5 tips for more successful surveys
What’s the purpose of your feedback program? Hopefully, your immediate answer is to drive improvements within your company. That’s the end goal we frequently remind our customers to work toward. It’s not about just “knowing” satisfaction levels or NPS, it’s about taking action on that feedback to continually improve.
To do so, we recommend focusing your efforts and your surveys around key transaction points in the customer relationship, such as right after they make a purchase, resolve a service issue, or just after they gave you a rave review, etc; (of course, the list goes on). In other words, identify the most prime moments across the journey(s) and structure your surveys to quickly and concisely collect and respond to input at those points. Ideally, this will be a cross-functional exercise and key stakeholders across the business will happily contribute to the big picture goal of improving the customer and employee experience. Please note that this doesn’t mean that you don’t also deploy periodic relationship surveys as well, but that is a subject for another day.
Beyond determining where your key transaction points are and developing feedback channels to measure satisfaction with them, here are five tips for building more successful surveys:
- Short and simple. People are strapped for time. Some experts suggest the Five Rule, which is keeping surveys to five questions or fewer with an estimated completion time of five minutes or shorter. Surveys longer than 15 questions show significant dropoffs in completion rates.
- Strategic and specific. Considering the above point, you have very limited space to request feedback, so don’t waste any real estate. Every single question must pass the test of being tied to business goals and outcomes. Other ways to think about it are: “What are we planning to do with these responses” and/or “How will this data be used?”
- Clean and good-looking. Your marketing department spent a fortune streamlining the look and feel of your brand. Please do not reinvent the wheel. Stay within your company’s style guide and minimize unnecessary flourishes in layout that may be more of a distraction than an enhancement.
- Need to know only. Let’s not ask people to enter their name and address if you already possess that information. Either pre-fill known fields or simply leave those questions out. Again, you don’t have room for fluff and it’s a bit disrespectful. No one is thrilled to type out their name and email address on a survey that they just received via email with a personalized greeting.
- Test and test again. This tip applies both to technical testing (especially if you’re integrating feedback into other systems, such as CRM) and to experimenting with things like lists, segments, subject lines, question wording, and beyond. Be scientific in how you measure results. You may find that changing something simple, such as a subject line, makes your response rates skyrocket. The key is knowing rather than guessing why.