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Five best practices for administering customer satisfaction surveys

Posted on 12/17/2014 by Elizabeth in category: survey software articles
Customer satisfaction surveys are a great way to find out where you are going right and areas where you need improvement. Even if you think your customer service department and other departments are doing a great job, there is always room for improvement. Handy online survey software makes it easier than ever before to administer customer satisfaction surveys, particularly if you keep these best practices in mind.

1. Make the Survey as Short as Possible

If your customers have to spend 20 minutes answering a survey, they will likely skip doing it all together or abandon it before they complete it. Make it as short as possible by only asking the most imperative questions. You can always leave room for them to leave their own comments for those customers who might have a little more to say (see number 4 below). You also want to make it easier to read and answer with shorter questions.

2. Time the Surveys Appropriately

Timing of your survey can make a big difference. One important thing to remember about timing of a survey is that it is prudent to request feedback within 24 hours of the transaction or interaction whenever possible, otherwise the respondents’ answers might not be as accurate -- or as helpful. If you only ask your customers how you are doing a couple times a year, you might be missing some really important opportunities. However, if they are trying out a new product, consider waiting at least a few days before providing them with the survey opportunity.

3. Don't Ask Leading Questions

Leading questions are those that make it seem like you are guiding them toward the answer you want. These questions are not beneficial on a survey because you might not get completely honest and straightforward answers. Instead of speaking about a benefit of a product specifically, ask the customer what they believe a benefit of it is. It gives them the chance to come up with the answer on their own, instead of you urging them to say what you want.

4. Let People Leave Comments

Don't always just provide multiple choice questions. Utilize open-ended questions when appropriate, leaving a comment field either after every question, or at the end of the survey in case a respondent has something to add. Allowing the respondent to elaborate, gives you the opportunity for more in-depth information, and can provide excellent insightful feedback.

5. Make Multiple Choice Answers Random

When you are asking multiple choice questions developed through the use of online survey software, make sure you rearrange the answers. In other words, randomize the multiple-choice answers. Avoid having the preferred answer always be #1 or #2, for example. Mix them up as much as you can.

By following these best practices when utilizing your survey tool, you can get the honest feedback you need, while not overloading your customers with too many questions. Most importantly though, be sure to act upon your customer satisfaction survey feedback, which lets your customers know that you value their input and heard them loud and clear.
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