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Get a Better (More Accurate) Customer Satisfaction Survey—Your Questions Asked and Answered

Martha Brooke | Jun 19, 2015 39 views No Comments

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Earlier this month, I discussed how to improve your customer satisfaction survey in a GoToAssist webinar. Participants shared lots of comments and questions, so here are a few more ideas and resources. Participants shared lots of comments and questions, so here are a few more ideas and resources.

One person said they learned about what NOT to do with their satisfaction survey, but they wanted to hear more about what they SHOULD do.

There’s so much to cover with surveys, and it can take hundreds of hours to do even a simple survey well. That’s because the best surveys are customized for your customers, your company and the specific touchpoints you are testing.

That said, here are a few questions that my team at Interaction Metrics has used successfully with many companies in many situations:

  • What words come to mind when you think about your experiences with [co. name]?
  • What’s one thing you would do to improve [co. name or situation]?
  • Who do you view as [co. name]’s competition?
  • What do you see [competitor name] doing especially well? (Be sure to use that competitor’s name in a few areas of the survey.)

Another attendee wanted to know the pros and cons of Net Promoter Score.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a commonly used customer feedback metric that’s based on the question “how likely are you recommend us to a friend or colleague?” We’ve written a lot about NPS, including an overview and some critical concerns.

Here are the pros:

  • It’s easy to calculate. NPS is based on one question on a 0-10 scale. You subtract the percent of “detractors” who rated you 6 and below from the “promoters” who rated you 9 and 10.
  • It’s one number. It could provide a sense of how customers feel over time, especially if your company’s services or products are very, very simple.
  • It’s social. “Would you recommend…” is a social question, so it makes sense for products and services that are “socialized.”

The cons:

  • It’s simplistic. Other scores are as easy to calculate but use more inputs and provide more nuanced information.
  • It’s only the outcome. You don’t know what impacts your NPS or how to create better customer experiences.
  • It’s tired. When Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Symantec Software and thousands of other companies use the same question, your customers may feel like you’re not listening and don’t really care.

A third attendee said they got more insight from a few customer interviews than they did from their survey responses.

I’m not surprised. Not only are most surveys asking flawed, generic questions, but the customer comments are barely analyzed.

Customer interviews are ideal because they give you answers to questions you didn’t think to ask. When customers share their stories, you get insights about their perceptions and expectations that provide ideas for how to improve your business in some way. Plus they can provide motivating audio clips that allow your employees to take a walk in your customers’ shoes.

If you can’t do customer interviews, make sure to at least include some great open-ended questions in your survey, and don’t forget to analyze the comments that come in!

There is a lot to say about customer satisfaction surveys. Overall, I hope participants took away some ways to question the surveys they are using and a process for moving their survey forward. Just because most surveys are bad and don’t capture factual data doesn’t mean they have to be bad.

Let’s make customer feedback surveys better!

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Republished with author's permission from original post.


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