Creating Effective Customer Satisfaction Surveys

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Customer feedback is critical for your success as a business. You can leverage customer feedback to assess your inventory, processes, employees, and supply chain management to find areas of improvement and skyrocket your customer satisfaction. Happy customers are easy to translate into loyal customers, and the best way to know what makes customers happy is to listen to them. 

Customer feedback helps you reach your full potential, but so many businesses neglect this facet of running a business. Conducting customer satisfaction surveys and properly evaluating them takes time and expertise that many managers do not have. 

Fortunately, there are several ways to streamline the process. In this post, we will explain the best method for sending and analyzing surveys. 

Customer Satisfaction Surveys 

A customer satisfaction survey (or CSAT) is a series of questions that you create to help your businesses understand how customers perceive their overall experience. With a CAT, you want to find out how customers feel about your services, products, and experience as a whole. 

The Goal of a Customer Satisfaction Survey 

Customer satisfaction surveys have several key objectives. Some of the most common goals of a CAT include:

Learning about the ideal customer

Targeting the right customer begins with understanding their persona, challenges, and goals. You can use a CSAT to get the information that you need to do this. Customer satisfaction surveys will help you better understand the target customer, including his or her qualities, pain points, and demographics. You can leverage this information to develop and define accurate buyer personas, which you can tailor your marketing strategies around. In the end, understanding the target customer will help you reduce acquisition costs and boost retention. 

Show customers that you care

Customers want to interact with businesses that care about their opinions and desires. Multi-location companies often struggle with this issue because they have managers handling several locations. Unfortunately, many customer experience issues may slip through the cracks, making the customer feel undervalued and frustrated. Providing CSATs shows customers that you care about them, and you are working to improve. 

Evaluate areas to improve

To increase your profits, you must have high customer satisfaction and provide a great customer experience. To delight customers, you need to find the right areas to focus on. Knowing how “delighted” customers are is not always easy or obvious. CSATs can help you gauge their feelings and set goals for improvement. 

Hurdles for Customer Satisfaction Surveys 

Despite the clear benefits of customer satisfaction surveys, their use is not as widespread as it should be. For healthy growth, your company needs to obtain feedback from customers consistently. So why do companies avoid these surveys? Here are some myths that keep companies from leverage customer satisfaction surveys:

The surveys are too hard to execute

For many businesses, surveys are a daunting task. Trying to reach every customer you serve seems impossible, let alone to analyze all of the data. And what if you don’t even ask the right questions?

The key is to begin small with surveys. Just start by sending the customer survey to a small portion of your audience, and analyzing those results. Experiment with the small group first so that you can adjust your questions to get the data you are looking for. Once you’ve tinkered and developed a survey that you think works well, send it to a larger customer base. 

You don’t have to manually send and analyze surveys. Attract and Close helps you leverage our powerful software to automate the survey process. This way, CSATs become a fixed part of your customer experience. 

Surveys aren’t helpful

Another concern that many businesses have is that survey data is not reliable. Of course, there will never be a perfect survey. In general, customers will provide honest feedback that will help you improve your business. 

Surveys are a nuisance to customers

Some customers may not answer your survey questions, and that’s okay. However, many customers do want to take surveys, and they are happy to provide feedback so that they can get a better customer experience moving forward as well. There are several ways that you can make surveys easier for customers and ensure better results, which we will cover later on. 

Conducting a Customer Satisfaction Survey With Your Goals in Mind

Always consider your business goals when conduction a survey. Use these goals to create and execute a survey that gets you the data you need to improve. 

Break down what your ultimate goal is. Common goals for customer satisfaction surveys include:

  • Improving operations
  • Making marketing more effective
  • Understanding promoters

Evaluate your ideal customer. You may not be trying to get feedback from every single customer. Are you interested in hearing from loyal customers or first-time customers?

Consider your total customer experience. Is there any specific area that you would like to get feedback on and improve?

The Frequency of Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Customer satisfaction surveys are not a one-and-done strategy, you will need to regularly conduct them. But how often should you conduct a customer survey? There’s no universal answer. You must consider your industry, customer interactions, and specific circumstances to determine the optimal frequency of customer satisfaction surveys. If you see customers very frequently, then you should send out inquiries often as well. 

