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Reasons why you should avoid mandatory questions in your survey

Reasons why you should avoid mandatory questions in your survey

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!

Get better Survey Response Rate by avoiding these mistakes

Get better Survey Response Rate by avoiding these mistakes

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.


Scattered Questions

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.

Ten Common Survey Mistakes

Ten Common Survey Mistakes

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.


Demographic questions

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.


Not proof-reading

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.


Not testing

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.


5 types of questions to ask in a customer experience survey in restaurants

5 types of questions to ask in a customer experience survey in restaurants

Preparing a customer experience feedback form and survey for your restaurant guests is a tricky affair. On the one hand, you need to mindful in keeping the form short and relevant to not bore the guests and on the other you need to know about the customer and their experience at your restaurant to help you improve service and connect with your guests better.

This one is hard to crack, we know. And going wrong can really ruin your guest feedback response rate in the restaurant. Don’t fret. We’re here to throw in some suggestions that can help you build a good survey.

For starters, keep it small and relevant. You may be tempted to ask a lot of questions. But hold your horses. Your guests aren’t going to be as enthusiatic. A good and effective survey should have between 5 to 10 questions. Anything more can lead to lower survey completions.

We’ve listed 5 type of questions that you can ask your guests in a customer experience survey after they’ve dined with you at your restaurant.


Customer Details

Capture customer details will ensure that you can stay in touch with them even once they’ve left your business, by way of keeping them updated with latest additions to your menu, and reminding them about your promotional events and season discounts. Store their birthdays and anniversaries and sending them greetings on their special days. Nothing makes a person’s special day more than receiving an unexpected greeting, and doing so will enable you to create an indelible impression in their minds about your brand.


ratingCustomer Experience Rating

It is vital to garner your customer’s opinions about your service. After all, they’re paying for it, receiving it and are in the best position to comment upon it. No matter how convinced you may be about the superiority of your own service, it is ultimately the customer’s word that counts. Hence, asking your customers to rate the various aspects of your service is essential to your long-term planning and success. By collecting your customer’s opinion on various aspects of your service – including taste of food, quantity served, ambience, time taken to process request, politeness of servers, price for service rendered and the like, you can find out which areas of the business your customers are most happy with, and which areas you need to improve upon immediately.


If the feedback system comes with an interactive reporting suite, you can even examine the individual impact of each of the aspects in isolation to determine the return on investment on any one aspect, for example, the effect of investing on ambience by compensating the increased cost with higher prices. This can allow you to establish what your customers think about your service, in totality as well as when the various aspects are viewed in contrast to each other, thus enabling you to focus on areas that need your attention the most.


Customer Loyalty

If there is one question that presents an aggregate view of your customers’ loyalty, it is the Net Promoter Score question. In just a simple statement “On a scale from 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us among your family and friends?”, you can determine if your customers are impressed enough with your service to put their reputation on the line by recommending your brand and acting as your brand ambassadors/ evangelists without any cost to you!


By tracking the trend of NPS over time, you can also see for yourself the growth and maturity of your company in the market. Typically, as your company grows, the NPS © should increase, while a decreasing trend of NPS © would signal a problem.



Customer Effort Questions

The answer to this question can help you determine your reach into your market. Questions like “how did you hear about us” or “how accessible is our restaurant” can help you know your most reliable advertising agents and how difficult it is for your customers to reach your place. This can further enable you to plan accordingly and make changes in your advertising mix, such as pamphlets, newspapers, or maybe putting up a big hoarding overlooking the road.


By keeping a few of these things in mind, you may be well on your way to creating an extensive feedback survey for your business and getting the most from your customers.



Customer Comments & Views

Always wrap up your survey with a question that allows the customer to share his comments and views about the experience at your restaurant. While too many open-ended questions can be exhausting for the guest filling the feedback form, a question summarizing their experience can be very helpful in analyzing what’s going on in your customers mind. It also helps in more qualitative review of your restaurant’s performance.

Customer Loyalty: What it is and how it can be measured

Customer Loyalty: What it is and how it can be measured

One of the most prevalent misconceptions in today’s business environment is the idea that a repeat customer implies customer loyalty. Business owners and managers like to believe that a customer who brings business again and again is a loyal patron of the establishment. While this may not be far from the truth, there is a subtle difference between a ‘loyal customer‘ and a ‘repeat customer‘.


What makes customers loyal?

Let us see the various reasons why a customer may be choosing to do business with you repeatedly:

  1. It takes a lot of effort to go elsewhere
  2. You have achieved cost leadership in your segment
  3. Old habits die hard
  4. They may have developed bonds with your employees (rather than your business)
  5. They are keeping you as a ‘safety back-up’ while actively searching for alternatives

In each of these cases, a competitor can swoop in and win away your customer by attractive discounts, aggressive campaigning or simply upgrading their service offering. It turns out that loyalty is above repeat customers.

Customer loyalty may be loosely defined as a strong belief in your customers that your organization’s product or service is their best available option, maximizing their value appeal. Loyalty is expressed by customers when they stand by your business through thick and thin, when they are not seeking out competitors, and if approached by them, ignore them. They will spend extra time and effort to approach your establishment.


How can you build more customer loyalty?

To sum up, customer loyalty is much more than repeat customers, and it goes a long way in building your brand. Here is how you can build loyalty among your customers:

  1. Reward your customers for choosing you over competitors.
  2. Treating your employees well – it is said that employees are the first customers of any company. The surest way for you to induce a sense of customer service in your employees would be to treat your staff just as you would like your staff to treat your customers.
  3. Maintaining accounts of your repeat customers and keeping track of repeat customers preferences and dislikes.
  4. Keeping in touch with your customer base over the Internet – advertising all major events on social media, and a personal email on birthdays and anniversaries.

Easier said than done! Any business operating in the service industry would probably already be doing, or have a plan in place to start doing each of these tasks to strengthen their customer base. The important question that remains then is – how to measure what impact has it created?


Measure Customer Loyalty

Quantifying customer loyalty however, can get tricky. There is hardly anything to be gleaned by asking your customers directly if they are loyal to you, as customers may easily report being loyal to several businesses simultaneously! To measure customer loyalty, we need answers to questions that address the behaviors and attitudes of truly loyal customers:

  1. Likelihood of recommending your company to other people.
  2. Likelihood of continuing purchase of products and services from your company, equal to or more than the current quantity.
  3. Believing that your products or services are the best in the market at the current price level.
  4. Opinion formed of staff members who directly interact with and deliver service to them.
  5. Ease of giving honest feedback to your company to help overcome any shortcomings in service quality.

These are few of the questions that can help a business determine which of their customers are strongly attached to the brand, while which are most vulnerable to leaving for a competitor at the first notice.

Measuring loyalty is just a piece of the puzzle. The other part is to figure out why few customers are loyal, few are vulnerable and several lie between the two extremes – let’s call them neutral. And since the best information is always the one that is obtained from the source itself, businesses should invest in developing systems that enable them to collect feedback from their customers about their service level, areas of improvement and any gap between their expectation and actual delivery.

So, are you doing your bit to figure out your customer loyalty?