6 Guidelines to Designing a Customer Survey

June 2, 2015 Appirio

By Atisha Sharma

design_customer_survey

Capturing customer feedback is becoming an important aspect of running a successful business. But designing a customer survey can be more of an art than a science. To get the most out of customer surveys, I use the following 6 guidelines:

  1. Know the focus of each survey

First, the business should find a focus for the survey that they can take action on. For example, if you are business that manufactures goods and also does direct selling, create separate surveys about the quality of goods and the store services. It is best not to bombard the customer with survey questions about every aspect of your business.

  1. Survey through all channels

The customer should be able to take your surveys in the medium of her choice.  This could be on a computer, mobile device, paper, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), or social media. The business should try to reach out to the customer in all possible ways.

  1. Avoid over-surveying

Just like in the consumer world, surveying business-to-business customers can irritate your customers. Not surprisingly, your customers may stop responding or may start giving fake ratings. How much is too much can be difficult to gauge, but frank conversations with your closest customers can give you a good idea.

  1. Plan the timing of surveys

The ideal time to send out a survey is within 7-10 days of a customer’s interaction with the business. Sending a survey too soon might lead to emotional feedback: too high or too low ratings. At the same time, a customer might not recall the interaction if too much time has passed.

  1. Keep it simple and easy to respond

Surveys should be easy to understand and easily relate to the interaction the customer had with the brand. Avoid too many standard questions, otherwise the customer might abandon the survey. Also, be sure to put the questions in an order that has some logical flow.

  1. Capture the customer profile

It is a good practice to capture the demographic profile of a customer, such as age, gender, and location. With this information, you can assess the data based on the profile and conclude if the business needs to improve their services for any particular customer segment.

We have found Medallia to be a great tool for getting this feedback and turning it into actionable insights. But no matter what tool you use, it will only be useful when combined with good planning and careful execution.

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