The Numbers Are In: Customer Surveys Are Great for Business

How asking simple customer satisfaction survey questions can help grow your business

Customer Satisfaction SurveyIf getting to know your customers better was on your list of New Year’s resolutions, surveys are a great way to go!

Whether it’s a card to fill out at checkout or an online questionnaire, a survey gives you a yardstick to measure how you’re doing overall, what’s working well, and what could use some improvement. Your survey tells your customers that you care about serving them better, plus it can be a great source of ideas. And even negative comments can be a boost if they alert you to a problem that could have led to lost business down the road.

Fortunately, it’s easy to conduct an effective customer survey without spending a lot of time and money. Just keep these simple tips in mind:

  • Keep your survey short and to-the-point.  Do a few test runs with employees or family members; if it takes more than a few minutes to complete, you might want to do some editing.
  • Make the questions simple.  Use simple wording that all of your customers will understand.  Using complex terminology can result in customer frustration.
  • Allow customers to remain anonymous so that they can feel comfortable being completely honest with you.
  • Set out multiple data collection points. For instance, you might have a pen-and-paper survey at checkout and an online version on your website.
  • Have at least one open-ended question.  This allows customers to express their thoughts and offer suggestions freely.
  • Provide an incentive.  Offer a free gift or enter customers in a drawing in exchange for filling out the survey.  This will help to get more participants.
  • Have a standard metric you’ll be able to compare year-over-year. For example, Net Promoter Score (NPS) is calculated by asking one simple question which measures how many of your customers are promoters vs. detractors. The resulting score can be compared with the industry average.
  • Clearly state the objective.  Make customers aware of what you plan to do with the results. Tell customers that you will review all of the responses & apply any suggestions that will help to improve the business.

For online surveys, many businesses use free sites like SurveyMonkey, which lets you invite customers to complete your survey online, in emails, or on your Facebook page. Pen-and-paper surveys are easy to create using Microsoft Word or other desktop programs; you can either print them yourself or have them printed professionally at a moderate cost.

What are you doing today to know your customers better? Tell us about it in the comments!

Chris Wallace

About Chris Wallace

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One Response to The Numbers Are In: Customer Surveys Are Great for Business

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