Keeping your customers happy is an essential part of running a successful business. As your business grows, this becomes even more important — and more difficult — to achieve. Running a customer satisfaction survey is sometimes suggested as a method for tracking what is and isn’t working in your business as it relates to customer service. However, running a successful customer satisfaction survey requires more than simply picking some customers and asking them questions. To do it right, a survey needs to be well thought-out. The following is a basic framework on how you can create and run a successful customer satisfaction survey:
Step one: Know what you are trying to find out
Before doing anything else, the first step is to determine exactly what you’re trying to figure out with the survey. For example, are their specific elements of your business that might need improvement? Do you simply want to get a general sense for what customers think of your company? Are you considering a new product or service, possibly even to replace an existing one, and want to get a sense of how customers would take such a change?
Each of these objectives requires significantly different and distinct customer surveys, so they should be considered and decided upon beforehand.
Step two: Determine the best way to ask the question
There is more than one way ask a question — as any professional pollster will tell you. It’s important to make sure that the question (or questions) you ask actually provides a meaningful answer. Depending on what you are trying to learn about your customers, this might be simple or fairly complex, which is why the third step is so important.
Step three: Test the survey on a focus group
Before investing time and money conducting a survey on a large group of your customers, you’ll want to make sure that you are asking questions in a way that is useful to your business. One effective way to do that is to test the survey on a small group of customers, otherwise known as a “focus group”, that you can speak in person and in-depth with. By digging into the why behind the what, you can increase the value that the answers given by your customers in the full test can reveal.
Step four: Determine how to push the survey to your customers
Are you going to send an email out to your customers with the survey? Send the survey with their monthly bill? Offer some type of incentive or “thank you” for answering the survey? Whatever you choose, you need to make sure the method you use to survey your customers will bring you enough reliable results to be useful and accurate.
Step five: Run the survey!
This step is fairly straightforward. That being said, execution is still key. Make sure that there is sufficient oversight on this step, since everything else has been leading up to this point.
Step six: Iterate and improve
Once you’ve run the test and had a chance to look at the results, make sure to look back and consider areas in which you can improve the methodology for next time. In addition, make sure to actually use the feedback you get from customers — after all, that’s the entire point of the customer survey in the first place!
Knowing what your customer think is a crucial piece of the puzzle. To fill in more of the customer service pieces, contact us today about our outsourced customer support answering and virtual receptionist services.
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