Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or a start-up, you need to ensure your products and services completely satisfy the needs of your audiences and existing customers if you are to find further success for your business. To do that, you need to talk to your customers directly, find out how they’re using your services, and figure out if there’s anything that can be done to further improve their user experience.

The simplest, most effective way to get this done is - Create customer surveys or customer feedback programs.

What Are Customer Surveys

Customer surveys are a quick way of getting consumer feedback on your product’s effectiveness, determining customer satisfaction, performing market research, and figuring out what expectations your target audience has for your brand. Surveys help you systematically collect the voices and opinions of your customers throughout the journey they have had with your business. Customer satisfaction surveys provide an opportunity to poll users on questions that might otherwise just go unanswered.

Importance Of Customer Surveys

In today's business, customer satisfaction surveys play a huge role in a business’s success.

1. Accountability

When talking of accountability, according to the facts, it takes a brand an average of 12 to 15 positive experiences to account for or to reverse the impact of one unresolved or a negative experience of the customer.  That's the type of strike a poor customer satisfaction can have on the brand and you surely don’t aim for that.

2. A Track Of Customer Experience

Customer satisfaction surveys are one of the finest ways for your brand to keep track of how well your customers are feeling or what it is that they want you to change in your brand for the betterment of the service you offer them. Efforts from a brand to improve customer satisfaction will help it gain more goodwill in the market from the consumers.

3. A Database For Improvement

Having access to the data that is gained from customer service, it becomes very easy for a brand to strategize the next few moves to improve customer satisfaction and get proactive to solve the problems that their customers are facing.  In other words, it can be said that customer satisfaction surveys help you take a U-turn from negative customer experiences to them feeling positive about it and leading to better loyalty and their retention and association with your brand.

4. Creates A Differentiating Factor

Customer Surveys are one of those differentiating factors that help brands stand out differently in a crowd full of competitive brands because in winning in today's market customer experience has a huge role to play.

Best Practices For An Effective Customer Satisfaction Survey

Most of the problems that we see with our brand can be solved if the customer survey has been answered accurately by the respondents and to do so it's not just the customers who need to do it right but also you need to put the right questions out in the right way.

Here are a few proven practices that you can follow to get an effective response sheet for the survey that can be done from your end as a business.

1. Keep It Short And Simple

You need to look for the shortest way to ask the question with utmost clarity and with conciseness. When said most shortly, it's not just about reducing the number of characters used but keeping a check on not including unnecessary phrases that are capable of muddying the intent of the question.

Along with the questions, the overall length of the survey should also be limited because nobody has the time to answer a half an hour-long questionnaire.

2. Open-Ended Questions

Though it sounds and looks easy to stick to questions that are multiple-choice or multiple selective, for a matter of fact,  the most insightful feedback comes from the responses to the open-ended questions that allow the respondents to express how they feel about certain things.

However, you might not want a huge text box along with the first question itself and so it is always recommended to incorporate the smaller and easier questions first and create a sense of progress and then later add a bit longer ones towards the end where the customers can express their thoughts.

3. One Question At A Time

A lot of times when a questionnaire is filled with an extensive series of questions like how you came across this brand? what are the products that you have brought from them? etc., it gives out the sense of being interrogated by someone who just wouldn't let you finish off your sentence and is bombarding you with more. To avoid such cases and to get a quality response, you need to give people the right amount of time to think through each question and then answer it.

4. Avoid Leading Questions

While putting out the questions, make sure that the pride that you have in your product doesn't get in the way of asking a good question. In other words, the tone of the questions needs to be more neutral to get an accurate answer that can be relied on for the improvement of the brand. Also, try not to annoy your customers with unnecessary questions that would lead you nowhere.

5. Easy Responses

When you know that the questions that you are asking for would have a really simple outcome, you can try framing these questions with a simple response yes or a no option. Such close-ended questions make for great starters as they are really easy to answer in terms of how the customer would evaluate and respond to them.

6. Consistency In Rating Scales

In certain questions where rating scales are required, it is important to maintain a sense of consistency throughout all such questions else, these questions tend to become confusing for the respondents.

For example,  in the initial questions where the rating scales are required,  you're asked to respond by choosing between 1 to 5, where one means strongly agree and 5 means strongly disagree but at the later stage, what happens is either these terminologies are changed or the order of ranking is flipped upside down. This creates a lot of confusion for the people who are responding to the questions.

