Have you ever considered conducting a customer survey for business? You might think it would be a waste of your time but consider this statistic from Zendesk: “96% of consumers don’t bother to complain, making consumer surveys an excellent way for organizations to better understand their customers’ problems.” Instead of making assumptions or viewing your business from the owner or management perspective, go directly to the people who affect your bottom line: your customers.
I’ve worked with several stores on crafting and maintaining customers service surveys for both their overall customer service and specifically for their online shopping programs. I used my experience working with these stores to develop a case study of how and why to create a customer service survey. To read the full case study, click HERE.
Here is a quick summary of what I cover in the case study:
When to Use Customer Surveys
- Consider running an ongoing general customer service survey so your customers always have the option to provide feedback.
- I highly recommend running a separate customer service survey for your online shopping program, especially when it is new. It’s always good to keep your finger on the pulse of the program.
- It’s also helpful to run a survey when you’re launching something new in the store, when you notice your sales fluctuating and want to learn why, or when a new store opens close by and you want to make sure you have a competitive edge.
Choosing a Survey Platform
- If possible, conduct the survey on an online platform. This will make compiling the data easier. Most platforms will help you create an easy-to-read recap of the results.
- Social media also gives you the option to create polls directly on the platforms. If you don’t want to launch a full survey but want to get the pulse of your customers with one question, a social media poll is another option.
Developing Survey Questions
- Determine survey questions based on your goals for improving business and better serving your customers.
- Google survey examples to get ideas. I provide sample questions for a general survey and an online shopping survey in the case study.
- Use a combination of multiple choice, rating scale, and write-in questions.
- Most experts don’t give a magic number of questions to use, but a rule of thumb is to keep the survey completion time under 10 minutes. You don’t have to gather every detail. Including an open-ended question for general feedback will cover any areas you missed with quantitative questions.
Determining Survey Timeline
- Determine timeline of survey (ongoing or limited timeframe).
- Consider incentivizing short-term survey campaigns. For example, run a contest where one winner selected from all respondents who complete the survey will win a gift card to the store.
Promoting Customer Survey
- Website: either a webpage they can find on the home page menu or preferably a pop-up window when they first visit the homepage.
- Email: If it’s a general customer service survey, include a link to it in the weekly ad email. If it’s an online shopping service survey, include a link to the survey in the final transactional email the customer receives at the end of their ordering process.
- Social Media: For general surveys with incentive, post about the survey and the incentive on all social media channels you use for your store. You can post about non-incentivized general surveys and online shopping surveys but I wouldn’t recommend posting about it too often. Your customers will get burnt out.
Metropolis Big John
- Increased responses by 93% by incentivizing their general customer service survey. While the quantitative responses were overwhelmingly positive (likely due to the incentive) there were customers who provided feedback on areas of improvement.
Greer’s Markets and CashSavers
- Leadership reviews their general customer service survey results at quarterly board meetings. They review the overall sentiment and look into specific issues if necessary.
- Greer’s receives survey reports every two weeks for their online shopping customer service survey. They use the quantitative feedback to ensure specific areas of the program receive high ratings (quality meat and produce selection from personal shoppers) and review the qualitative feedback for any specific negative issues that need to be addressed.