The Art of Surveys: 5 Signs Yours Are Lacking

Your company recently sent out a survey to your customers. You got little to no response, and the responses you did get felt forced or dishonest. Why could this be?

Customer surveys

Like any business, you want happy, engaged, and returning customers. You want to know the product or service that you offer is worth their money and that they’ll come back again, and hopefully make a referral to their friends and loved ones.

There are many survey services to choose from, from Google to Pollfish, and even survey monkey. While both Google and Survey Monkey are widely used, there are Surveymonkey audience alternatives out there.

Surveys can give you excellent insight into the mind of your customer, but only if they’re done right. Here are five signs your surveys may be lacking.

1. Your Survey is Tiresome

If you were exhausted after writing your survey, chances are the customer will be too after completing it. While it’s important to gather as much pertinent information as possible about the customer’s experience, long-winded questions or simply too many questions can be off-putting to the customer.

Remember that sending a survey is essentially asking your customer for a favor. A short, simple favor to let you know how you did. A customer likely doesn’t want to sit through a forty question test prompt, and the longer the survey is, the more likely the customer is to not complete it. We all live busy lives, and your customers are no different.

Keep your surveys short and sweet; ask specific questions about the customer’s order or the service they used. Be sure to ask open-ended questions but keep the questions themselves short, simple, and to the point. Tiring out your customer before they even begin is a good way to ensure the survey doesn’t get completed.

2. The Customer Didn’t Know To Expect A Survey

How often do you see an email with a store’s name attached to it, and you place it in the spam folder or the trash? When a customer isn’t expecting a survey after they’ve completed their transaction, they may simply write it off as a marketing or promotional email and not even open it. Or they may simply delete it.

Make sure to let your customer know that you’d like to send them a survey on your product or service. Explain that while the survey is optional, you truly value their feedback and will use it to better the company or product.

Making a customer feel like their voice is being heard can go a long way toward creating excellent customer services and return buyers. Some companies print the survey links on a receipt or invoice and then send a follow-up email the next business day to give the customer a friendly reminder that they have a survey waiting for them.

3. You Don’t Actually Do Anything With The Data

What’s the point of sending surveys if the feedback the customer provides is never put to use? Surprisingly, there are many companies who don’t take any action when they receive feedback, and you can watch over the years as the bad reviews start to pile up.

Whether you’ve paid a third party to conduct a survey for you, or you offered the survey yourself, there was some kind of time or money investment made to create and deliver it. The customer is your income and your reputation, and their feedback should not be taken lightly.

If you begin to notice a trend in the feedback you’re getting, perhaps it’s time to focus on that area of your business. After all, the only way to stay in business is to create more business, and you won’t have much luck with that if you aren’t paying attention to what the people buying your services are saying.

Customer satisfaction surveys

4. Your Survey Is Complex or Has Too Many Graphics

This ties in with your survey being tiresome. If you’ve designed a great survey, but every other question has an emoji graphic or some other distracting thing showing up on the page, not only are you distracting the customer from the original goal, but you’re also likely irritating them with the intrusion. While a survey should be at least aesthetically pleasing, simplicity is the best practice here.

Bright colors, graphics, and fonts should be used sparingly. Your questions should be straightforward, and the answers should also be straightforward. A customer should only need to spend a few seconds on each question. If they’re stuck trying to understand one question, it’s likely they will end the survey there. Keep it simple and make sure your content is to the point.

5. Your Survey Looks and Feels Like Every Other Survey Out There

While simplicity may be the key to a successful survey, there’s such thing as too simplistic. We’ve all seen the surveys where an incredibly bland question such as “How satisfied were you with your service today?” is asked, followed by five bubble answers ranging from “not at all satisfied” to “extremely satisfied”. These surveys can be rather impersonal and un-engaging.

Boredom and disengagement can lead to dishonest feedback, and this is something that is not helpful to your business. Your survey should be simple yet engaging, offering simple questions presented in attractive formats with easy answers and navigation.

Do I Even Need Surveys?

Make no mistake, surveys are probably the single best way to get into the minds of your customers, but only if the feedback is honest and fresh from their experience with your business or service. Keep your surveys short, simple, attractive, and engaging, and you’ll find that your customers will show a desire to provide you with honest, valuable feedback every time.


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