6 Customer Survey Mistakes to Avoid

Customer surveys are a time-tested method for gaining valuable feedback. However, the quality of a survey as well as its timing make all the difference. If customers feel inconvenienced or fail to remember the details of an experience with your brand, they are not likely to give you the insights you need. With so many customers using multiple digital channels these days, it is especially important to design the best surveys that can be delivered efficiently on customers’ preferred channels. Here are six customer survey mistakes to avoid in order get the most meaningful feedback for brand improvements.

Lack of incentive for the customer

If customers do not understand the immediate benefits of taking a survey, they simply will not participate. Surveys take time, and skeptical customers might believe that their answers will not matter. Be sure to communicate how you plan to use their feedback, and give short examples of how past feedback has led to direct brand improvements. You may also consider offering some kind of reward, such as loyalty points or a discount upon survey completion.

Confusing content

If your questions are not precise, customers will only be frustrated or give you inaccurate answers. Make your questions as specific as possible, and ensure that the response scale is easy to understand. It’s also important to remember that generic questions—while easier to comprehend—fail to give your brand the deep insights you need. Consider dividing your survey into sections that clearly correspond to different steps in the customer journey. For example, in three distinct sections, you may ask if the brand website was easy to navigate pre-purchase, if the checkout process was seamless, and if order confirmation information was received quickly post-purchase.

Lack of a free-response section

Many times, customers will have additional input to offer, but the survey questions limit their responses. For this reason, it’s critical to offer a free-response section at the end that invites customers to elaborate on the points they find most pertinent. If a customer leaves particularly critical comments, your brand must follow up individually to reassure the customer that his opinions are being taken seriously. Customer comments can provide valuable information that your questions may not cover.

Poor timing

In customer service, timing is everything. This is why surveys should be sent post-purchase in a timely manner before a customer forgets the details of an experience or simply has no time to communicate. A couple of days post-purchase is ideal, allowing customers to reflect and offer honest responses without feeling too rushed. Sending surveys too frequently can also be problematic, as the customer should not feel bothered. Constant requests for information might lead your customers to unsubscribe from newsletters or otherwise leave your brand.

Long surveys

No one wants to spend more time on a survey than they have to, and some do not want to answer at all. This is why you should take great care in designing surveys, as length can be a major turn-off. Make your surveys concise and to the point, and be sure to format them in a way that is easy to read. Your customers will be far more likely to respond.

Ignoring the customer’s preferred channel

If your brand is always sending surveys on a single channel such as email, you are making a big mistake. Email may be convenient for some people, but each customer has his own preferences. The best strategy is to send surveys on customers’ preferred channels. Customers prefer convenience, and receiving communications on channels they already use makes engagement much easier.Survey Monkey estimates that it collects more than 2 million responses per day for companies, demonstrating that customers are indeed willing to engage further with brands. However, as these consumers are constantly approached by the numerous brands they support, it’s important to make your surveys stand out so that customers actually feel compelled to answer.

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