How to create online customer satisfaction surveys
Ever wonder what customers are saying about you? Want to improve customer loyalty? Would great online reviews help your business? In a competitive marketplace, 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.
Why collect customer feedback?
Customer satisfaction surveys give you the insights you need to make better decisions. In fact, we’ve found that businesses who measure customer satisfaction are 33% more likely to describe themselves as successful than those who don’t.
A consumer survey will helps you understand your customers’ likes, dislikes, and where you need to make improvements. 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 show you problems that would have otherwise been missed.
Ideas for using customer satisfaction surveys
What should be in your customer satisfaction questionnaire, and how can 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 says businesses use customer satisfaction surveys.
Determine product or service performance
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.
Develop new products
Identify opportunities for new products by using a customer satisfaction survey to see what expectations aren’t met by existing choices.
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.
Want to grow a new service area? Need to make sure your marketing is addressing the right consumer niche? Get to know potential markets by first sending out an online survey to find out more about demographics, such as age, gender, income, hobbies, etc.
Establish performance goals
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.
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
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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.