Conducting effective customer satisfaction surveys requires adaptation, evaluation

Businesses that are looking to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty might consider sending surveys to patrons after performing a service or selling them a product.

Businesses looking to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty might consider sending surveys to patrons after performing a service or selling them a product. Before they do, companies should make sure the survey is tailored to get the answers they need. This may require ditching past templates and strategies for new processes that will yield better results.

For example, businesses that have mailed out paper surveys in the past might consider using new digital strategies to launch cost-effective campaigns that garner more responses and convert easily into actionable analytics, according to Forbes.

In a recent article, the news source discussed the challenges a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based heating and air conditioning company faced when trying to gather responses through customer surveys. The company's owner said response rate were too low to derive valuable insight, and moreover, the efforts were expensive.

After evaluating why the campaign wasn't working, the owner was advised to try online surveys, the source reports. Ultimately, the switch saved the business time and money, while also triggering enough responses to make the surveys worthwhile. 

To reach today's tech-savvy customers businesses might have to turn to emerging online resources more often. Small Business Trends recommends using Google to conduct online surveys. Corporations can use digitally formatted surveys to easily include check boxes, multiple choice answers and spaces to enter text so customers can quickly fill them out.

Whether a company decides to send out paper or electronic surveys, they should regularly evaluate their efforts to make sure they asking targeted questions and keeping it short, according to Call Centre Helper.

"There's nothing worse than a long drawn-out survey," Virtuatel's managing director Alan Weaser told the source "Our normal rule is five questions plus a verbatim recording, where a customer can leave a message about their experience of our service."

In fact, the company applies three rules to its survey campaigns, Weaser added:

1. Let the customer know it will be short and sweet.
2. Use no more than five questions.
3. It shouldn't take longer than three minutes for a customer to fill it out and ideally, it should only take a minute and a half.

Companies that draft longer surveys to get more insightful responses might actually receive false answers from customers who are trying to speed through or receive incomplete responses by participants who dropped out.

Businesses should make sure they are actually listening to their customers when sending out surveys, which is the intention in the first place, explains Forbes. When they hear that something isn't working (through a lack of responses or results), they can rethink their strategy to truly learn what will leave customers feeling satisfied.