Want to find out what your customers really think? The simplest way is to ask. Customer surveys can be a powerful tool for taking the pulse of your customer base, adjusting your marketing and service, and strengthening your business.
But “simple” doesn’t always translate to “easy.” There’s a right and wrong way to do customer surveys. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the feedback you need.
Keep it short—and disclose up front. Your customers are busy—they don’t want to spend 20 minutes filling out an epic novel of a survey. When you build your survey, make sure you value their time.
If you’re having trouble getting people to start or complete your survey, run through it and see how long it takes to complete. A survey shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to finish—and ideally it should be five or less.
Shorten your survey and state up front how long it should take them to complete. Include a progress bar so people know when they’re getting close to the end.
Know what you want to get out of the survey. Do customers like your service? What aren’t you doing that they want you to do? What insurance products are they most interested in? Know what you want to find out, and don’t gather extraneous data. If it doesn’t matter how the customer found your survey or what their last name is, don’t ask.
Keep your questions simple. Avoid asking multi-pronged questions that try to get at multiple points. Ask one thing at a time, and avoid over-complicating.
Ensure your rating system is consistent. According to a recent report by SurveyMonkey, it’s not unusual for surveys to have inconsistent rating scales that confuse takers.
For instance, in one question, you might be asked to rate your answer on a scale of 1-5: with 1 being “strongly disagree” and 5 being “strongly agree.” In another question, you might be asked to rate on a scale where the 1-5 is reversed, and 1 is “most important” while 5 is “least important.”
To avoid confusion and false answers, try to keep your scale the same or as close as possible throughout all your answer. If 1 is the most negative answer and 5 the most positive on one question, it should be on all questions that use that scale.
Stay away from leading questions. What makes a leading or loaded question? Any negative or positive language that might affect someone’s thinking one way or another.
For instance, “We’ve recently made some exciting changes to our product lineup! What are your opinions on these new options?” is a leading question, because of its positive language.
A more neutral option would be “What do you think of our new list of products?”
Not all surveys are created equally. It can be challenging to get accurate responses, or any responses at all. But with these tips, you should be able to improve your survey results—and get data you can use.