Customer surveys are important for corporations to know and understand how their products and services are valued. They help organizations focus their efforts to specific strategies that are determined to be the most effective. There are many varieties and methods of applying them. A company can use one for product satisfaction, customer satisfaction with technical support, or to follow up on a service provided. Whatever information a company would like to gain insight on, they can develop a survey to assist in gaining insight instead of focus groups or other methods.
It can be as simple as a card on a table in a restaurant. It will ask how someone liked the food and how the wait staff service was, and perhaps will have a scoring system for rating those feelings. Companies or organizations they enlist to do the surveying aim to find target populations to probe, and deliberately organize standardized questions to assess the general attitude. While business-to-consumer questionnaires are prevalent, there are also business-to-business ones that can assess client satisfaction with contracts and sales reps.
Types of customer feedback venues include telephone questionnaires. This can sometimes be inconvenient, since the caller can be mistaken for a telemarketer or the respondent may not have time to speak on the phone. Mail surveys are common too, but often get lost or are ineffective. Most people don't participate in snail mail versions.
Web surveys are becoming the most convenient type of customer survey, and the most effective. They can be filled out at the leisure of the target audience and are easily accessible. With a Web survey, questions can be typed in or even easier, buttons or boxes can be selected for answers. The entire questionnaire is sent electronically and then possibly scored and analyzed immediately by a program or service. This way, the company's entire customer base can be assessed quickly, saving time and money so the company can immediately tailor its efforts to satisfy its customers.
There are websites that provide sample questions; even companies that offer services to do the surveying. There are also sites and publications that steer those who want to create an effective assessment and need some guidance. Some even offer entire templates. The most important part though, is asking the right questions. One type of question asks the customer to rate how satisfied they are. There could be 5 or 6 levels or more listed for the respondent to check. Another is how likely the patron would purchase something again from the business. It could even ask if the customer agrees with predetermined statements regarding their satisfaction with the company, product, or service.
While a client examination can require someone to rate their attitude on a scale, from 1-5 or 1-10, for example, it can also include multiple choice questions. There are different types of ranking scales that can be used, such as semantic differential and staple scales. It can ask open ended questions to which a customer can write in their feelings and give a more detailed examination of their thoughts. This gives a person some more leeway to elaborate on their experience with the company, product, or service and describe it in more detail than otherwise would be possible. The strategies can also be combined. If the assessment is too long or too complicated, though, some people may be deterred from filling it out, so it is important for the company to consider how it is designed.
There are many types of questions to organize the specific customer surveys. Some are more helpful than others for a specific demographic or a particular piece of information. They are something most companies take seriously, so it is important that they determine which questions and which type will be the most effective. A business that knows just how a customer feels has the edge in being able to give them exactly what they want, and therefore become in demand and successful. This is a true building block for any sustainable company.
Andy West writes for NBRI, dedicated to the sole business of customer surveys research and design. With over 20 year's experience, they can find the solution best for you. For more information visit NBRII.com.