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Tips on Creating an Effective Customer Survey

Gil Cohen
November 24th, 2012
An effective customer survey lets you know if your business is on the right track, what your strengths are and what areas have room for improvement. It is also a chance for you to interact with customers and gives them an outlet to express any complaints or comments they may have.

When requesting customers to fill out one of your satisfaction surveys, remember it's asking them for a favor, so making it as easy and pain-free as possible is in your best interest. Some common reasons why people disregard or abandon surveys is due to lack of interest in the subject at hand, survey length and the time it takes to fill it in. If you can keep your surveys short and simple, more people will likely fill them out. One method for doing so is using multiple choice answers over open-ended answers that need to be filled in; however, don't overwhelm people with too many choices, stick to three or four. Limit the number of questions you ask to around ten, which would take the average user about five minutes to complete, and don't force people to answer all questions. A partially completed survey is more helpful than one that was abandoned and not submitted at all.

An effective customer survey should be encouraging, making people want to take the time to fill it out. Let your customers know that you are protecting their privacy and their identity or any information provided will not be divulged or sold to a third party. Give them some incentive for participating in the survey such as being entered for a chance to win a prize or being given a coupon for a product or store discount upon completion. At the end, consider satisfying the users' curiosity and show them the outcome of the survey so they can see the results.

For more effective business tips, read Trend Hunter's Business Trend Report.