Satisfaction surveys are one of the most important tools to find out exactly what customers think and, thus, evaluate the performance of the business. They are also useful in identifying opportunities for improvement, which are otherwise unknown to the company before using the tool. Nonetheless, in order to get the most accurate results, there must be a high degree of respondent participation. In fact, part of the planning process of customer satisfaction campaigns is to establish goals and metrics as to what this participation should be and how will respondents be reached ir order to assure a high volume of participation.
This is a recurring concern for every business interested in hearing the voice of their customers or to implement quality control processes in their business. In this note we share a series of recommendations that will help generate a greater interest in the participation of satisfaction surveys while gathering relevant information to the business.
In these times when everything moves fast, survey recipients will think twice in assigning their time and attention to contribute to our business. This is why we must emphasize and recognize the effort that clients are making, and thus design the survey to give some satisfaction.
Here are our recommendations:
Define an specific goal for the survey that results in concrete actions: Before you start creating the surveys you need to have an specific goal you want to achieve with it. For example: Analyze and improve the waiters´ service in my restaurant. The goal must be very specific to obtain a useful result that responds to an improvement plan. Therefore, the survey questions should result from the stated goals. If the clients are able to see results from the data that they contributed, they will feel heard and will collaborate in your next surveys without questioning.
Saving time for the respondent: The survey should be as clear and short as possible, including only essential questions that will help you understand which you’re your business ‘opportunities and deficiencies. Many times there is the temptation to ask about too many aspects of the service or product, but the survey does not contribute to finding out about a specific issue. In this case, the survey ends up being very long and tedious for the respondent. Design the survey to be short by limiting the number of questions and only include the questions that are really necessary.
Sharing the objective of the survey: to achieve an interesting degree of involvement in the surveys, it is more likely to happen if some type of incentive is used to motivate the respondents. Your client will be more open to respond if she knows that the purpose of your survey will bring benefits in the future, from better customer care to a new personalized service. At the same time you will achieve greater loyalty.
Facilitate responses: When designing the survey pay attention to the type of questions you ask. The most effective are the closed questions or the multiple choice type, where the client does not have to write a response. Use open-ended questions only when you need to have a detailed response about an specific issue and that really brings you new information on that topic. Questions that use graphical resources and less amount of text also work very well.
Privacy and anonymity: When possible, we recommend to make anonymous surveys and have a “comments” field on the survey. Often clients do not want to respond, fearing that they will be contacted again and again for other reasons. This causes a decrease in the response rate. On the other hand, once their identity is known, they may be tempted to give a socially accepted answer or to please the pollster.
Adapt to the comfort of the respondent: Having different evaluation channels available is a plus. The rate of response is likely to increase if you give your customers the option to choose where and when they prefer to do the survey: it can be by email at the time and place that is most comfortable, in a Tablet while they are in your establishment or by scanning a QR code with a mobile phone. This is another way to show that the company values your time and opinion.
A well-designed survey brings benefits to both the company and respondents. It helps to get really valuable feedback, strengthens the relationship with customers and gives the respondent a chance to be heard.
Listen to your customer's voice!