Are you using customer surveys to harass you customers? Stop that.

I’ve seen so many bad customer surveys over the past few weeks that I’m writing this at 4am on a Tuesday morning. If you’re going to engage in surveying your customers, and I recommend that you do, please remember a customer survey is not about you, it’s about building customer loyalty.

The Purpose of a Survey is to:

  • Provide value
  • Find out what your customers need
  • Build your brand

Biggest Survey Mistakes:

  • Not making customer surveys an integral part of your customer loyalty.
  • Making your customers do the work.
  • Assuming the survey is about your organization. It isn’t, it’s about your customers.
  • Too wordy, complicated or boring.
  • Not creating a visually appealing experience.
  • Not taking action on survey results.
  • Not leveraging new technology to interact with customers in real time!

How to Improve Response Rates:

  • Let your customers know it’s coming.
  • Send it out the same time every year. In some cases it’s important to continuously survey customers but annual surveys allow you to set benchmarks and see progress.
  • Ask easy questions first to draw them in
  • Personalize it
  • Ask as few questions as possible.
  • Make it enjoyable.

What Should Your Survey Development Process Look Like?

  • Get your team to brainstorm a long list of things they want to know about your customers. Select the 3 best questions.
  • Come up with a list of questions that will help your customer feel more engaged with your organization. Select the 2 best questions.
  • Decide what you can include in the survey that is of real value to our customer? Add this.
  • Send your list of questions to someone who is an excellent writer and have them rewrite all the questions.
  • Send the rewritten questions to your graphic designer so they can create an engaging an interesting look and feel for the survey.
  • Have your proofreader review and approve the survey.
  • Test the survey with a small group of customers.
  • Refine, proof again and you should be ready to send!

Use Technology to Engage Your Customers in Real Time

  • Add a live chat option to your website.
  • Start a discussion group on LinkedIn and hire a professional to manage it well.
  • Use social media like Facebook and Twitter to engage in real conversations with your customers.
  • Make sure you follow up with your customers to encourage their participation. Once you’ve completed the survey, compile the data and determine any action items the survey results suggest. Let your customers know of the changes that are being made so they can feel their input in action!

    Lastly, remember these wise words from Michael Hemsey….

    “Keeping customers loyal isn’t easy. Tech-savvy and time-strapped consumers crave instant rewards and genuine brand relationships cultivated across multiple channels.”—-Michael Hemsey.