7. Ask For Specifics

While creating the questions, it is advisable not to assume that a customer is well versed with everything or to expect that the people would answer in a specific way along with some specific reasoning.  

Along with that, staying away from industry acronyms, buzz words, and jargon is recommended to land up with answers that would help you solve the pertaining problems rather than you running into new problems because of the language or assumptions.

8. Give Them An Incentive

These days nobody likes doing anything for free and in most cases, it is observed that providing incentives in return for filling up the survey increases the response rate by 10 to 20%.

These incentives can be anything from a discount, a giveaway, or an account credit but the key here is to understand the balance between incentivizing the respondents enough that they are willing to take up the survey while also not giving up your entire farm.

9. An Ideal Time To Shoot Out The Survey

When it comes to shooting out the surveys to the customers, you would want to consider and figure out what timing makes the most sense for business.

For example, if it is about a customer support survey, most of the brands consider sending it within 30 minutes after the interaction so that they can address any further issues at the earliest.

You can also incorporate the service at different stages of the customer cycle like maybe every few months,  midway through onboarding, when a customer decides to cancel, etc.

(P.S:  an ideal time is very important  because if the survey is sent across before a time when the customer himself or herself hasn't been able to evaluate the product well,  it's not going to fetch a response of much use.)

Customer Survey Questions To Start You Off

Now, don't you know that as much as customer surveys are important, the way the questions are framed plays an important role too.. so to make things a little bit easier for you, here’s a list of some of the common questions that can be included by you in your surveys.

1.      Describe how you feel about our product or our brand?

2.      How often is the product or service used by you?

3.      How well does this product help you achieve your goals?

4.      What is your favorite feature of the product?

5.      What additional element would you want if you could?

6.      What would you like to change about this product?

7.      How would you like to rate the quality of the product?

8.      How would you like to rate the quality of the customer support service of the company?

9.      Did the support team completely help you resolve the issue?

10.    Did that support team resolve your issue on time and make you feel valued as a customer?

11.    Would you like to buy from us again?

12.    Would you like to recommend us to your friends and family?

13.    How can we improve your experience with the company?

14.    What would you tell someone who asked about us?

15.   Do you have anything else to add to the feedback? (Hey, you can be 100% honest with us).

Customer Survey Creation Tools

Making an online survey or poll is pretty easy with so many great online survey creators out there. We've tried mentioning a few of them for you.

1. Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey is the online software that helps you create professional online surveys and is probably the most famous name when it comes to creating them. The surveys created here are well designed and pretty easy to use.

It comes in with both a free version as well as the paid ones.

The free one offers you 10 questions, up to 100 respondents, 15 different types of questions along with the light theme customization and several templates as well while the paid version for the same costs around $28 per month and allows you to put more questions along with more respondents and many other features.

2. Typeform

Typeform is one of the leading software when it comes to building creative customer surveys. The entire interface follows the company's motto of asking questions in an easy and aesthetically appealing manner. Not just is it beautiful in terms of its visuals but also in the way that it functions.

It again comes in free as well as the paid version where the free one offers you an unlimited number of questions and answers,  data export feature, custom design themes, and a plethora of templates to choose from while providing the basic reporting as well.

The pro or the paid version for the same costs around $25 per month and includes features like payment fields,  a calculator for scoring and pricing,  a feature to send the follow-up emails to the respondents, etc.  It indeed has a ton to offer.

3. Google Forms

Google Forms is again a survey administration application that features all of the collaborations and sharing features directly found in Docs, Sheets, and Slides.  Other amazing features of Google forms include unlimited service with unlimited people as respondents, and the survey answers and data are automatically collected in the Google spreadsheets in the drive.

It comes in with a lot of theme options where you can add your custom logos, images, videos, etc. It's with Google Forms that you can also embed the survey into an email or on the website while adding collaborators as well.  This one comes in as absolutely free to use.

4. VideoForm

Well this particular software, though pretty new to the market but does justice to its arrival as it has come in with a new way to take the customer surveys. Giving all due respect to the value of the human touch or a personal touch to customer surveys and testimonials. VideoForm allows you to take up surveys through videos, where the questions can be answered and real-time by the respondents in a way that they like or prefer, be it text, audio, or video.

These make for the perfect type of customer surveys that don't feel overbearing and fun enough to engage with the audience well.

Get Started With Your Customer Surveys Today

So now that you’ve got a complete picture of what customer surveys are,  why they are important and how to create the effective ones,  it's time for you to put these takeaways and create the best customer service that proves to be a growth catalyst for your company.