Customer experience surveys are a great way for companies to find out more about what their customers think of them. It’s necessary for businesses to utilize new ways of receiving feedback, because it makes their customers feel like their voices are being heard.

When businesses go out of their way to actually listen to their customers, it gives them the opportunity to learn what’s working, what needs improvement, and where their focus needs to be. Surveys are great because they offer a quick and easy way for companies to connect with their customers.

Customer experience surveys are also a more affordable, creative, and personal way of reaching out. When they’re kept short and sweet, customers will feel more inclined to participate.

However, it’s not always easy to get them right. They can be too long and turn customers off, or don’t provide enough information for your business to take advantage of; they can be too specific, and your customers are left wondering why the year they graduated high school plays a role in purchasing a phone case.

The cost of bad customer service is staggering, so it should obviously be avoided at all costs. We want to break down the do’s and don’ts of creating a customer experience survey so your business can improve its customer experience and maintain positive customer relationships.

Benefits of Customer Experience Surveys

  1. Cheaper option for businesses looking to find out more about what their customers think of their product/services. If your business uses CRM software, chances are there’s a survey feature tucked away somewhere.
  2. Connect to customers on social media easier. Most people (especially millennials) don’t want to talk on the phone or write lengthy emails. Taking advantage of social media integrations allow your customers to kill two birds with one stone: they can catch up with their friends and take less than five minutes to complete your survey.
  3. Flexible, more targeted option for businesses looking to make deeper connections with their customers. Surveys come with different kinds of questions like multiple choice, ratings, and matrixes that can be personalized for everyone.

Do’s and Don’ts

Instead of just breaking down each feature that comes with the typical customer survey software, we’re going to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do with it, so your business understands what the software is designed to do, how it will benefit your business, and make your life easier.

Do…

  • Do pick a solution that offers tons of features. There’s no need to sacrifice on features anymore. Some solutions are different branches from bigger CRM software companies, like Zoho and Salesforce, who also offer CRM integrations.
  • Do pick a solution that offers social media, CRM, email, phone, and website integrations. These integrations are important because surveys are an easy way to get as much information about your customers as possible while your CRM software will organize it all. You need to spread your survey across as many channels as possible to acquire the most success.
  • Do pick a solution that offers customizable themes, questions, and answers. The questions your business asks and the way they’re presented will make all the difference. You don’t want your survey questions to look basic and computer generated. Make questions personal, ask them in different ways, and offer unique answers to make the survey as engaging as possible.
  • Do start an email marketing campaign! Your business has to get it out there that you’re looking for feedback. How else will you learn what’s working and what needs fine tuning? Some survey solutions integrate with email marketing software like MailChimp, which will send your survey to everyone on your email list. The more people see the survey, the more feedback you’ll receive.
  • Do reach out to people from various regions using  native languages. Customers speak languages other than English. Just because English is the universal language of the world doesn’t mean everyone can speak it. It’s never smart to single anyone out. Choose a provider like SurveyMonkey who supports up to 58 different languages.
  • Do record, analyze, and organize your data. CRM software can help with this, provided you have it, but if your business doesn’t use it yet, keep track of your recipients’ responses and organize them neatly. Analyze the feedback your business receives and use it to determine what steps your company needs to take to continue improving.
  • Do pick a solution that offers real-time reporting. Real-time reporting ensures the information you receive from your surveys is always up to date. The amount of people participating, keeping track of all the answers, and seeing which questions are generating the most responses are all valuable information for improving customer satisfaction. 
  • Do pick a solution that offers mobility. I don’t think it’s possible at this point to find a solution that doesn’t come with an app, but on the off-chance you run into one that doesn’t offer mobility, avoid it. Mobility allows you to check your surveys on the go which is good for your remote teams or anyone temporarily out of the office. 
  • Do pick a solution that offers scalable surveys to fit all screen sizes. Most people are doing your business’ surveys on the go. It’s not news that people are glued to their phones and use them to buy products. Make sure your surveys fit on all screen sizes because appearances matter. Plus, if each question has an answer cut off, it can skew the data.
  • Do give recipients the opportunity to offer feedback. After the survey, give your recipients the option to offer feedback on social media or directly to the company. Knowing how they feel about the survey, whether or not they felt it was effective, is important for future success regarding customer experience surveys. We cannot stress enough how important it is to allow your customers to have a voice.

Don’t…

  • Don’t sacrifice security. Your customers are taking their time to provide your business with personal, and sometimes sensitive, data. Take the time to ensure their information is protected through SSL encryptions and the solution is HIPAA compliant.
  • Don’t keep your surveys to yourself. Share them with your team! Each department will benefit from the data collected from each survey. Make sure it’s accessible to everyone. Providers offer shareable surveys to ensure marketing and sales teams are on the same page.
  • Don’t leave your recipients hanging; send them to an end page! It takes time to do these surveys, and most participants are hoping to get something at the end of it. Let them know that you appreciate the time it took to complete it. End pages can connect your customers directly to your business’ website too.
  • Don’t let people leave your website. If you’re a small business owner, you know it’s hard enough to get people to find your website. It’s also hard to get them to complete a survey, because most people aren’t going to the website to do work. Providing an end-page will encourage customers to stay put, which could lead to more potential sales. 
  • Don’t make your survey too long, or get too personal. The last thing we need is to get stuck filling out boring questions for more than five minutes. Any longer and I’d rather close it out and forget about it. Same goes for making questions too personal. Keep your questions strictly relevant to your business’ needs. Do you really need know about my family history if I’m in the market for shoes?
  • Don’t group your customers into one giant category. Target and segment smaller groups so every survey comes off as being made specifically for the individual customer. Different groups have different needs; it’s not smart to assume everyone wants the same thing. Segment groups based on similar interests, where they live, how long they’ve been customers, or age.
  • Don’t be boring! Include your brand and either choose or create a theme. Make sure your participants know this is a survey you created specifically for your business. It’s so easy to tell when a business is just using a generic survey. The questions are barely relevant, the theme has no personality, and the brand is nowhere in sight. Avoid this at all costs. Avoid this at all costs. Make your survey stand out!
  • Don’t forget to reward your recipients for their hard work. Again, it takes time to do these surveys. Let your customers know you appreciate the feedback they’re providing. Giving customers something upon completion is also a great technique for getting more people to participate. Once they finish the survey, make sure you’re giving them an incentive to stick around, like offering a special sale or a free consultation regarding your services.
  • Don’t choose an outdated solution. Make sure dashboards are informative and clear. Appearances don’t just matter for the participants. The data received from your business’ surveys should be laid out in workflows, provide charts, and be interactive.
  • Don’t lose track of your customer data. This might be the most obvious tip, but it needs to be mentioned. Businesses of all sizes tend to have lots of customers. If a large percentage complete the surveys, make sure they don’t get lost. If they fill out a survey and you forget about it, they’ll take the lack of action as you ignoring them, and that’s not good. Utilize the data to make the recommended changes to show your business is capable of evolving. Let CRM software take care of it.

Final Thoughts

Customer experience surveys are a necessary tool businesses should not overlook. There is a right and wrong way to go about creating customer surveys. It’s essential to keep them creative and personable, but they must stay relevant to your business’ goals.

If they get too long or too personal, you might scare away your customers. Make them want to take it by giving them an incentive, and be up front about it too. When used with sales and marketing CRM software, the data collected from the surveys will go a long way.

Customers will notice if you are or aren’t taking their advice. When they feel like their voice is being heard, and they’re all in agreement that your business is heading in the right direction, you should see significant improvements in customer experience and sales forecasts, and acquire more leads through word-of-mouth and positive social media posts/reviews.