Surveys: What You Need to Know

Carter Clark on June 28, 2020

According to a study done by Accenture, the top 3 reasons customers switch brands are: 1) poor service or product quality, 2) lower prices, and 3) a service representative's lack of knowledge 

Do you know what causes customer churn in your organization?

There are many different surveys that can be conducted, with customers in various stages of a customer relationship, to find out exactly that. With so many options available, though, it makes sense to understand and know which methods will give you the best results. Some of these options include:

  • Opt in & preference management surveys which are simply good practice for implementing at the beginning of a new relationship. Getting your customers preferred method of communication is essential in maintaining that strong relationship from the get go.
  • Satisfaction surveys, you could send out this survey following a purchase or a conversation with a sales representative in a store, maybe even right after an event which tends to get high response rates. With satisfaction surveys you can go a step further in asking for feedback, telling customers that you want to know what they think and value their opinion because you care about what they say, therefore you want to improve their experience
  • Net Promoter Score surveys would be used in a couple of different ways; one would be transactional and the other could be semi-annual to really gauge the loyalty of customers and the likelihood that they would recommend you or the likelihood that they would move to a competitor.

Imagine the impact on customer loyalty if you were able to listen to the feedback of your customers and use it to create a better brand experience. Whether the feedback is negative or positive, the practice of surveying customers is an essential part of improving business and building a long term trusted relationship. And regardless of the survey, there are a few important factors that play into survey success:

  • Timing means everything when surveying customers... the public is saturated with unnecessary irrelevant surveys, resulting in low completion rates. Ensuring the survey is timely and relevant will get the best possible response rates.
  • Also the convenience of completing the survey in the customers preferred method goes a long way to obtaining higher rates of completion. And don’t forgot to keep all surveys short and simple!
  • Communicate the results, both positive and negative, to your employees and stress the importance of finding ways to create a better customer experience. Decide on specific steps that can be taken to address the major issues raised by respondents. Contact customers directly to let them know what actions you will be taking to improve the process. Just knowing that your store listens and responds to customer feedback should increase your customers' satisfaction and improve retention rates.

Understanding what your customer wants is necessary in every business, and gathering information is required in order to fully appreciate where a business should focus. Do remember to keep in mind what the main goal of the survey is, how you plan to use the results of the survey and what decisions will be made with the results. Ask your self - is it timely, is it quick and is it easy? Don’t just measure….do something about it. Start your survey with a strong but brief opening statement on why you’re doing this survey and what’s in it for them. And act immediately on any completed surveys that need a response. If you do these things, you should see your customer’s actionable feedback piling in.

Editor's Note: this blog was originally published in January 2016 but was updated in June 2020 for consistency and freshness.


Topics: Surveys