customer-completing-online-surveyGood or bad, feedback is essential. 

As we all know from our own experiences as consumers, the companies with the best customer service are the ones we remember—and the ones we continue to support. Customer surveys are an excellent way to understand your audiences, build a customer-centric environment, and continue to improve your customer experience

However, survey responses are only as useful as we allow them to be. Because like any marketing tactic, a well-defined strategy is crucial to ensure that you get the most out of your efforts.

In this article, we will help you create a customer survey strategy by reviewing the following:

  • How to plan your questions
  • What to consider when analyzing your data 
  • Why you should categorize your responses
  • What to think about before you launch your new survey

How to Plan Your Customer Survey Questions

1. Keep your questions short and simple.

From your own experience as a customer, you know that you don’t have a lot of time to stop your day and give feedback. In fact, you likely feel most compelled to write a detailed survey response when you are having an extreme reaction to a service—either unbelievably happy or complete rage. To get the largest number of quality responses, keep your survey questions simple, short, and direct. Ask yourself, “Could I complete this if I were in a hurry?” If the answer is no, you should probably reconsider.

2. Ask thought-provoking questions—at the end.

Instead of asking a basic question like “What did you like about our service?” which would, of course, be followed by “What didn’t you like about your service?” you might try asking, “How could we better serve you?” With this short and straightforward, but broad, question, you allow your customer to give thoughtful feedback as they reflect on their experience overall. 

These open-ended questions are great to gather information from your audience, but keep in mind that they do require more effort and may, therefore, be skipped by your customer. Survey Monkey recommends using no more than two open-ended questions and even moving these to the end of the survey so that if the user doesn’t complete them, you will still have some data to work with. 

3. Don’t ask too many questions.

According to Survey Monkey, any surveys with more than 15 items will see a drop in response rate. However, it is important to note that the most significant drop-off rate in Survey Monkey’s data analysis chart is at 15, but there is also a noticeable drop between five and 15 questions. In short, keeping your questions to a minimum is something to keep in mind as you are trying to gather responses from as many [busy] customers as possible. 

4. Make your questions optional.

Of course, you hope your customer will respond to all of your survey questions, but they may lose interest or run out of time. Make most of your questions optional so that you could receive some feedback even if they cannot complete the entire survey.

NPS: What to Consider When Analyzing the Data 

First and foremost, you will want to begin calculating your Net Promoter Score (NPS). According to Loyalty Loop, an NPS is an industry-standard metric used to quantify customer satisfaction. 

“It is crucial that service companies are working toward a high NPS. A positive score is good to promote as it’s a direct reflection of good customer service or great service overall,” says our Senior Customer Relations Specialist, Olivia Cooper. 

Companies can compare their NPS to their competitors, highlighting that it’s much higher than the average. Most survey systems track and calculate the NPS for you, but you can easily calculate it on your own if not. 

Consider, however, that to calculate the NPS yourself, you must ask, “How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend or colleague?” with a scale of 0 to 10. Your scores are categorized in three ways: promoters (scores of 10 or 9), passives (scores of 8 or 7), and detractors (scores of 0 to 6). You can calculate your NPS by subtracting your percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. LoyaltyLoop gives a great overview and a quick, informative video on calculating your NPS and what constitutes a “good” score.

Consider Categorizing Your Responses

“Categorizing your survey responses is also a good way to improve customer experience,” adds Olivia. You may, for instance, group responses about pricing, customer service, or employees. By grouping your answers into the main topics you want to focus on and improve, you can focus on one aspect at a time instead of analyzing all of your open-ended questions together. This method is more organized and makes it easier for you to see your opportunities for improvement.

Before You Launch Your Survey

Before launching your survey, consider the following: 

  • Discuss with your team the areas in which you are hoping to get the most feedback. 
  • Do your research on survey platforms to determine which will best meet your needs.
  • Carefully write and review your survey questions and ask for feedback.
  • Plan to use your best responses: on your website, social media, email marketing, etc.
  • Test your survey, and have your team test it as well, to ensure that it’s quick and user friendly. 

What could you do with insightful customer feedback? Let’s find out. Contact Green Apple Strategy today to schedule a consultation.