Designing Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Flying blind is a great way to crash into a mountain. When it comes to an ecommerce enterprise, failing to check in with your customers from time to time amounts to the same thing.

Designing customer satisfaction surveys is as much art as science. So naturally, there’s a right way and a wrong to go about it. These tips will help you get the information you need.

Know What You Want to Accomplish

When it comes down do it, the only real purpose of this type of survey is to help you make decisions about conducting your business. Before you formulate a single question, you must be certain of the function you want the survey to perform. You must also determine what information you need, who will use it and what you’re going to do with it.

Once you’ve completed those tasks, you can decide when to begin and how often the process should be repeated. You’ll also need a methodology by which you can track the data over time, what resources you’ll need to conduct the survey and how you will process the results and store the information for subsequent usage. Finally, you must decide who will conduct the survey, which members of your customer base to approach and the format the survey should take.

Keep Things Simple, to the Point and Immediate

If you open a furniture store using an ecommerce platform like Shopify — or a similar undertaking — a written survey is likely to be your best choice. Always ask for an overall impression before you drill down into the specifics. This way you can find out what’s top of mind before they consider the minutiae. Provide open fields in which respondents can provide detailed information. Get the survey to the customer as soon as possible after a transaction so the experience is fresh in their minds.

Brevity Is Key

Keep the survey as short as possible, while being careful to gather the information you need to make it worthwhile. Keeping it brief will get you more respondents for a more accurate appraisal. When asking people to rate things on a numerical scale, limit the range to a maximum of five. The best ranking should the highest number and the lowest ranking should be the smallest number to avoid confusion.

Avoid Personal Questions

Never require participants to give you their names or any other personally identifiable information. Ditto questions about age, gender and income unless they are absolutely germane. If you must ask, explain why you need the information. Along these same lines, do not badger potential respondents to join in. You want individuals to answer because they choose to do so, not because they are hounded into it.

Be Gracious About It

Thank people as soon as possible for taking the time to participate in the survey. If you get negative responses respond personally and right away. Express your gratitude for their revelations and assure them their information will be acted upon.

Keep It Consistent

If your goal is to measure change over a designated interval, make sure the survey is exactly the same each time it is circulated. This will give you a solid baseline from which to draw comparisons after you’ve implemented process adjustments based upon the findings you get. Designing customer satisfaction surveys to gather reliable information is a matter of careful planning and measured execution. These tips will help you get the best possible result so you can improve your business dealings accordingly.

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