Designing Effective Customer Satisfaction Surveys

When customers want to feel effective, they can be motivated to take customer research surveys. The easier it is to do this, the more likely they will be to fully comply. The more compelling the invitation to participate, the more likely it is you will get the results you need.

Just as surveys give information that improves results, surveys that follow specific guidelines have more chance for capturing the necessary information. Design template choices can be pivotal for specific results. As with most things, the simpler it is to comply, the more likely it is you will get your needs met.

Logic and Simplicity

Be logical and simple. If your survey is to be used by non-native speakers, make the questions basic and easy to understand. The shorter the survey is, the better as well.

Willingness to comply with a customer research survey request can depend on details such as how much was spent for the product, or how often the customer contacts you directly.

In general, 20 to 30 questions are best for an image-based survey, but no more than ten questions should be used for a transaction-based survey. Surveys of 40 or more questions tend to be abandoned.

Make Best Use of Change Mechanisms

If you do not improve the product or service in the manner customers expect they may abandon your company altogether.

Customers who view the survey as a change mechanism will seek quick change. If they see it–trust is won. Loyalty cannot be undervalued. The most effective surveys focus on measuring concrete factors you can control. These factors can include:

  • response times
  • delivery policies
  • support responses
  • accuracy in orders
  • quality and delivery

Avoid Generalizations

It is best to avoid generalized questions. When asking if a company is “good” one person may respond to skill, while another to morals. In both cases you still haven’t learned much. Ask yourself what level of satisfaction or transaction you seek to determine. Find a way to make it measurable. Scales of one to ten are good for this purpose.

When measuring transaction satisfaction, you are measuring every type of transaction your customer has with your company which can include sales calls, support emails, invoicing experiences, and so forth.

Image-based satisfaction has to do with how your company is perceived and how successful your branding process has been. Knowing what customers tell others about you matters.

Logic and Simplicity Helps Avoid Confusion

Customers may become confused if you try to mix these two very different customer research survey topics. These questions lead to very different thinking processes and may be considered annoying.

Identify who and when to measure. Critical performance information is mandatory for improvement.

Measuring Customer Satisfaction

There are four major elements of service satisfaction:

  • Responsiveness
  • Speed of Transaction
  • Availability of Service
  • Professionalism

Experts recommend pre-testing your topics and how you word the questions with a sample panel of customers or front-line employees. Be certain to base your survey on topics that are of primary importance to customers.

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