How do you ensure more participation from your survey takers? Creating surveys is just the first step. Surveys serve a dual purpose – they help you know more about your customers while it makes your existing and potential customers understand that you care.
However, throw in questions that are lengthy and you could do without and you get disgruntled survey takers who may even want to do nothing with your brand. It’s important to be relevant and useful – your survey shouldn’t be too long, and it should address all effective areas of concern. It has to make the survey takers feel that the survey takes into questions their concerns and isn’t there solely from the business perspective to increase business profits.
So, how do you do ensure and implement the best survey practices?
Making the Right Customer Surveys: The Skills You Need
The aim is to make your consumer surveys be more relevant both from a customer’s point of view and the business point of view.
Surveys are a critical part that can help in developing a brand image and customer loyalty, and help build relationships to establish a successful enterprise.
Here are some survey tips that will help you build a great survey.
- How relevant is it? Remember, surveys offer an understanding about the performance of the offered services. Are the services valuable to the customer? Services like banking solutions, technical services, marketing require a deep understanding of the market so as to ensure continuity of services and to be on par with the competitors. This means that the surveys must focus on getting information concerning the services. Unnecessary information might irritate customers, and their responses might get affected. Make it a practice to design surveys that relate to the subject.
- Understand customer needs Surveys present your concern towards consumer satisfaction, which is very necessary in any business. Focus on understanding customer pain points through the survey rather than asking organizational success questions and opinions of customers. A question like “Should our marketing team invest more on advertising?” be replaced by “How much have our advertisements affected you?”
- Focus on building loyalty Surveys help companies to develop a record of its loyal and regular customers and thus formulate offers to serve them better. Focus on understanding customer preferences. Surveys can help analyse the pros and cons of the products and formulate better strategies towards problem-solving.
- Interact with the customers Surveys are a great way to communicate with customers and make them feel important. It can help existing customers know that their views are important as well.
- Don’t forget to advertise While you shouldn’t gloat your achievements in a survey, you can subtly use it as an advertising medium too. Remember, the information reaches directly to the users, and you can promote new products and improved services. For instance, ask a question like, “Would you be interested in ——-?”
How to make Surveys valuable?
Here are more survey tips and survey best practices to make your surveys more valuable.
- Make the language simple and clear Use words that are readily understandable and commonly used. Higher vocabulary words might convey a wrong message, and the responses might not answer the question – your readers need to clearly understand the question you’re putting forth.
- Analyse the target groups There are different types of customers for any service. Have questions for each type of customers – this makes the survey meaningful for all.
For example, asking a customer using the gaming products of a company about the performance of the home appliances of the company is completely illogical. Create customised surveys for each group to get more accurate data.
- Ask clear and straightforward questions If the questions are MCQ type, ensure that all the options are distinct. Don’t let customers be confused between two similar options.
- Make it interesting Nobody wants to dab on with a boring survey that they’ve no interest on. Try to make the survey interesting. Begin with questions that relate to the survey taker’s experiences. Such questions arise interest and often tend to extract more information.
- Use Rating scales Whenever you ask a question to compare or rate services, use of scale bars is advised. This not only makes it easy for the customers to answer but also makes it easier to compare.
These are some survey best practices that can help you to create surveys that can actually work wonders.
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.
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.
It is one thing to create a brand new survey for collecting customer feedback; quite another to create a decisive and convincing survey that does serves its intended purpose well. Often, business managers get caught up in the act of creating their survey forms to such an extent that they end up making embarrassing mistakes in their feedback forms. Here is a short compilation of a few of those:
Extremely long surveys
One must remember that people have short attention spans (particularly after they’ve paid the bill!) and hence, the survey must be designed keeping in mind that the completion time must be within 10% of the total service time. This endures that the customers are involved in the survey, and also keeps “garbage data” from overwhelming the storage space.
Too many choices
It may be tempting to offer n- choices in any question requiring a rating of a parameter of service. However, the leading psychologist Barry Schwartz has argued that increasing choices on offer can only lead to higher anxiety and stress for the customers. Instead of making their decision easier (as should be expected), more choices only make their decision more difficult, since they now need to “eliminate” more options to zero in on their desired choice. The logic can be extended to feedback survey forms as well. An excess of choices in the questions can also make the post-survey analysis of data difficult and tedious to arrive at insights.
Requiring answers to all questions
This point holds particular importance in feedback survey forms filled up digitally. Forcing your respondents to fill up all questions in order to progress in the survey might annoy them, leading them to just dismiss the survey mid-way. There also might be few questions that customers in a business setting may not feel entirely comfortable answering – and a few skipped questions will hardly make a difference to the analysis of your “big picture” anyway.
Too many open-ended questions
Open ended questions following a simple rating question are invaluable since they allow business managers to gain unique insights from the perspective of the customers, as to why they gave a particular rating to a parameter. It may bring to light issues that the business manager may not even have thought about, by asking the customers for their opinions. Caution must be exercised before adding too many open-ended questions however, since customers rarely want to feel like they’re writing essays. The idea is to keep the survey short and meaningful for the business manager as well as the customer.
They merit a special mention in the list of survey bloopers. Questions seeking age, gender, nationality or the like must be saved for the end since they can get rather offensive to some, and make them less willing to complete the survey they started on a sour note. It might be a better idea to ask these questions after your customers are through with the survey. Besides, these questions are usually boring and it is best to start the feedback with interesting questions that help the business gain valuable insights.
Asking irrelevant questions
It may be tempting for a survey designer to want to know everything, but questions must be added judiciously. Ask only those questions that merit an answer for analysis of the customer service. This keeps the survey short and interesting for the customers, and makes the analysis much easier later on.
Seeking too many details in one question
In their quest to make the survey short and minimize the number of questions, survey designers may want to club together two questions in one, something along the lines of: “Please rate the taste of food served and the quantity of portion”. While the food may have been great, the quantity might have been barely adequate, or conversely. It is essential for survey designers to be wary of this trap and frame separate questions for each and every parameter they wish to draw an analysis on.
Skipping the conclusion
Think about this. Your customers have spent some of their valuable time to proffer suggestions to help improve your business. It would make their day if they received a little “Thank you” message after completing the survey. Not only is it polite, it also acts as an excellent closure to the survey and your customers would know they are through with the feedback survey once they see the “Thank you” page.
This is an essential point, but one that is often overlooked in the frenzy of quickly assembling a customer feedback system together. Check if questions have an “N/A” option so that respondents aren’t forced into answering from the available list of choices, however extensive they may be. If an option is marker as “Other”, it must be followed with a blank space. Fields for storing e-mail address and telephone numbers must include a validation rule to ensure that only valid values are collected.
Survey creation may have taken a lot of time and designers would be keen to see the fruits of their effort as soon as possible, but it is always a wise idea to undergo a trial run with a sample of the intended audience before finalizing the plan. Such a test-run will bring to light any unintended errors that may have crept through the design phase, and ensure that the survey logic is functioning as desired, and the reporting module is in sync with collected data. Correcting errors and bugs in the trial run is far better than making changes during the actual operation, which may corrupt the analysis.
Like pleasing customers, designing customer feedback surveys is no mean feat. Both require diligence, attention to detail and patience. However, if implemented properly, they are sure tp pay big dividends in due course.