How to make customer surveys an effective business tool Juli April 15, 2024

How to make customer surveys an effective business tool

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How to conduct customer surveys: recommendations

Customer surveys are a powerful tool for gathering feedback. They allow companies to learn important information about improving products and evaluating service levels. In addition, surveys reveal problematic issues that require improvement and changes in business approaches.

There is no one right way to conduct customer surveys. Each company chooses the best format for itself, depending on the specifics of its niche and target audience. However, some tips can help make a survey as effective as possible.

  1. Decide beforehand what decisions are possible based on the findings. This should involve looking at potentially problematic processes, e.g. delivery of goods, and consultation with managers. Questions about these processes should be part of the questionnaire.
  2. Avoid sending a large number of emails. In this case, one customer will receive one survey on one topic. For instance, the questions will specifically address the quality of the goods, while it’s preferable to have another customer provide feedback on the delivery.
  3. Motivation system. For a consumer to take the time to provide feedback, they need to be motivated. You can offer a bonus or discount on the purchase of goods.
  4. Surveys don’t need to be complicated. Most customers will only want to complete a multi-page survey requiring a few detailed answers. Therefore, ensuring that the survey takes only a short time to complete but is still informative for the company is essential. A good approach is to set a time limit for the survey, e.g., 3 or 5 minutes. 
  5. Assign one person to process the surveys. This person will systematise the results and use them to develop a strategy for improving business processes.
  6. Transparency of communication. In the letter, it is important to inform the customer about the purpose of the survey and the use of their personal data. This will build trust. The consumer will be more likely to share their opinion without suspicion.
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Examples of surveys conducted by different companies

The first example is H&M, which wanted to improve its cosmetics range. The company’s survey included questions that revealed customer desires: what range of cosmetics customers would like to see in stores, what category of products they buy most often, and whether they buy products for themselves or as gifts.

The target group for such letters was the category of loyal repeat customers, with a higher response rate. 

Another example is the online bookstore Yakaboo, which is interested in feedback on customer service at the point of delivery. After a customer has received their order, they receive an email with a survey about the level of service. In the survey, Yakaboo asks customers for their opinion on possible service improvements and their willingness to recommend the shop to their friends. 

Companies can use different survey formats. The important thing is to get customers to want to share their opinions.