I think the best teacher is experience. Or said another way by Alfred Einstein, the only source of knowledge is experience. Experience is to credit for these tips in improving your customer satisfaction survey. I hope my experience can add to your knowledge.
- Never survey your customers more than once a year.
Your customer satisfaction survey should only be sent on an annual basis to each customer. There can certainly be others surveys your customers receive from your company based on onboarding or an interaction with customer service, but even those should be minimal.
So, what if you want that customer feedback on a more frequent basis, perhaps quarterly. Simply segment your customers into four segments (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 for example) and then in January send your survey to your Q1 list and in April send to your Q2 list for example. Now you can get more regular data and only survey each customer once a year.
- Never ask for information you have.
Receiving a customer satisfaction survey should feel like an opportunity to assess and reflect on the relationship with your company. Asking for information you already have like their name or email address damages this relationship and makes you look careless. Even surveys that want you to believe they are anonymous typically have some backend data tied to your custom survey link to know a bit about you. In todays’ world, nothing you do is anonymous.
- Never ask a closed-ended question.
A closed-ended question or one that can be answered with Yes or No should never be asked. That’s lazy question writing and with a tiny more work you can get more valuable data. For example, instead of asking “Did we meet your needs during our recent customer conference?”, ask “What did you enjoy…” or even a “Please rank in order what you enjoyed most about…”.
- Never send more than two survey reminder emails.
Let’s be honest, no one enjoys filling out a survey and typically those who do want to sing your praises or have an axe to grind. Often, the first reminder email can bring in as many survey responses as the initial email and the second reminder can be clear this is your last call to gather their feedback. If your survey is resulting in a poor response or even unsubscribes from your mailing list, you are getting valuable feedback – your survey sucks.
- Never have your survey too locked down.
If a customer is willing to start filling out your customer satisfaction survey, they likely already have something in mind they want to share. They will likely entertain you with filling out a few of your questions that benefit you but are not what they want to share. Nothing is more frustrating that completing this survey and never having an opportunity to share that feedback. With many questions, it can be helpful to have an “Other” option where the customer can provide an open-ended response. A great catch all can be a “Is there anything else you would like to share with us” question or even an opportunity to provide their contact information for further follow up.