Mistakes To Avoid With Customer Satisaction Surveys

Satisfaction surveys are a great way to get an idea of how your customers feel about your business, but it’s easy to make some common mistakes that will erode the value.  Here are some things to keep in mind when launch your satisfaction survey.

  1. Don’t ask questions if you don’t care about the answer.  People don’t really enjoy taking surveys, so you want to keep it as short as you can to collect only the information you can act upon.  It’s so easy to keep piling on questions that seem interesting at the time, but ultimately you’ll never go back to and use.  I’ve also seen people ask about things they either can’t or won’t change.  If you aren’t going to address an issue, don’t set the expectations with your customers that you are by asking about it.  Nothing infuriates customers more than when they take the time to give feedback only to have it ignored.  On a similar note, only include demographic questions if you’re going to use them in the analysis.  People don’t like giving personal information, so don’t ask for it unless you’re prepared to use it (which isn’t the same as saying not to get it and use it, because it can be valuable).
  2. You’re survey is a reflection on your company. Okay, I know how tempting it is to get a free version of SurveyMonkey, thrown together a few questions, and get on your way.  Please resist the temptation.  You would never prepare a big sales presentation with an unbranded, unprofessional looking template you found on the internet or design your brochures in MS Word (I hope).   Even if you do use something like SurveyMonkey , go ahead and pay for the professional version so you can add your logo and customize the design.
  3. Pre-test the survey.  By that I mean don’t just have someone skim over it for typos (although they should do that too), but actually have them take it.  Have them look for questions that are confusing, biased or leading, or use company lingo that outsiders won’t understand.  Ask about the survey length.  Then take a look at the data after a few people have taken it.  Sometimes people don’t interpret a question the way you intended it and you’ll need to re-phrase.  It’s better to know all that before you send the survey to all your customers.
  4. Mutually exclusive and exhaustive option set.  Okay, so this is a good example of industry lingo I just advised against.  What this means is when you ask a multiple choice question, the possible answers shouldn’t overlap and should cover all possible options.  For example, if you ask how often someone typically eats at your restaurant, don’t give these options:
    1. 1-2 times per month
    2. 2-4 times per month
    3. 4-8 times per month

If they eat at your restaurant 2 times per month, which option would they select?  How about if they eat there daily?  A better option would be:

  1. Less than once per month
  2. 1-2 times per month
  3. 3-4 times per month
  4. 5-8 times per month
  5. 9 or more times per month

That’s a good start.  I could keep going on this for a while, but I’ll stop here and likely come back to this topic again in the future.  In the meantime, feel free to post questions you might have in the comments section below or contact us for a more in depth conversation.  Until next time, thank you for reading.

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2 Responses to “Mistakes To Avoid With Customer Satisaction Surveys”

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