According to a recent report, more than 83% of successful companies actively measure customer satisfaction. Technology, and the internet in particular, has made it much easier for companies to reach out to customers and ask for feedback. In fact, being asked to complete a customer satisfaction survey has become a standard part of the purchase process today.

Customer satisfaction surveys enable companies to:

_     Understand what makes customers happy – and what doesn’t

_     Get real-world data to make better decisions

_     Empower customers to engage with the company

But all surveys are not created equal. To get the most out of your online customer satisfaction surveys and actually improve customer satisfaction in the process, follow these five tips:

1. Focus on Your Objective

What is the purpose behind sending out a customer satisfaction survey? What insights do you hope to get from it? What is the bigger Why?

Collecting feedback is great, but if it isn’t tied to an objective, it won’t get you very far. Clarify your objective before you begin to create a survey. This will not only result in a better survey, it will result in more helpful insights from respondents.

Here are some objectives you may consider:

_     Making customer service more impactful

_     Ensuring more accurate pricing

_     Increasing marketing effectiveness

_     Improving product offerings

2. Keep Surveys Short

No doubt you’ve heard this statistic before – it’s become a statement about the world we live in today – but here it is again: Humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfish.

The likelihood that your customers will sit through and accurately fill out a long survey is pretty slim.

There are two keys to keeping surveys short, but still make them effective:

1.    Keep questions concise. Leave out the industry jargon and the complex terminology. Write questions in a clear and understandable way and in the shortest way possible. Don’t cause friction for your audience between when they read the question and when they answer it. Make it easy, fast and smooth.

2.    Answer as many questions as you can with other data sources. Do you have data from other, similar surveys that might answer the questions you have? Do you have access to big data or insights from social media that might help you answer some questions before you compile your customer satisfaction survey? Tap other sources before you write your survey questions.

3. Make Feedback Mobile-Friendly

Many customers today are filling out surveys on their smartphones and tablets. If your customer satisfaction survey isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re losing out on a big percentage of feedback data.

Making your surveys mobile-friendly also enables you to capture insights at more touchpoints. Your customers may be purchasing your product or service from a mobile device, and it makes sense to capture their feedback right then and there. If your survey doesn’t work well on that mobile device, you’re not only losing insights at that touchpoint, you’re also introducing friction into the buying process.

4. Start Simple and End Easy

Warm up your customers before diving into more complex issues or involved queries. Ask simple, brief questions first to avoid overwhelming your respondent right out of the gate. This will also help put them at ease, make them feel a sense of progress and keep them engaged in the survey process.

At the end of the survey, cool your respondents back down with demographic questions and space for more comments.

The beginning and end of your customer satisfaction survey are very, very important. The beginning sets the tone for the interaction, and the end leaves the customer with their lasting impression of your company or brand.


5. Think Through Your Touchpoints

Where are customers coming into contact with your company? These touchpoints are ideal times and places to deliver your customer satisfaction surveys.

Some touchpoints are easier to identify than others. Let’s talk specifically about online touchpoints. Where are customers interacting with your brand online?

Here are a few examples:

_     Social media

_     Your website

_     Online store

_     Transactional emails

_     Marketing emails

_     Online help center

_     Online chat

_     Online advertising

Take the time to think through your customer’s experience, start-to-finish. Where are they discovering your business, making their purchases or having problems? These are ideal places to get customer feedback that can help you improve the experience and increase customer satisfaction.

The insights you gain from online customer satisfaction surveys are priceless when it comes to improving customer experience and furthering your brand recognition. The five tips outlined here will help you make those surveys much more effective. But don’t stop there – be sure you thank your respondents for their time and close the loop by acting on the insight.

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