Creating Effective Customer Satisfaction

Customer Ted surveys can answer these questions and provide you with information about your company’s strengths and weaknesses.

Unfortunately, many small businesses believe they are unable to conduct effective customer surveys.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” says Isabelle Simard, Director, Research and Market Intelligence at BDC. “There are several affordable and sometimes even free online survey tools that allow companies to easily create surveys using templates, sample questions and other features.

Ms. Simard offers the following advice to business owners who would like to conduct surveys with their clients as well as those who are already doing so but would like to improve their approach.

1. Set yourself clear objectives

To conduct an effective survey of your customers, you need to know at the outset what information you want to collect.

Talk first to your employees, especially those who work in direct contact with customers. They know your customers, their needs and expectations, and can tell you if they have noticed any signs of dissatisfaction that you should be aware of.

For example, if sales are declining in a given area of your company, use your survey to try to understand why. For example, you can design your survey to see if a recent change has contributed to your customers finding your product or service less relevant. Maybe they no longer need it or a new competitor has better to offer.

Ms. Simard recommends using a set of core questions in each of your surveys and adding additional questions, which may change every year or every six months, depending on the information you want to collect.

2. Check the overall level of satisfaction, then go into detail

Most client surveys start with a question about overall satisfaction and then continue with more detailed questions

“You want a spontaneous answer from the beginning,” says Simard. Does the customer like your company or not? If you start your survey by asking a lot of detailed questions, the client will lose this spontaneity. And if you ask the overall satisfaction questions at the end of the survey, when the client is anxious to get it over with, you probably won’t get the evaluation you deserve.”

Simard says spontaneous responses are very valuable because they reflect what people really think about your company.

3. Keep it short and simple

Write your survey using clear and simple words that people understand. They often do other activities while answering an online or telephone survey and are easily distracted. Make sure they can easily understand the questions and answer them accurately.

It is also essential that your survey be brief. It should not take more than seven minutes. If you exceed this seven-minute threshold, many people will drop out of the survey before the end.

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