complete the survey.
Lack of Branding
A very common, yet costly mistake thousands of companies make is not branding their surveys! There are multiple reasons as to why a company needs to have their logo, tagline, and other images relating to their business on the survey. The biggest reason is if you customer had a genuine terrific experience, then you want to have your brand in their mind. While they may not remember your name, they are statically proven to remember your logo. On the other hand, a person who may have had a negative experience, can tell you what needs to be improved, and can even be enticed back to the company through an effective survey.
Crafting surveys to get optimal results is a task every company should devote themselves to. Understanding your customers, and their experiences will allow you to grow and thrive in the ever-changing market. Get an effective tool to capture feedback and avoid these mistakes to ensure getting better survey response rate for your surveys.