How do I Learn More about My Customers? Surveys!
Survey's are an excellent way to learn more about your customers and get feedback about what you are doing well and places you can improve your service. Here are a few ideas to consider when creating a survey.
- Offer a small incentive: Consider offering a small gift or discount for participating in your survey. Like you, your customers are busy with their lives and you are asking them to take time to help you. If possible a small concession can help.
- Be brief: Create your survey so that it doesn't take more than two to three minutes to complete.
- One question, one topic: Ask questions that focus on a specific aspect. Do not ask questions that could have more than one component. (Are you pleased with the service and product you received today?) They may like the product, but not the service. This needs to be two questions.
- Multiple choice answers: When possible offer multiple choice answers(ratings scales included). In addition to being easier for the customer to fill out the survey, you will also receive more consistent data from the answers. If you think that you need too many options in the multiple choice, use the best 5 and add an "other" option with a comment box.
- Ask for comments: You can't cover everything in a short survey, but your customer may have some additional information to share.
- Be specific: General questions can be difficult for the customer to answer, especially in the time they wish to devote to your questions. Instead of "how can we improve our product/service?" ask "did you receive excellent service?" or "Are you completely satisfied with your product/service?"
- Follow up: If a customer takes the time to fill out your survey, make sure you follow up.
a) If you get a response that the customer is completely satisfied, then thank them for the kind words and tell them how happy you are that they had a great experience. If you provided them a discount for filling out the survey, remind them to come back and use it.
b) If you get a response that your product or service was lacking in some way, you must treat this as an opportunity. A couple of service providers I am most loyal to, made errors early in our relationship. They made it right immediately and have continued that trend for years. So contact these customers and discuss what you can do to make it right. It's unlikely that you will be able to satisfy everyone, but make the effort and you may see some spectacular rewards. You may offer them a discount or free try at the service again or a replacement product.