Your Survey (Probably) Sucks: 5 Survey Errors


Share on LinkedIn

We’ve written a lot about customer satisfaction survey errors, but, time and again, we see the same mistakes crop up. There are a lot of errors surveys make, but these are 5 of the worst. Check out our latest Slideshare about this topic and read on, because these are the kinds of errors that alienate customers, waste time, and lead to misguided business decisions.

Get smart with your customer feedback. Get a Free Survey Mini-Audit. We’ll examine a few of your survey questions. If we find flaws, we’ll tell you what’s wrong—and what to improve!

  1. Sending too many surveys annoys customers.

If your inbox is anything like mine, companies requesting feedback have started to sound like needy teenagers asking “do you like me?! Please say you like me!” This isn’t just annoying; it can be so off-putting that it drives response rates down. When you survey too often, you end up with customers who are irritated with you—which can shape their future purchasing decisions.

  1. Long surveys are exhausting.

Too many requests for customer feedback begin with a promise that the survey will “only take a few minutes.” And then the survey goes on and on… and on. Asking too many questions exhausts your customers. It also increases abandonment rate, which means you miss out on important data.

  1. Generic questions lead to nonsense scores.

Many companies think survey questions are one-size-fits all. For instance, we had a client who asked their re-sellers “How likely are you to recommend us?” They noticed their scores on this question were through the roof! We pointed out that the question wasn’t right for these customers; after all, re-sellers make money by recommending products, so of course asking this question resulted in high—but not meaningful—scores.

  1. Biased questions skew results.

There are many ways survey questions can be biased, and biases diminish the quality of your data. For example, asking “How easy was it to find what you were looking for today?” presumes that the customer found what they were looking for, and that they came in looking for something in the first place! In general, biased questions, including questions that use “insider language” lead customers to choose answers that don’t reflect their actual experiences.

  1. Ignoring customer comments wastes valuable insights.

This is perhaps the most common mistake companies make with their surveys, and it wastes valuable insight. Customer comments are a window into how your customers feel, which is critical because customers’ feelings shape future behaviors such as promoting you or leaving you for a competitor. A serious approach to customer feedback uses comments analysis to rigorously quantify this unstructured data.

If you’re worried you’re making one of these errors (or any other!), we can make your survey smarter. Start by getting a Free Mini-Audit of your current survey.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Martha Brooke
Martha Brooke, CCXP + Six Sigma Black Belt is Interaction Metrics’ Chief Customer Experience Analyst. Interaction Metrics offers workshops, customer service evaluations, and the widest range of surveys. Want some ideas for how to take your surveys to the next level? Contact us here.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here