Customer satisfaction surveys can be an extremely important and useful tool to help you understand the behaviors and attitudes of your consumers. By shedding light on how customers assess your products, services, employees, and the overall experience of doing business with you, you can find new ways to meet customer needs, optimize your marketing strategies, and make internal changes to help your business grow.
Designing a survey is easier said than done, however. The anticipation of positive results can create inherent bias in your questions, invalidating your survey responses and giving you useless data. Here are some tips to help you create effective customer satisfaction survey questions.
- Define your goal
What is it that you want to know? Write out your goals objectively and simply. Avoid inserting a response into the question. For example, the goal, “How much did the customers like our commercial?” makes the assumption that the customers liked the commercial. Your goal should simply be to find out consumer thoughts and perceptions of your commercial. Once you have a defined goal in mind, you can begin structuring questions around the goal.
- Organize questions logically
A natural flow and navigation of your survey should be prioritized. This will help the consumer fill it out easily, accurately, and in full. For example, if you run a movie theater and wish to find out about the movie-going experience of your consumers, you should group questions about the food together, questions about the movie quality together, and questions about interactions with employees together.
- Save the difficult and personal questions for the end
Along those lines, the order of your questions matters. Start with easy questions to encourage the survey-taker to continue to the next questions. Beginning the survey with difficult questions might discourage them from continuing. Similarly, beginning with personal, demographic information can also raise hesitation and create bias. If a consumer nears the end of the survey, seeing only a question or two left, they are more likely to finish even if those questions are more difficult.
- Structured questions must be unbiased
Structured questions with pre-created answers from which the consumer selects must include an option for each end of the spectrum. Create a range from ‘extremely dislike’ to ‘extremely like,’ or similar. Allowing for an “other” or “prefer not to say” option conveys a sense of trust to your consumers, and should also be considered as an option for structured questions.
- Avoid “and” questions
Each question should only ask about a single topic. Asking questions about two topics becomes confusing and misleading, and can skew your results. For example, “How would you rate the quality of food and service during your visit?” but only asking for a single answer does not tell you anything about the quality of food or service. Create separate questions for each topic so you can get clear answers for each topic.
- Consult with a professional
When we are personally invested in the success of our company or business, it’s very easy to insert bias into our survey questions, even unintentionally. Look into the survey services of ROI to ensure your customer satisfaction survey gives you measurable and applicable results.