Customer Satisfaction Survey Best Practices
It’s a wise idea to find out how satisfied your customers are with your services. However, customer satisfaction surveys can be misleading if you don’t design them carefully. It’s simple to end up with vague answers, few responses, or unhelpful information. Here are some customer satisfaction survey best practices to help you get the real information you need to offer better customer service.
Start with Demographics
For some businesses, collecting demographic information first is a great idea. If you have a wide customer base, you want to make sure that you’re serving every customer well. Sorting your survey results by demographics later can help you understand if you’re missing out on the needs of some of your customers.
Similarly, you might want to ask what kind of services your customer received. Or, try to tie their personal information to your own record of the services or products that they received. Later on, you can sort the information to see if people are as happy with installations as they are with repairs, for example.
Before you wade into the weeds of your customer’s experience with you, use a question to get their first, gut, overall impression of your service. Later on, questions that focus on one or more aspects of their experience may prime customers to weigh the things you ask about as most important. By getting their first reaction, you get the most honest overall opinion.
Ask One Question at a Time
In an effort to save space and save your customer’s time, you may try to ask a question that really has two components. Those might include:
- Was your technician knowledgeable and friendly?
- Did you enjoy the experience, and would you buy from us again?
The problem is that the customer might have conflicting opinions on two-part questions. Maybe the technician was knowledgeable, but not friendly. Or, maybe they did enjoy their shopping experience, but won’t buy from you again. In these situations, you have no idea if the customer answered for the first or the second part of the question, and so you don’t have information about either.
It is best to to make sure each question addresses only one issue. Although, having too many questions can indeed be a problem too, because customers won’t want to finish long surveys. You may need to trim your survey down to only the questions that matter the most to you.
Avoid Vague Answers
Ideally, you’d mostly offer your customers a scale of some kind to respond with. It can be hard to draw meaningful conclusions from open answer questions. These are where a customer can say whatever, they want. Instead, avoid vague answers by offering a scale like “never, sometimes or always.”
When using a numerical scale, keep it small to keep it as meaningful as possible. 1-5 and 1-3 are good options. 1-8 or 1-10 is too large. There’s little meaningful difference between 6 and 7, and you’re overwhelming your customer with too many options.
Send It Right Away
Customer responses are most honest and freshest right after their experience with you. Once you have your survey ready, send it off.