Customer Surveys Done Right
A Guide to Customer Surveys
A company issuing a customer survey usually has two intentions: one is to receive feedback on products or services and the other is to increase customer retention. Funnily enough, companies which only set out to do the first usually also achieve the second, simply by virtue of dealing with and reacting to customer feedback. How so? Because they thereby signal that they care about their customers and their opinions.
Tips and Golden Rules for Customer Surveys
You have taken the first step: the goal is defined. Now it is time to implement it—but beware! These things do not always go according to plan. With the following tips, you can avoid the biggest pitfalls on the way to a successful customer survey and lay the foundations for your questionnaire.
Further Options for Customer Surveys
4. Customer Loyalty Survey
If sales figures drop, companies don’t have to increase their marketing budget to acquire new customers. It is rather than advisable to turn attention to long-term regular customers and to bind these more strongly to the company. Anyone who asks early on about the loyalty of their customers is spared spontaneous waves of churn and can react to them in advance.
“How likely is it that you will buy from us again or use our services?”
The following values can be used to indicate whether a customer will remain loyal to a company in the future: very likely – likely – undecided – rather unlikely – very unlikely.
5. Product/Service Offerings Survey
How do customers perceive a company’s products or services? Surveys on products or services can reveal hidden discrepancies, for example, if the product design does not meet customer expectations. Market research in particular benefits from this information.
“Which of the following words would you use to describe our product/service?”
The customer can submit his evaluation by choosing several answers from a list: indispensable – high quality – practicable – exceptional – inexpensive – overpriced – conservative – cool – inferior – unreliable.
6. Need Satisfaction Survey
Does the product meet the customer’s needs? With the question of the satisfaction of needs, companies can find out to what extent a product or service meets the wishes and requirements of their customers.
“How well did our product or service meet your needs?”
The customer can rate his opinion on the following response scale: very well – quite well – not really – not well at all.
7. Product or Service Quality Survey
The question of the satisfaction of needs can be narrowed down even further. For example, companies can directly ask their customers about the quality of their products or services. This gives you an insight into whether the quality of the product or service meets the expectations of the customers and also the expectations of the company.
“How would you rate the quality of our product/service?”
Here, too, customers can share their feedback on a five-point scale with the following values: very high quality – high quality – average quality – low quality – very low quality.
8. Value for Money Survey
If companies have already collected initial feedback on the quality of their products or services, it can be helpful to take a closer look at pricing—especially when feedback on quality is positive but sales are falling. Companies can use the following question to ask their customers about their pricing policy:
“How do you rate the price-performance ratio of our product/service?”
The following adjectives can serve as possible answers and can be expanded as required: inexpensive – reasonable – average – expensive – overpriced.
9. Accessibility Survey
How satisfied customers are, does not only depend on a company’s products or services. Sometimes it is the trappings that open customers’ hearts. This is mainly reflected in the service and availability of a company.
“How available was our team for you with regard to questions and concerns about our product or service?”
Customers can give their feedback on the following scale: very easy to reach – easy to reach – generally reachable – difficult to reach – very difficult to reach.
Alternatively, companies can also ask customers about their satisfaction with their opening or support times.
10. Survey on the Duration of the Business Relationship
Companies that want to draw conclusions from customers about their answers can ask about the length of the business relationship. Is the participant a permanent or new customer? The answers can be used, for example, to see whether long-term customers are more satisfied than new customers. At the same time, it becomes clear whether new customers perceive and evaluate products or services differently than long-term loyal customers.
“How long have you been using our company’s products or services?”
The response scale contains various time spans that help the customer with the classification. They can be varied depending on the company: I’m not a customer yet – this is my first purchase – less than six months – six months to a year – one to two years – three years or more.
Room for Comments
An open answer field at the end of the survey gives participants the opportunity to leave additional information and suggestions that were not taken into account in the survey. Often these answers are real feedback gems that can be used for further product developments or marketing activities. As part of the Net Promoter Score, these answers provide valuable information as to why a customer would recommend the company or not.
What would a survey be without its participants? A short “thank you” should always be at the end of every survey. It expresses appreciation for the customer. If you personalize the thank you email with the name of the responsible department head, you can further strengthen the customer relationship.