Customer satisfaction surveys: 4 ways to get your customers to fill them out
In my last post, I outlined three key reasons why all companies, regardless of size or industry, should survey their customers to garner their satisfaction and feedback. Being able to survey your customers effectively not only provides value to the company, it can also enrich the lives of your customers.
Many companies believe that if you provide incentives to your customers then they will complete your survey in droves. However, this won’t always benefit your company. How can you be certain that the data you receive from these customers are accurate? Did these customer provide thoughtful and accurate feedback or did they rush through it to obtain your incentive? I don’t recommend incentivizing your customers to complete your survey until you have completed these four steps.
- Create more visibility: I advocate that all customer surveys should be done in a digital format through the use of online surveys. In a technologically-driven consumer marketplace, operating a paper-based survey program will not bring you value. If you ask for feedback through email then test your email subject line. Make it fun and eye catching. Having “Survey: We Value Your Feedback” as your subject line will get you a low response rate. Instead, try something like “Did we serve you well? Tell us in 3 minutes.”
- Advance warning: Leverage your frontline employees to plant the seed with the customer early in the relationship to make them aware that you will be asking for feedback. Let the customer know that you desperately need this feedback to continue delivering an amazing customer experience or to fix what’s broken. Before you ask your employees to help increase survey response rates ensure they have the proper language to recite. You can use a simple script like this, “Hi Mrs. Johnson, thank you for shopping with us. Your feedback gives us the opportunity to continuously improve the experience for you. In [amount of time] you will receive a survey. It will only take you 3 minutes to complete and your feedback is much appreciated. Will you be able to complete the survey?”
- Survey Timing: Whether you ask for feedback in person, phone, or email you should aim to have the survey completed shortly after the customer experience. Doing this will allow you to recognize amazing customer service throughout your company and handle customer complaints immediately.
- Mobile: If you’re anything like me, I use my mobile phone for nearly everything including responding to surveys. Ensure that your survey is mobile responsive to make it an easy user experience for your customers. You don’t ever want to make your customers zoom, squint or pinch at their mobile phones to complete your survey. A very affordable and easy-to-implement software to make your surveys mobile responsive is Delighted.
It’s not necessary to deploy all four improvement plans at once to increase your survey response rates. Start with one and move on to the next when you start to see your response rates begin to increase. I recommend this approach because if you deploy all four recommended strategies at once you may flood yourself with customer feedback that you may not be ready to manage.
After you have gathered customer feedback, an effective way to get your company to rally behind improving your company’s customer experience is to leverage a document I call Customers at a Glance. In my final post on how to effectively use customer surveys, I will teach you what Customers at a Glance is, how to use it and give away a template you can download and use immediately.