1. Why do a survey?
A customer survey provides an exceptional opportunity to find out more about your customers, to measure how they view your business, products and services, processes, employees and communications. It also provides you with an opportunity to reinforce your brand and demonstrate your interest in your customers. However, to maximise the value from you survey you should decide on what your priorities are. What do you want to do with the information? To what extent do you want to measure performance compared to collecting more in-depth feedback of your customers’ experiences?
2. Who are your audience?
Do you want to gather information across all your customers or focus on a particular group of customers. Bare in mind that customers who haven’t had recent contact with your business are less likely to respond to a survey or provide accurate responses.
3. What is the best way to make contact?
Your type of business and the customer contact information you have access to or can collect from your customers will determine the most appropriate survey method. It may be that you conduct the survey on your premises or via email, sms, a website, telephone, paper or face to face meetings. Alternatively, businesses with a social media profile may be able to use this forum to distribute their survey.
4. What makes a good questionnaire?
Start with the end in mind. Will the questions provide me with the information I need to measure the performance of my business? The golden rule is to keep it short, inviting, relevant and easy to follow. Think carefully about the questions you want to ask and if possible separate them into categories so that participants are clear what the questions relate to.
To measure performance you will need an appropriate scale e.g. a 5 or 10 point scale from e.g. “very dissatisfied to very satisfied” or “very poor to very good” as well as open questions which give you a more in-depth understanding of what matters to your customers. Other considerations are to gather profiling information on your customers to get a better understanding of who they are and which groups are most positive towards your brand.
5. How do you ensure you get a good response?
Survey communication is very important and catching someone’s interest in the first few seconds could make all the difference. The response you get will also be affected by the extent to which your customers are engaged in your brand. What is in it for them? How will they benefit from the survey. Other considerations are whether to offer an appropriate incentive?
6. How to interpret the results?
There are an extensive range of survey tools available in the market place today which will enable you to gather and view the survey results quickly and easily. These systems provide tables and charts and an opportunity to view overall performance, look in more detail at sub-groups of results or view specific comments. Questions to ask yourself are, are you strong in all areas or are their areas which need to be addressed? What factors are most important to your customers? Can you compare the results with previous surveys to see any trends? Are the differences in result statistically significant?
What is key is that you invest time in preparing the results in a format which is clear and easy to interpret and share. You are unlikely to find any survey tool that can do this totally automatically.
7. What actions will you take?
The results should help you identify the areas which need to be improved and what will have the greatest impact on customer loyalty and new sales.
A customer survey can also provide you with an excellent opportunity to communicate internally and involve your staff, working together to identify ways to respond and make improvements. Plus, sharing positive customer comments with staff is a great motivator. You can also use the results to build relations externally and involve your customers or potential customers.
If you would like further tips and advice or if you have further questions then join one of our free webinars. Just fill in the contact form below and we will send you our next webinars dates. We look forward to hearing from you.
The webinar is ideal for those who currently manage their own surveys and want to get more from them or for those who have the exciting prospect of carrying out a survey for the first time.