How to survey customers without being a pest

15th August 2016

Businesses understand it’s vital to know what their customer’s thoughts and feelings are about their products and services. Surveys are both time and cost effective to gathering that information but unfortunately, poorly conducted surveys are common and can have once happy customers quickly changing their minds about a business. Let me explain…..

It’s dinner time, you’re just about to sit down with your family and the phone rings. Everyone looks at each other, rolls their eyes and ignores the ringing. Someone might feel guilty and answer the call, but they quickly wished they hadn’t. It’s the dreaded survey being conducted by someone who is clearly reading off a script.

The same thing can happen via email. You open your email and there they are; surveys from businesses seeking your feedback on their products and services. If there is the promise of a gift or entry into a competition, then you might start the survey but your care factor diminishes when you see there are more than 5 questions and some require you to think and not just choose a response.

It’s not the survey that has customers annoyed, it’s the way the survey is conducted.

Most customers are happy to give a business feedback IF you make it easy for them to do so AND you respect their time.
Be SMART when seeking to survey your customers;

Specific – What do you want to know and why? Keep your questions short and to the point.

Measurable – Record and track the feedback so you can identify areas where your business could improve.

Achievable – Make sure you have the staff with the expertise to do it properly – a poorly executed survey annoys customers

Reliable – Choose the platform/s that work best for your customers i.e.: phone, email, flyer, face to face or text messages

Timely – Seek the customers’ permission and preferred time of day and frequency. Don’t assume.

Remember: Customers know why you want their feedback but they are more likely to give it to you if you give them an incentive to take the time i.e.: discounts, free stuff, improved services, competition, charity support, invitations, special offers, events etc.

Whether it is paper or pixel it’s all about the delivery and the benefits to the client. Survey Monkey will be known to many of you, it is a powerful online survey tool. Yes another subscription, however for ten questions or less it’s free. Facebook now has built in polling and is ideal for short niche data gathering. Surveys done correctly will not only add value to your business, they will leave your customers feeling valued.

Guest Writer Cate Schreck Cate is the Founder of Lightbulb Training Solutions (LTS)

This article featured in the August edition of Paeds Biz

Curious to find out more about Cathy’s work and how it may help you, your team and your business. Give her a call or email today, and you can always book a complimentary 30 minutes consult.