I have what might, at first, seem like a rather silly question for you: why do you want to use a customer survey?
The knee-jerk answer is usually something along the lines of “so I can gather more information about my customers” or “so I can better understand my customers.”
While these answers aren’t wrong, they are a bit shortsighted…
Yes, surveys are used as a tool to collect details about your customers. But this information is meaningless (as is the act of conducting the survey in the first place) if it’s not used to improve the way your company operates and provides services to your customers.
In other words, the survey is a means to an end – not an end in and of itself.
To help you out, we’ve created the ultimate guide for creating customer surveys. It was built to produce actionable insights, with the hopes that you’ll be able to use the customer feedback you receive to improve your products and services and grow your business.
In this guide we’ll dig into the major aspects of planning, developing, distributing, and collecting responses for a customer survey. If you’ve never surveyed your customers before, you’re in the right place. We’ll show you everything you need to know.
Sound good? Let’s jump in…
Before you even begin designing customer surveys and developing questions for them, you’ll have a few things to consider:
- What are your goals for conducting the survey? Which questions do you want to be answered?
- What tools will you use for creating and delivering your survey?
- How do you plan on distributing your survey?
- Let’s take a look at each of these questions in greater detail.
1. Defining Goals For Your Customer Survey
Just as you do with all other campaigns and initiatives you undertake within your business, you need to have a clear-cut goal whenever you decide to conduct a survey.
But defining (and refining) your goal for a survey isn’t as simple as saying you “want to learn more about your customers” or “improve your customer service.”
Holding onto such vague goals will, consequently, lead to vague conclusions once you’ve collected information from your customers. In turn, it will be nearly impossible to use this information to make any sort of meaningful changes to your company’s operations.
So, begin by creating a goal that will act as the foundation for the development of your entire survey. The more specific you are when defining the goal of your customer surveys, the more likely you are to gather the information that will actually help your organization.
A few examples:
- Determine which aspects of our service our customers find most valuable, so we can focus on improving these areas quickly
- Get feedback from customers who have purchased our products online, so we can determine if the checkout process is streamlined or not
- Learn about the needs of our customers that we aren’t meeting, so we can improve the overall service we provide
Now, you might already have such a specific goal in mind, but you might not. If you don’t, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to help narrow your focus:
- What do I want to learn?
- Who do I want to ask?
- What am I going to do with the information I learn?
Let’s look back at one of the examples from above:
Get feedback from customers who have purchased our products online, so we can determine if the checkout process is streamlined or not.
This goal clearly answers each of the questions above:
- They want to learn about the quality of their online checkout process
- They want to ask only customers who have shopped at their online store
- They want to streamline the checkout process for their online shoppers
Setting such a definitive goal makes it much easier to create a survey with a clear focus, which, in turn, increases the chances that the information gathered from the survey will be incredibly useful to your organization.
It also makes it easier to develop your survey and increases the likelihood of generating responses from your customers.
2. Customer Survey Software & Tools
You’re not going to create your survey by hand, are you? And you’re most likely not going to be manually collecting, categorizing, and evaluating data. To make the survey procedure as easy as possible – for both you and your survey respondents – you should use technologies that:
- are simple to utilize
- provide the required features and capabilities
- are economical
Let’s take a quick look at each of these elements in terms of your company and your clients. These points are discussed in detail here Choosing The Best Customer Survey Software & Tools. You can read it now and continue from below.
3. Planning Your Customer Surveys For Distribution
The way in which you distribute your customer surveys depends largely on the answer to one question:
Where are your customers most active?
In other words, think about where and how your customers are most likely to engage with and complete your survey.
The most common means of delivering customer surveys are:
- Online (via company website)
But just because you deliver your survey through a given channel doesn’t mean you can’t use other channels to point your audience to it. For example, if you make your survey available on your website, you can, of course, include a link to the page within the email and social media communications (and other channels).