Customer Retention Marketing Starting a new business

How to Craft the Perfect Customer Survey

Check boxes with excellent, good, average, and poor.

Customer surveys are a valuable part of improving your business. They allow you to learn what you're doing well (and not-so-well) so you can make changes for the better. It is necessary to spend some time creating your survey in order to be sure you are asking the right questions and are working toward a goal. Here are some tips for crafting the perfect customer survey:

Establish a Goal
What do you want to learn from your survey? Have you implemented a new billing system that you want customer feedback on? Maybe you're more interested in learning what your customers want so you can better understand your target market. Establish a goal in order to help you decide what questions to ask in the survey. 

Decide on Distribution
Many companies opt to conduct online surveys because they are easy to send out and survey systems (like Survey Monkey) collect the data and turn them{according to AP, data takes plural verbs and pro-nouns – if it seems odd maybe you could change "data" to "answers" or "responses"?} into an easily readable format. You can send your customers a link and all they have to do is click it to get started. You could send a paper version, but know that many customers won't take the time to fill it out – your best best is to send it online.

Pick Key Questions
We've all done surveys that started out fine but eventually we realized there were just too many questions. When this happens, most people stop taking the survey. Keep this in mind while crafting your own questionnaire. Ask direct questions like, "On a scale of one to five, five being the easiest, how difficult did you find our new billing system?" Get straight to the point and ask exactly what you want to know.

Use Comments
When you only offer multiple choice questions, your customers likely won't be able to say all that they want to share. They may have comments that are much more valuable than simple scale or yes-or-no questions. This is why it's important to offer a comment box. Here your customers can add any last thoughts that were not covered on the survey or go more in depth on an answer they've given.

Don't Forget the Reward
People are more likely to participate in your survey if they will gain something from it. Consider offering a discount or special deal to those who complete the questions. Advertise for the survey on business flyers posted up in your office, or send out postcards ahead of time. Include information on the deal to entice people to get involved. 

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