What a Customer Satisfaction Survey Can Do For You

Have you ever gotten a bad haircut, but didn't want to hurt the barber's feelings so you didn't say anything? Chances are you never went back to that barber, and he never learned what he was doing wrong.

You could be losing customers the same way without a customer satisfaction survey.

Surveys are reliable, provide great customer insight, and are often inexpensive.

What feedback is worth

Your business can't get better if you don't know what's working - and more importantly what's not. Customer surveys allow you to see your company in a new perspective. You can use this insight to improve customer service. If a technician is leaving customers with an unpleasant experience, a survey would inform you of a potential problem.

Surveys also allow you to strategize based off customer feedback. If you ask consumers how they heard of your company, you're getting information to improve your advertising. If you spent a large chunk of your budget on advertising in the phone book, but few customers found you there it's a sign to put your dollars elsewhere.

Starting a survey

Not all surveys are created equally. Here are tips to improve your survey:

  • Include an incentive - People are more willing to participate in a survey if you give them a reason, like a discount or prize. If you don't give the customers a carrot, their only incentive may be a very negative experience.
  • Limit the questions - If a survey is too short you may not get any vital information. If your survey is too long you risk not having completed surveys. Entrepreneur Magazine says surveys with five to 10 questions are the most efficient.
  • Ask open-ended questions - Ask your customers questions that call for specific reasoning, rather than asking for a score. Instead of asking, "Rate your satisfaction from 1-10," ask "Would you recommend this company to a friend? Why or why not?"

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