Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
A contractor’s guide to creating effective customer surveysSeptember 11th, 2020 by
Customers have valuable things to say about your business, whether you want to hear it or not. They can provide important feedback about how you can better serve and support in the future and know firsthand what your company does best. However, if you aren’t properly collecting feedback from your customers through effective customer surveys, you will never know what they have to say.
Surveying customers offers more benefits than simply collecting insights. Through effective surveys, you can deepen your relationship with your customers, as well as uncover new client bases and revenue streams. To better understand these benefits, as well as how to craft impactful customer surveys, read through the following guide we’ve put together.
5 reasons home service contractors should conduct customer surveys
An effective customer survey should help your business in five key areas:
- Identifying strengths and weaknesses
- Understanding customer perception
- Building customer loyalty
- Increasing referrals
- Attracting new customers
It’s easy to understand why customer feedback can help the first two areas on this list. Customers have a way of pointing out things in your business to which you may overlook because it’s been done that way for so long.
By acting on the feedback customers provide, you can also help to develop long-term relationships. Your company becomes more personable, which makes it more likely your current customers refer their network of friends and family, thus increasing your client base.
3 questions you need to ask yourself before sending your first survey
Not all customer surveys are equally effective, and the best way to ensure yours have an impact is to define a purpose. The best way to uncover your survey’s purpose is to answer three questions:
- What are you trying to learn?
- Why is it important you learn that?
- How will this knowledge affect your business?
By answering these three questions, you’ll create more effective surveys, meaning you’ll receive more specific insights from your customers. Asking the right questions will also help increase the response rate, making the survey even more effective.
5 best practices for crafting effective customer surveys
To better engage your customers and further increase the quality of their insights, as well as the overall response rate, there are five best practices to keep in mind when creating your customer surveys.
1. Keep it brief
An effective survey gets right to the point and only asks the questions that will provide answers you are after. Remember, think about the purpose of your survey. If your questions stray too far from their purpose, you may end up wasting your time and the time of your customers. The more questions your survey asks, the less likely your customer is to finish.
While you can brainstorm a large list of questions, do not hesitate to cull any questions that don’t help your stated goals. Questions about the customer’s name, location, or contact information may not matter for the purpose of your survey, so don’t be afraid to omit them.
2. Ask the right types of questions
There are several types of questions you can ask, and each has its advantages. Incorporate a few multiple choice or yes/no questions to help build some momentum, but make sure to include open-ended questions that will elicit more details.
For instance, ask a question like, “Do you feel valued as a customer?” with either a “yes” or “no.” You can then follow up with a question like, “Why do you feel this way?” This helps you capture important data like how many of your surveyed customers feel valued, while also learning why.
3. Get specific and don’t assume anything
Your company’s language may not match that of the customer. This means it’s best to avoid technical terms, jargon, or company slang in any of your questions. Assuming your customers understand these terms can cause a misunderstanding of the question’s intent and may frustrate or overwhelm the respondent, causing them to not complete the survey.
Further, don’t assume your respondents will be as specific as you’d like in their responses. Sometimes providing the reasoning behind why you’re asking a question enables your customers to offer more specific answers.
4. Be consistent
Many customer surveys will include rating scales that ask customers to assign a number value to services or products (ex: 1 to 5 scale). Sometimes the numerical values will match up with a specific written response. For example, you can ask whether the respondent agrees with a statement, assigning “strongly disagree” to 1 and “strongly agree” to the highest listed number. Make sure to be clear what each number means when presenting each question.
If you’re using rating scales, you need to ensure the ratings stay consistent. If 1 means something negative, like disagreement, it shouldn’t also mean something positive in a later question, such as ranking the five most important aspects of a service. This can confuse and potentially harm the integrity of your data.
5. Timing, timing, timing
Timing is everything. The highest likelihood of someone responding to a survey is when they first see it. The odds of getting a response drop to zero after 72 hours. Remember, customers will complete a survey when they have time to do so, such as on weekends or at the very beginning or end of the workweek or workday. Keep that in mind when you are deciding when to hit send.
If you’re looking for feedback about a recent job, send a survey within a few days of completion. Customers can easily recall their thoughts and feedback. This will also help you address any negative experiences quickly, instead of waiting for a quarterly survey response to tell you.
Let GuildQuality handle customer surveys for your business
Use effective customer surveys to improve your offerings and increase customer satisfaction. By partnering with GuildQuality to create and deploy your customer surveys, you’ll receive real-time insights that will help grow your business. Reach out to us today to get started!