We examined the point-of-purchase surveys for 51 of the largest US retailers, finding that retailers like Nordstrom and Wal-Mart waste customers’ time—and their own—with critically flawed satisfaction surveys.

The two biggest problems:

  1. Biased questions.
  2. A failure to engage customers and show customer listening.

Based on an objective evaluation of 15 survey elements, on average, the surveys scored a 43, a clear F grade. Other findings include:

  • With an average of 23 questions, the surveys were excessively long.
  • 32% of all questions led customers to give answers that companies want to hear.
  • 7-Eleven had the best survey—it was 13 questions, none of which were leading or used biased wording.
  • Nordstrom, the retailer most known for customer service, stated its survey would take 2 minutes—but with 25 questions, it took 4-5 minutes.

To get real value from their point-of-purchase surveys, retailers need to strengthen their survey science—and take a creative approach to showing customers they care. Since these were the nation’s largest retailers producing flawed surveys, clearly a good survey is difficult to create. Therefore the findings should be considered by any company with a customer satisfaction survey.

The retailers selected for this study were the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) largest retailers, omitting supermarkets and membership stores. The surveys were collected between June 23 and July 27, 2016. Download the Study Report. Watch the 2-minute video. Or, feel free to drop us a line and request the company data!

largest retailers issue flawed point-of-purchase surveys

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