Smart Surveys Get Smart Results

Smart Surveys Get Smart Results

Well-Crafted Questions, Yield Productive Answers


To keep your customers or win new ones, you need to ask questions and listen. One of the most effective tools for listening is a customer survey.

The problem is, many surveys are too long, cumbersome and designed with the company in mind — rather than the consumer. Here are three smart moves to craft a questionnaire that will get the results you really need:

Feedback from a well-designed survey can help you innovate products, improve services, anticipate trends and discover money-making opportunities.

1. Place the survey strategically.Questionnaires are more apt to be completed when customers have time, so make them available while people are waiting in line. Provide pencils or pens. Don’t put the surveys near your staff members or the door. Some customers feel self-conscious about taking a survey in front of employees, and if they pick one up at the door, they’re more likely to toss it in the car and forget it.

2. Isolate your survey as much as possible. If you don’t have customers coming into your place of business, you can include a survey with packing orders or invoices. But don’t attach it to other information about the company. That could influence the responses and skew the results. The questionnaire should be separate so the customer can fill it out and send it back anonymously. Include a postage-paid envelope.

3. Keep it short and smart. Surveys should stick the point, so you need to zero in on what you want to know. Leave plenty of space at the bottom for comments and suggestions.

A smart survey helps keep customers loyal. By implementing what you learn from the results, your company can unlock hidden profit opportunities and deliver “world class” service. Here’s a sample questionnaire:

We Want to Know . . .How satisfied are you with our company?___ Totally
___ Partially
___ Dissatisfied


Are you pleased with the responsiveness of our employees?
Is it easy to do business with our company?
How committed are you to staying with our company?
Are you comfortable referring friends, relatives and associates to our company?

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