This week, Beth Teitell at the Boston Globe reminded us of something we all know: Customers are inundated with satisfaction surveys. She writes that SurveyMonkey “is now processing survey responses at the rate of 2.2 million per day, up from 1 million a day in January 2013.”
Yes, 2.2 million survey responses per day. From one site.
Granted, SurveyMonkey is one of the best-known online survey platforms in the country. And key to their success, they promote that a simple, do-it-yourself survey will yield important insights—it won’t. From our research we know, most customer feedback surveys turn customers off—by tuning customers out.
So, what are the keys to making your survey stand out? Two words: Be authentic.
The easiest way to be authentic is to use an outside analyst who can design your survey, analyze its results, and give you the informative customer feedback you need. If you can’t afford an outside analyst, have another time within your company provide an outside perspective.
Three Ways to Ensure Your Survey Is Authentic
1. Keep it fresh. If you’re not routinely making small changes to your survey, your customers will start to think of you as a broken record. Even worse, overusing the same survey makes customers feel like you’re not listening to their feedback. A customer feedback analyst can advise you on which small changes will be most effective.
2. Keep it focused. For most companies, the customer feedback survey is an employee’s side project. But an authentic survey takes time to craft and even more time to perfect. The key to keeping a survey focused is to build in dynamic branching logic. This ensures customers are only asked questions relevant to them.
3. Double down on the verbatims. Your customers’ lives are saturated with surveys, so when they take time to give you feedback, their thoughts are valuable. A customer feedback analyst will write open-ended questions that encourage respondents to engage and share. And they’ll rigorously analyze those verbatims.
Beth Teitell is correct when she says, “Writing a good survey question is harder than it looks. Questions need to be concise, specific and neutrally phrased.” Your customer feedback survey will stand out when you show your customers that you’re genuinely listening. stop talking and start listening, really listening.