Before you start planning what questions to ask, think about the following pointers. This will shape the process you follow for gathering customer feedback.
1. What are your goals?
Your goals for collecting customer feedback will affect the type of questions you ask in your surveys. For example, if you’re aiming to improve processes, asking a question relating to processes specifically allows you to gauge what improvement needs to be made. If you’re looking to gauge and improve NPS, you’ll need an NPS-type question in there.
2. Word your questions clearly
Once you’ve figured out your goals, you’ll need to craft questions that return the data you need to assess these areas. The wording of your questions needs to be clear and easy to interpret by your entire customer base. Confusingly-worded questions will only return confusing and unreliable data.
3. Check for bias
Questions worded in a biased way will return biased data. While all of us would love the feedback on our customer service functions to be nothing short of glowing, wording questions in a leading way that produces great scores isn’t an accurate or true reflection of your service provision. To truly drive service improvement, check that your questions are worded in a neutral way.
4. How often will you run surveys?
Most businesses choose to run surveys on a regular basis, so that they can track the change in scores over time. Consider how often is right for you, and for your customers. None of your customers should be made to feel annoyed by constant requests for feedback, so consider what frequency suits them best.
5. Which customers should get surveyed?
Would it be most helpful for you to get data from your entire customer base? Or is there a section of customers who you’re most interested in hearing from? Consider which of your customer segments is best positioned to give you the most useful data, and survey them accordingly.
6. When will customers be surveyed?
Many say that feedback given straight after a customer interaction is preferable to feedback received some time after it. The details of the interaction will be fresh in your customer’s mind and because of this, the information you receive will be more specific and useful. Consider how quickly you can get your surveys sent to your customers. It may be that you can take advantage of the survey tool in your live chat platform, for example, to get up-to-the-minute feedback on your service as it occurs.
7. How will customers be surveyed?
Think about how you will administer the survey and collate the information received from your customers. Remember that the outcome is for you to be able to spot trends in the data and easily identify gaps and areas for improvement – the tool you use should support this. Asking for feedback via letter or email can be an easy way to get surveys sent, but collating the data afterwards and looking for trends can be time consuming.
Using a survey tool online can help you to do this more easily, allowing you to create your question set and sending a link to customers for them to complete the survey online. Or, as mentioned before, you could take advantage of survey functionality in your live chat or telephony platform to collect data.
8. Do you want customer feedback to be public or private?
Feedback given publicly by customers – for example, through review sites online – can help to boost business if it’s good. Bad reviews, however, can be incredibly damaging. Consider whether your feedback should be viewable by future potential customers, or whether you want to keep the results of the survey internal for now.
9. How long does your survey take to complete?
Customers simply won’t complete surveys that are long and onerous to finish. Consider how much time it’s reasonable to ask from your customers in asking for feedback. Aiming for short, focused surveys will yield better feedback returns than huge, in-depth ones. It pays to be upfront about how long your survey will take to complete, too, so that your customer’s expectations of the process match up to the reality.