5 Tips for Optimal Customer Survey Practices

Knowing how customers feel about your brand is essential to your long-term success. While your social media pages and website comments may provide plenty of insights, well-designed customer surveys remain a time-tested method for understanding customer sentiments. Asking strategic questions at the right times can give your brand a global view of where improvements may be made. Here are five tips for optimal customer survey practices that will strengthen your brand.

Balance generic questions with specific ones

Surveys should always ask relevant questions that your brand cannot answer without customer input. For example, there’s no need to ask about the number of purchases per month if your brand already has that data. Instead, surveys should aim to ask questions about customer experiences that range from the generic to the specific. A post-contact survey, for example, might begin with questions about the customer’s overall rating of the agent with whom he spoke. The survey may then proceed to ask specific questions about the agent’s level of knowledge, attentiveness, and other qualities. At the end of the survey, the customer may be given the chance to write additional comments and suggestions.

Keep surveys short

As a general rule, surveys should not take longer to complete than a purchase. A post-contact survey may only need ten questions, while a periodic survey that seeks more information for marketing purposes might be longer. In any case, short but relevant surveys are more likely to appeal to customers as they don’t take up too much time and also show your brand’s focus on relevant questions.

Use good timing

There are many different times when a survey may be appropriate, and good timing is truly important. Post-contact surveys attract customers’ attention when their service cases are still on their minds, and post-purchase surveys may similarly yield important feedback regarding product preferences. In addition, periodic surveys may help refine overall brand practices in areas such as service, marketing, and product development. Lastly, surveys may be integrated into brand apps, prompting customers to answer a few questions after they have made purchases or shown active use of the app over a given period of time.

Reduce customer effort

Customer experiences should be effortless, and that includes taking surveys. For example, your brand should never ask obscure questions that customers have trouble answering, use a confusing scale, or make questions too long. Surveys are user-friendly when questions are clear and to the point. The scale should be easy to understand with a visually appealing design, and customers should be told upfront how many questions they will be asked.

Make contact on preferred channels

To increase the rate of response, your brand should always contact customers on their preferred channels. For example, post-contact surveys should be sent on the channel of service, while surveys related to purchases should be sent on the channel that customers use most frequently. Your brand may even ask customers to indicate a contact channel of preference. When improvements are made based upon customer suggestions, follow up with those customers on the same channels to show them that you take their feedback seriously. Surveys may be bothersome to customers when they are too long, sent too often, or poorly worded. However, by creating surveys with a clear focus that are sent when and where customers value them most, your brand can gain valuable insights that may truly redefine your customers’ experiences. 

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