In a recent article, Are You Working On One of the MOST Effective Forms of Marketing?, we talked about how you can uncover customer needs and wants. One of the ways was to do a customer survey. In this article I’m going to share some tips to create effective customer surveys that your customers will actually be happy to complete. 🙂
One of the best ways to build a business is to strive for perfection in the eyes of your customer. Give them an exceptional customer experience time after time and they’ll remain loyal customers. They’ll spread the word about your superior business and you’ll grow and profit.
However, you don’t have a crystal ball or the ability to read your customer’s mind, right? So the next best option to get inside their head and learn what they need and want is to engage in conversations or to come right out and ask them. This is where a customer survey can be quite handy.
Yet if you’ve ever created a customer survey you may have realized after the fact that only one or two questions provided you with any valuable information. In fact, marketing students spend entire semesters learning how to create good customer surveys. It’s a combination of skill and science.
The following tips will help you skip a good year of marketing class and get right down to it.
1. Ask Open Ended Questions
Many surveys are set up with a rating scale or multiple choice answers. The rating scale doesn’t provide you with much, if any, information. The multiple choice selections are guided by your perceptions and assumptions.
If you want to learn what your clients need and want then ask them. Give them space to answer the question. You’ll likely be surprised by the responses you receive.
2. Keep Your Survey Short
No one, including you, wants to sit down and fill out a ten minute survey. Heck, you probably don’t even want to give a survey five minutes of your time – even if you LOVE the company. Your clients don’t either.
Make your survey short and sweet. Ask the questions you need answered and leave it at that. You don’t need to pad the survey with any fluff. Short and focused is the most useful approach for both you and your customers. Need a guideline? Keep your survey to ten questions or less.
3. Define Your Objective
What do you need to learn and why? Identifying your objective will help you create a focused survey. Identify the objective for your customers as well. Tell them why you need their help. It will motivate customers to respond and it will ensure that their answers are on target. People actually love to be part of the process. Not too mention, they’ll feel appreciated and listened to.
Surveys can be an extremely useful business tool. However, they’re only useful to you if your customers are willing to fill them out and if the information is useful to you. The key is to keep them short, focused, and goal oriented.
Have you used surveys to uncover new ways you can help serve your customers? I’d love to hear how that worked out for you below. If you haven’t tried a customer survey yet, let me know how you think one would work for you.
PS: Two customers survey tools are Survey Monkey & Forms in Google Docs they’re both free.