11 Principles for How to Write Good Customer Survey Questions
How to Write a Customer Satisfaction Survey
Customer satisfaction surveys can be used to measure your customers' satisfaction or dissatisfaction with specific areas of your company and services. Customer satisfaction surveys can also be used to predict sales trends and advertise your company's other services. Customer satisfaction surveys can help generate loyal repeat customers and generate referrals. They also offer an outside perspective to your company's operations. Before contacting your customers for their opinions you'll need to know how to write a customer satisfaction survey.
Plan your objective.Customer satisfaction surveys can be written with different objectives. Your objective will determine the format of your survey. Customer satisfaction surveys are generally written to either collect market research and feedback from your customers or to advertise your company and services to customers.
Choose a format.Customer satisfaction surveys can follow a consistent format or can include varying elements of several types of questions: gap analysis, rating scales, open-ended questions or online polls.
- In a gap analysis you will measure your customer's priorities and then compare their priorities to their satisfaction with your company. Having knowledge of your customer's priorities can help you analyze and prioritize the survey results and actions taken thereafter.
- In a rating scale format you will write a series of statements and have your customers select how they feel based on the predetermined scale. The scale could be a numbered scale or a worded scale. An example of a worded scale would be a range of strongly disagree to strongly agree or very true to very false.
- Open-ended questions allow your customers to free write their answers and opinions. This can provide you with in-depth feedback but can also make analysis very difficult.
- Online polls can be linked through social media websites such as Facebook. Polls can be sent directly to users' news links or posted on your company's Facebook page. "Purchase samples" are also available so you can poll users from a specific country or of a specific gender.
Choose your questions.Your objective will influence the specific questions. The questions in a customer satisfaction survey generally revolve around 3 main categories: the product, the service and transactions related to the service. Be sure to structure your question carefully and clearly. Be specific on questions and do not ask question which has general meaning or could be interpreted in more than one way.
Decide to whom you will send the survey and how.Satisfaction surveys can be sent to all customers in your database or only to customers who are completing current transactions. Who you send the survey to can affect how you deliver the survey.
- Customer satisfaction surveys given to current active customers can be given at the end of a phone call, the end of an online transaction or mailed with the product.
- If distributing the survey to the entire database, the survey can be distributed through a mass email, postal mailing or a dialer phone call.
Write an introduction.Include the introduction at the beginning of the survey. Give your customers a brief explanation for the survey before they begin. Writing the introduction at this point will allow you to gear it to your predefined audience, objective and distribution method.
Instruct your customers on how to complete the survey.Whether you have chosen a rating scale, gap analysis or open-ended questions, you will need to explain how to complete the survey.
Include a disclaimer.Ensure your customers know that their answers are respected and that their privacy will be protected.
Thank your customers for completing the survey.
Have a plan to track and analyze the results.Analysis can be the most difficult part of giving a customer satisfaction survey. Excel sheets can be used to measure numerical statistics. Professional surveying companies can also assist in analysis.
Be prepared to follow up with disconcerted customers.A customer satisfaction survey may give your customers the idea that you will act on any complaints. Not offering resolution or at least openly acknowledging the complaints may turn off your customer.
- If possible try to compare your data to industry average (benchmark). This will give you greater understanding of your results since there are industries where customers tend to be less satisfied. It is helpful to know how your market performing overall.
- Consider including employees and frontline employees. They may be able to offer added insight.
- Keep the survey as simple and short as possible.
Video: How to Use a Customer Satisfaction Survey to Your Advantage
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