How to create online customer satisfaction surveys
Ever wonder what customers are saying about you? Want to improve customer loyalty? Would glowing Yelp or Google reviews help you out? In a competitive marketplace where social media has given the customer voice center stage, it's critical to know exactly what your customers think. Online customer satisfaction surveys give you the feedback you need to keep customers happy and turn them into advocates.
How to improve your business with surveys
From feedback on products and services to capturing your Net Promoter® Score (NPS), customer satisfaction surveys give you the insights you need to make better decisions. In fact, our study showed that businesses who measure customer satisfaction are a third more likely to describe themselves as “successful” than those who don’t.
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A consumer survey will help you pin down your customers' likes, dislikes, and the areas of improvement that exist. For example, what does the average customer think about your prices? Too high? Just right? How well is your staff doing on customer service, or how well does your client success team understand the growing needs of your customers—and prospects? Is there anything at all about the customer experience that turns off your customers? You might even poll clients on why they stop doing business with you, how you might win them back, and how you can prevent customer losses in the future.
Empower your employees to meet milestones based on client needs. And, if you're developing a new product or updating an existing one, customers can provide you with invaluable feedback about design and functionality. Oftentimes, customers will shed light on problems that would have otherwise been missed.
Where to start
So what should be in your customer satisfaction questionnaire, and how should you get it in front of customers? This all depends on your goals, and what exactly you're trying to find out or improve. Here are a few common ways businesses use customer satisfaction surveys.
Survey clients who haven't used your services for months to identify what went wrong, and what you can do to win them back. A customer feedback survey can also be a good tool to get outside feedback on employee performance and how each person's role is tied to client satisfaction.
Create an online survey questionnaire to send to customers who've just made a purchase. Did that new and revolutionary tent fabric weather the elements? The results could reveal valuable insights on how to improve product features or address design flaws.
Identify opportunities for new products by using a customer satisfaction survey to see what expectations aren’t met by existing choices.
Surveys can help you discover your most loyal customers and influencers. Brand champions, power users, brand loyalists, brand heroes. No matter what you call them, they're your answer to knowing exactly what you're doing right, what to keep doing, and what to start doing. Showing customers that you're listening goes a long way.
Customer satisfaction surveys are a great tool to drive regular communication between you and your customers. They can act as a reminder that you’re there—and that you value their business. Poll them on them how they're doing, what suggestions they might have, and consider offering loyal customers swag or rewards for answering your surveys.
Making customer feedback part of your customer experience strategy can make a huge difference—and it doesn’t have to take much work. And if you’re looking for ways to automatically manage customer experience at every touchpoint, we can help.
Want to grow a new service area? Need to make sure your marketing is addressing the right consumer niche? Get to know potential target markets by first sending out an online survey to find out more about demographics, such as age, gender, income, hobbies, etc.
Now that you've got all of this great actionable data, you need to make sure feedback is implemented. Use customer feedback surveys to reach back out to customers and measure your progress over regular periods of time. Leverage what you've learned from this valuable data to rake in revenue and improve customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty. Compare results over time to see how you’ve improved.
Customer surveys are great for helping you make improvements to your product, website, customer service team, and more. But the feedback you collect only gives you half the story. You may think you’re doing well when it comes to customer loyalty, but your competitors could be doing even better--and capturing your customers in the process.
Find out how you stack up by comparing your results against customer satisfaction benchmarks, so you can target your improvements accordingly.
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See how you’re doing by comparing the results of your customer satisfaction survey against the SurveyMonkey benchmarks.
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Data from customer satisfaction questionnaires can also help managers identify key drivers and metrics they should track across departments and roles.
When you offer excellent customer service, you’re much more likely to find and retain customers. Make employee engagement a priority to improve customer satisfaction and your level of customer service. Regularly checking in with employees to see what makes them tick—and creating performance benchmarks—can go a long way toward keeping your customers happy.
Tips for creating effective customer surveys
Go. Fight. Win. Well, maybe it's more like: Ask, Listen, and Win. In addition to using methodologically-sound questions in the key areas already mentioned, you'll also want to follow these tips for creating a great consumer survey:
- Be clear. Say you're surveying on customer satisfaction for a hotel stay. Don't make your respondents guess what you mean by asking generally about different aspects of their stay. Tell them what the standard should be. Ask if the room service was prompt, if the swimming pool was clean, if the check-in clerk was friendly, if their bed was comfortable, and so on.
- Be specific. Don't ask questions about broad concepts or ideas; ask about specific concepts or ideas (i.e. being "a good person" is general; being "polite to waiters" is specific). Specific questions and answers will make it easier to identify things to improve.
- Ask a lot of questions. Asking multiple specific questions instead of one general question will not only make your questions easier to answer for your respondents, but it will also make your data easier to analyze and act on. Did your waiter let you know about the specials of the day? Did he take your order promptly? Was he able to answer all of your questions? Was he able to coordinate the timing of your courses? Just be careful not to ask too many questions. We’ve seen consumers’ response rates go down when answering surveys becomes a burden.
No matter what goal you're working toward, you'll get closer to rockstar status if you're armed with a plan of action on how you'll use these new insights. You'll also want to conduct surveys regularly—aim for once or twice a year—to gain a better understanding of where you should focus your customer satisfaction efforts, and how to follow through. Being consistent about soliciting and analyzing feedback is crucial if you want to continue to deliver great results.
NPS®, Net Promoter® & Net Promoter® Score are registered trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld.