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Productivity / Using surveys

Customer feedback surveys: What’s the point?

In previous articles, I focused on making your survey easy to answer, survey design and survey writing. To get the most meaningful results from your customer feedback surveys, it is also important to ask the right questions.

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When I am asked who my perfect client is, I say “someone who knows why they want to do the research”. A lot of people think they should do a customer feedback survey, but have not thought about how they can actually use the results. You can’t design good survey questions until you know what you are trying to achieve.

Two common ways customer feedback surveys can be used is to develop more effective marketing campaigns and to improve business development.

Here are some survey questions to help you get the information you need to do this:

Great questions for marketing campaigns

Would you recommend our services?

Being able to say that 99% of your customers would recommend you has a much greater impact than saying that your average customer satisfaction is 9.9/10.

All you need to ask is: Would you recommend our services? Yes | No

"Finding out how important different aspects of your business are to your customers can help you prioritise what to focus on."

Are you happy to provide a testimonial?

If you have an opportunity to collect testimonials, take it – they can be used in a variety of ways for marketing and PR. You can also go back to customers who have provided great testimonials and build a case study around how you have helped them.

Click here to read more about getting customer testimonials.

Who are you?

Demographic questions are a great way to segment your customers into groups, so you can target them more effectively with separate marketing campaigns.

For example:

  • Gender – Do males and females think differently about your services / products / brand image?
  • Age groups – Do your young and old customers prefer different aspects of your business?
  • Location – Do customers in different areas have the same needs?

How can we find you?

You can also use surveys to find out the best way to reach your customers through your marketing campaigns. This might be different for each customer segment. For example:

  • Media – What newspapers or magazines do your customers read that you could advertise in?
  • Activities – What events do your customers attend that you could become involved with to raise brand awareness?
  • Interests – What images and incentives would draw attention to your marketing?

Want more articles like this? Check out the using surveys section.

Great questions for business development

What do you think of us?

The easiest way to find out what your customers think of you is to ask them to rate their satisfaction with the different aspects of your business (see my next article for tips on measuring satisfaction). This will help you identify what areas you excel in and where you need to improve.

An overall satisfaction question is a good way to track changes over time within periodic customer feedback surveys. You can then compare satisfaction before and after improvements are made, to make sure you are heading in the right direction.

What is important to you?

Finding out how important different aspects of your business are to your customers can also help you prioritise what to focus on. You may find that your resources could be allocated in a better way – there is no point spending extra time and money on something that your customers don’t care about.

You can also work out the difference between importance ratings and satisfaction ratings for each business aspect, and target those with the biggest gap – high importance but low satisfaction. These are the areas where improvement will make a big difference to overall customer satisfaction.

Any other comments or suggestions?

Providing space for additional comments and suggestions at the end of your customer feedback survey will allow your customers to raise any additional issues that weren’t covered. If the same issue is mentioned frequently, you can include it as a structured question in your next survey and investigate it further.

Alternatively, your customers could tell you they love something which you could then use as a selling point to attract new customers. Or if you’re lucky, they might come up with a brilliant idea for growing your business.

See also my previous articles on making your survey easy to answersurvey design and survey writing.

Kate Tribe

enables decision makers with limited time and resources to be clear-headed about the direction of their business. Drive change through meaningful data that solves the puzzle of understanding your tribe.

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