Measuring customer satisfaction is the best way to understand the buyer experience, allowing businesses to produce repeat buyers and entice new buyers. As a result, many companies prioritize customer feedback like never before, attaching customer satisfaction surveys to receipts, checkout kiosks, email follow-ups, app notifications, and other touch points.

For B2B and B2C organizations, asking for customer feedback is a regular part of their buyer interactions, helping them understand the customer journey and buyer experience, Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), target audience, website usability, and more.

Understanding that it takes time to develop consumer loyalty that can be lost instantly, many businesses rightly view customer satisfaction as a revenue generator, empowering agile organizations to meet shifting consumer demands and promoting customer retention efforts.

The benefits are far-reaching and multifaceted. 

As HubSpot’s recent analysis of customer loyalty notes, “returning customers spend more and buy more often, and refer friends and family. Only a 5% increase in customer retention can increase company revenue by 25-95%.”

This process was on full display during the recent pandemic as brands altered engagement methodologies by prioritizing empathy and safety in their customer interactions. As a result, Forrester’s most recent Customer Experience Index found that 21 percent of brands saw significant year-over-year customer experience index score improvements. 

As the report notes, “the highest-scoring brands understood the key emotional needs of their customers and provided emotionally pleasing experiences.”

Customer satisfaction surveys empower this important practice. With the right questions and distribution methods, any brand can receive valuable customer feedback to inform its business decisions.

Of course, with every brand looking for customer feedback, cutting through the noise can be difficult. Highly effective surveys must be well-designed while providing people with a concise, precise way to weigh in on their experience. Maximize your customer satisfaction survey engagement and results with these helpful tips and best practices.

What Are Customer Satisfaction Surveys?

As you likely know all too well, your business’s ability to survive and thrive is often dependent on the happiness of your customers, especially when it comes to repurchasing or renewing your services and recommending you to their friends and colleagues. Customer satisfaction surveys are an excellent way to gauge happiness and engagement and a powerful tool for customer follow-up and problem resolution. 

Survey questions position a customer to participate in this market research, giving them a voice and as they share opinions and experiences directly with brands. Most importantly, it promotes customer loyalty while providing companies with a customer satisfaction score to analyze, highlighting potential problems before they become consequential disasters. 

Most importantly, customer feedback gives consumers a voice, allowing them to share their opinions and experiences directly with brands. Most importantly, it provides companies with meaningful metrics to analyze, highlighting potential problems before they become consequential disasters. 

In general, businesses can turn to three survey categories that measure customer experience and enhance retention. 

Customer Satisfaction Survey Best Practices

As part of your overall customer engagement strategy, it’s important to survey your customers regularly to gather feedback on their recent experiences and general satisfaction level. It’s also a good idea to leverage technology like automated workflows to respond to customer questions and concerns in a timely manner. 

There are several best practices that can guide these efforts. 

Collect an Overall Rating First 

Capture big-picture sentiments first. Leading with more nuanced questions can influence answers or discourage customers from completing the survey. By collecting an overall rating first, you scale questions ensuring that you have data to analyze and critique. 

Limit the Survey Scope 

Customers like giving feedback. However, people also have limited patience for excessively long surveys. Therefore, brands should consider limiting the survey scope to respect customers’ time and enhance feedback quality. 

Be Mindful of Privacy Concerns 

Customer experience surveys should be an invitation to probe intrusive demographic questions, including income, gender, or age. Unless customers explicitly opt-in to this line of questioning, restrict the survey scope to customer experience-related inquiries. 

Send Surveys ASAP

Rightly understanding the customer experience with a product or service requires companies to request feedback when the experience is fresh in peoples’ minds. While companies don’t want to be too pushy or intrusive, sending surveys shortly after a brand experience will enhance survey results. 

Always Follow Up 

Whether customers share positive or negative feedback, honor their efforts by following up. When customers offer negative feedback, respond personally and immediately to assuage their concerns or better understand their experience. At the same time, when customers offer personal praise, acknowledge the feedback in a personalized and individual way.

High-quality customer feedback is a gift, and companies can’t afford to take it for granted. Following these best practices increases the chance of receiving actionable insights while respecting their customers’ time, insights, and experiences. 

Learn More About Checkbox For Your Organization’s Employee Survey Needs

Customer Feedback Survey Tips

With the right approach, companies can optimize the customer feedback process, ensuring that they effectively leverage critical insights to facilitate ongoing customer relationships. 

However, gathering feedback can harm the brand reputation and diminish the overall impact when executed poorly. As Utpal Dholakia, professor of Marketing at Rice University, wrote in The Wall Street Journal, “I have a simple explanation for both the poor consumer response and the dearth of usable information: Many companies do surveys poorly. And their errors can derail marketing research programs, alienate loyal customers, waste marketing resources and lead to distorted signals from responses.”

In other words, collecting customer feedback is predicated on survey design and implementation.

Companies can avoid common survey design and implementation pitfalls by following a few guidelines that improve the customer survey experience and enhance feedback quality. 

#1 Be Clear and Concise 

Brands want to learn as much about their customers’ experience as possible. To maximize engagement and completion rates, companies should create clear, concise surveys that make the most out of every question. 

Therefore, brands should avoid creating double-barreled questions that seek input on several business elements at once. Instead of asking, “How would you rate our product quality and customer support?” create two separate questions that evaluate these unique buyer experiences.

#2 Avoid Open-ended Questions 

Open-ended questions can be extremely valuable, providing reliable data and rich insights that can inform business decisions on many fronts. However, as Purdue University’s Qualtrics Handbook of Question Design notes, “respondents generally do not like them very much—this is because they are more cognitively demanding and time consuming to provide high-quality answers to.”

Open-ended survey questions may have a place in some survey settings, but brands should avoid this format when possible by deploying multiple choice questions to improve feedback quality and quantity.

#3 Choose the Right Channel 

Companies can choose from a variety of survey distribution channels, including email, SMS text messages, in-app notifications, URL engagement, or personal follow-up. Review your distribution channels, and ensure that you are reaching all types of customer demographics, market segments, and other nuanced categories. 

#4 Repeat Requests (Within Reason)

Brands don’t want to be annoying, but people may require more than one request to provide input. Be sure to follow email marketing best practices by personalizing content, managing frequency, and streamlining outcomes, but don’t be afraid to send your survey more than once.

#4 Restrict the Scope 

Customers want to give feedback on their experience, but their time is limited and their patience finite. Response rates fall when surveys are too long or too onerous. That’s why companies should restrict the scope of their surveys, deploying around five questions and minimizing the time it takes to give meaningful feedback.

#5 Request Input from Experts 

Don’t create customer service surveys in a vacuum. Before asking buyers for their input, share potential questions across departments and leadership teams, evaluating each question’s intended outcome and efficacy and ensuring that they are free of bias, leading questions, and other flaws that diminish results.

#6 Take Action

People want to know that their input is valuable. That’s why companies should use survey results to drive business decision, improve agent capabilities, or enhance product and service development.

Enhance Survey Outcomes with Checkbox

Feedback is important. At its best, a survey is a conversation between buyers and businesses that informs future products and services. Both positive and negative feedback can enhance these efforts, but it’s predicated on successful data acquisition.

For more help creating, distributing, analyzing customer satisfaction surveys, visit https://www.checkbox.com/

We provide access to custom-branded survey templates, mobile-friendly surveys, a variety of survey distribution options, and comprehensive reports that help businesses make better decisions. 

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