Customer Surveys: Pros and Cons

The Pros

  • They’re quick.
  • They’re cheap.
  • They allow customers to vent, which can boost opinions of your company.

When customer surveys are done well, they:

  • Provide digestible, quantitative data.
  • Uncover nuanced qualitative insights.
  • Enable progress to be tracked over time.

But despite the benefits of a great survey, it’s dangerously easy to design a bad one. Popular platforms (like SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo) are great for survey deployment—but only after you’ve carefully designed and vetted your questions. Make sure to account for the numerous difficulties and problems that can arise in survey design.

The Cons

  • Sampling Issues: There are two main sampling issues—sample size error and sampling bias. Size error occurs when the sample is too small to fully reflect the target population. Sampling bias occurs when the populations surveyed are incorrect or incomplete. Both lead to misrepresentative results.
  • Response Bias: Even if your survey is distributed to a 100% unbiased and representative sample, the actual response population may not represent the target population. The most common instance of this is when highly satisfied customers respond to surveys more than dissatisfied and neutral customers.
  • Wording and Execution Bias: One of the biggest problems in survey design is that the questions themselves bias the results. If answers are too limited, customers may select an answer that doesn’t reflect their true feelings. In the same vein, subtle positive or negative wording can affect a customer’s response.
  • Rigged Process: Employees can skew their own survey results with self-administered survey selection, rigged research design, or outright cheating. This happens for a variety of reasons but regardless, a gamed system fails to produce accurate data.
  • Irrelevant Questions: Many surveys ask questions that are important from a management standpoint, but don’t resonate with or make sense to customers. In other cases, questions are so general they don’t provide meaningful data.

We’re Here to Help!

You’re on your way to becoming a survey genius, but if you need to call in the experts for a brainstorming session, we’re ready to help! Interaction Metrics is known for designing exceptional customer surveys that deliver actionable, nuanced results.

Intrigued? Come talk to us here. It’s a great way to learn about the best metrics to accomplish your goals and advance your survey strategies.

Categories: Customer Satisfaction Surveys
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