Surveys are a great way to measure the satisfaction of your customers, build brand loyalty, and encourage them to tell others about your business. But if you don’t know how to properly write and conduct a survey, you may see a low rate of participation, unintentionally encourage skewed results, or, worst of all, write questions that measure something different than you intended. There’s a lot that goes into a customer survey, but a little bit of knowledge can go a long way. Here are the top things to know before you get started:
What do you want to learn?
Your brand performance survey should always be used as a tool to help you meet your business goals. A survey that aids in a big growth goal will differ immensely from one with innovation or retention as the focus. The information your team will need from customers to achieve each goal is different. You can tailor your questions to your needs, but here are some of the common things we learn after surveys:
- Is the company living up to client expectations?
- Are clients receiving what they were promised?
- Is the customer loyal?
- Are they considering working with a competitor?
- Would they refer the company to others?
Whether You Should Track Relationships or Transactions
How you should survey your customers largely depends upon your business model. Do you thrive on individual transactions, or are you building a long-term relationship with your customers? Relationship surveys give you a better overall idea of customer loyalty, while transactional surveys give your business immediate feedback to improve products and customer experiences.
These are some insights typical to a relationship-based survey:
- How likely the client is to switch to a competitor.
- How likely they are to renew their contract.
- How likely they are to add on products or services to their contract.
These are some insights typical to a transactional customer experience:
- How satisfied they were with the customer service experience.
- How satisfied they are with the product or service.
- How likely they are to recommend your business to others.
When to Conduct Your Surveys
How often and when to conduct a survey can be as important as the questions themselves. Incorrect timelines can lead to reduced participation. With relationship surveys, a large portion of your clients should respond to surveys at regular intervals to track your score over time. Often, these are conducted every 30, 60, or 90 days, depending upon your industry. At the very minimum, you should plan at least one survey per year to make sure you are meeting your brand and client benchmarks.
As for transactional surveys, what’s most important for selecting a timeline falls in line with a recent experience for the customer. With digital services, the best practice is following up immediately or within the next business day. For products, this can be more difficult. If it’s something the user is likely to use upon arrival, following up upon delivery is typical. But for some industries, users won’t use the product as frequently, and therefore determining a follow-up timeline can vary greatly. So, it’s important to tailor your surveys to your specific case accordingly.
Who Should Participate
In most cases, surveys will see an average response rate of 20-30%. However, response rates can drop significantly if the participants aren’t tailored properly. For example, if your business has a new product available, you may send one survey to a recent purchaser of it and another to a customer that chose a competing project to gauge the best way to appeal to your new market. These customer insights could turn a success into a smash hit.
Another great way to tailor your surveys and arm your business strategy with additional data is by conducting an employee survey separate from your clients. Particularly in a field with a talent shortage, gaining insight into what makes employees loyal as well as which job functions hold less loyalty could help you appeal to candidates and fill your recruiting pipeline before a position is vacated.
How to Receive the Best Feedback
Employees and customers are more likely to give honest feedback when they know they aren’t talking directly to the actual company and they remain anonymous. Employees fear that negative feedback could impact relationships with management or even put their job at risk, and customers want to avoid confrontation with their sales team.
But working with a third-party provider for brand surveys can protect your participants and provide more reliable insights for your business. Let your team focus on the daily operations that make your business great, and let a team of experts handle your brand performance surveys. Reach out to our team to learn more about third-party brand performance surveys today.