Customer surveys are a great way to learn what you’re doing right in your business, and what could stand to be improved. But when you only receive rudimentary feedback from customers, your opportunities for reevaluation are limited.
To increase the amount of feedback you receive (and to avoid getting basic yes/no answers), you need to make surveys easy and fun for your customers. Respect their time and ask thoughtful questions to guarantee more engaged responses. Try asking open-ended questions that leave room for customers to expand, or incentivize the survey with a fun contest.
We asked nine entrepreneurs from YEC to share the tried-and-true tactics they use when it comes to increasing engagement on customer surveys.
1. Be Consistent
Our team sends quarterly customer satisfaction surveys. They are simple, straightforward and incentivized. But most importantly, the delivery of these surveys is like clockwork. The email prompting completion of the survey is delivered the first Wednesday of the new quarter. This consistency raises completion rates, opens doors for upsells, and gives us the chance to save clients on the fence.
2. Ask Open-Ended Questions
When you ask open-ended questions, you give the customer an opportunity to tell you in detail what you did right and what didn’t work. Try to stay away from yes/no questions, and give your customers the chance to tell you exactly what needs to be changed or what to continue doing. This is valuable information that helps your business grow and change to meet demand and expectations.
3. Make It Short and Sweet
I fill out relevant surveys that come my way because I want to help, just like I hope people fill out ours. But my number one frustration is filling out a lengthy survey that requires more than a couple minutes. The next time you design a survey, be sure questions have a clear answer. The answer should either be directly below the question or left in a comment box. Time to complete? Less than one minute.
4. Be Passionate
We get very honest feedback because we take the time to craft our messages passionately. Any web user today can spot a corporate survey based on the subject line alone. Speak sincerely to your customer and tell them how important their feedback actually is. You are asking your customer for something more valuable than their money — their time. Respect it and you’ll see the quality of their responses improve.
5. Always Follow Up
Whenever we receive feedback from our customers, we follow up with them. If they had a feature request in their feedback, we make a note of it and personally reach out to them when we fulfill the request. As a result, many of our customers respond to multiple surveys we send out during the year because they know their feedback results in action.
6. Send Short Surveys Often
Customers hate long forms, but they’re often quite happy to answer a couple of questions. One way to solve this problem is to create a list of questions, split your customer base, and send one or two questions to each customer. You can also stagger surveys, sending one question per week or month. The aggregate data is likely to be just as useful with a higher response rate for each question.
7. Get Specific
Ask about very specific aspects of your product. Ask your customers how they typically use their purchases. Find out what they think can be improved specifically. The narrower your questions are, the more likely a survey recipient will feel prompted to think about an authentic (rather than generic) response.
8. Incentivize With a Contest
I think surveys are great, but (let’s be honest) most customers don’t want to do them. Incentivizing clients with an “enter to win” contest is a great way to get more participants. Doing this will yield a larger audience and better results.
9. Don’t Waste the Customer’s Time
Don’t waste the customer’s time by asking for information you won’t use. Every extra question hurts; it not only wastes the customer’s time, but yours too. You’ll have to skim through a bunch of responses, most of which will provide no helpful insights. So make sure to only ask questions that serve a purpose. You’ll save time and get better responses.
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