Types of Customer Satisfaction Surveys 

There are several types of customer satisfaction surveys that your team should consider.

Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSAT)

  • Ask customers directly how satisfied they are with your services
  • Uses a 1-5 scale, with “5” being highly satisfied and “1” being highly dissatisfied 

Net Promoter Score Survey (NPS)

Ask customers how likely they are to recommend your business from 0-10. Based on the answers, you classify the customer into three categories. 

  • 0-6 Detractors. These people actively steer others away from your business. 
  • 7-8: Passives. These people are mostly neutral and will not promote or steer away from your business. 
  • 9-10: Promoters. Promoters are happy to refer you to family and friends. 

Customer Effort Score Survey (CES)

Ask customers to rate your business on a scale from 1-7 based on how easy it was for them to deal with their problem using your product or service. 

The Top Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions 

In addition to measuring overall satisfaction, you may want to ask targeted questions that will provide more in-depth feedback for specific business areas. Some of the top follow-up questions to ask include:

Demographic Questions 

These questions help you understand the audience and customer segments that are enjoying your service. While it’s ideal to gather this information from your customer database and CRM, you may also need to ask some of the questions on your surveys. 

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Eduction
  • Employment status
  • Household income
  • Location
  • Ethnic background
  • children/dependents
  • Marital status

Product Usage

You also want to understand how and when customers use your products. Find out about the satisfaction of your customers to improve customer retention. These questions include:

  • What is your favorite/least favorite part of the product/service?
  • How often do you use the product/service?
  • (how) does the product or service help you achieve your goals?
  • What goals does the product/service fulfill?
  • How likely are you to use our products/services again?

Loyalty Questions 

To understand the factors that drive retention and loyalty, you should ask these loyalty questions:

  • How likely are you to renew your service contract?
  • Was this your first time using our services? 
  • How likely are you to purchase different solutions from us in the future?

Open-ended Questions

It’s impossible to capture everything the customer wants to say using just clickable options. Open-ended questions allow a customer to type a written response in a text box, which lets them tell you in their own words. These questions can uncover valuable information that may have been missed otherwise. 

  • What is one thing you would change about our business?
  • Describe how you feel about our company or product.
  • How can we improve your experience with us?
  • What can our employees do better?
  • Do you have any additional feedback or comments?

Tips for Best Customer Satisfaction Surveys 

For surveys to be useful, the customer must complete them. Here are some best practices for ensuring customer survey completion and accurate data.

  • Ask about overall satisfaction first. Follow up with open-ended or more detailed feedback. This makes the survey seem easy and naturally builds into more difficult questions. 
  • Only ask one question at a time. Don’t combine followup questions, as they are overwhelming. Ask a single question at a time. 
  • Keep the survey short. As the survey length increases, completion likelihood decreases. Keep survey questions between 7-10 questions max. 
  • Optimize surveys for mobile and desktop, so they are accessible to all customers. 
  • Stay away from leading questions. Don’t suggest the answer to the question; those questions lead to inaccurate data. 

Analyzing Customer Satisfaction Data

Once you have responses, it’s time to analyze the data and leverage it for your business. Here’s how:

Include different teams

Involve every relevant team in the process. For example, if customers complain about wait time, notify the front desk, and work together to improve the process. 

Set targets and measure progress towards your goal

Set pals for customer satisfaction metrics. If the response scores and below the target range, then set improvement goals that are optimistic, yet achievable. Then, measure the progress toward your customer satisfaction goals. Consistently measuring the results will help you stay on top of customer opinion and react quickly. 

Communicate with customers

Let your customers know that you are listening to their feedback, and explain the real changes taking place. This will help them know their voices are being heard and look forward to the improvements you are making. 

Start Collecting Quality Customer Feedback 

Improving your business is challenging, but customer feedback simplifies the process. Now is the time to start collecting and analyzing customer responses so that you can accurately adjust your business and create more loyal customers. 

In addition to following this guide, you can make customer satisfaction surveys an easy process with our new survey feature. As part of our online reputation management system, Attract and Close will help you automate the process of creating, sending, and analyzing surveys. Gathering customer feedback will be easier than ever. To learn more about our Survey feature or to get started today, schedule your free consultation with Attract and Close HERE. 

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