Customer surveys are not an easy task to master. Getting enough feedback to be of use and receiving the right kind of feedback is quite tough for any business owner.
The best way to accomplish such a feat is preserving a respect for your clients. Be truthful and sincere when asking for feedback, respect their time, and follow up when you say you will.
When you’re developing customer surveys keep these 4 things in mind:
1. Ask for immediate informal feedback
It’s much more convenient if you are able to get information directly from the source post-sale and before they finalize their transaction. However, in order to do this properly you must make them feel comfortable about telling you how they feel, right on the spot.
For example, if you are selling products ask your customers to tell you what they like or don’t like through general conversation before you wrap up the transaction. Have your team record informal feedback to track feedback trends.
2. Be honest about your request
You don’t have to bait customers into giving you the information that you want to hear. Share the real reasons why you need feedback. This will help you to receive more honest feedback and increase the amount of feedback received.
Saying things like “We take customer feedback seriously and will implement necessary changes based on the information we receive,” communicates to buyers that they are a highly-valued, essential part of your business.
3. Keep surveys short and simple
Respect your client’s time by allowing them to provide feedback in multiple ways. A recent study showed that a whopping 40% of customers enjoy giving feedback via text messaging, while 24% prefer a traditional online survey.
No matter how you send out your customer survey make sure to keep the verbiage clear, concise, and short. No one wants to complete a lengthy survey. Keep the survey direct and targeted to assess specific areas of your business.
Survey questions like, “What feedback can you provide us?” are too general and will lower your response rate. The customer shouldn’t have to do all of the work. A more direct question like “What do you like (or dislike) about this product?” will receive specific comments, which will actually be helpful for product development and research.
4. Be consistent and follow up
Track emails you send out with email marketing software so you can easily track open and click through rates. Set up email drip campaigns, a series of triggered marketing emails to potential customers, with specific follow-up goals in mind.
Being prompt and consistent is key. Integrating your survey into email campaigns, can keep your survey top of mind. What’s more, if you are sending out regular check-ins anyway just to confirm that your customer is enjoying their experience, they will see you as a reliable and caring business owner.
Keeping your customer’s best interests in mind is the most simplistic and powerful way to tell how you’re doing. If customers their time is respected and their feedback is actually valued, they will participate and continue to advocate for your brand.
Furthermore, the feeling of respect must be a mutual one. Customers want to see businesses that they believe in thrive. So, if you can assure the customer experience will be an excellent one they will likely provide you the feedback you need to make your business stand apart.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Trisha Miller is a writer from Boise, ID. She has over 10 years of customer service experience over the phone, face to face, and via technological avenues. Connect with @thatdangvegan on Twitter.