Evaluation is part of any growth process. We keep tabs on our health as we physically mature, take tests to assess our knowledge as we progress through school and seek ways to understand our feelings as we deal with our problems (at least theoretically!). Taking a step back and examining where we are, where we want to be and the steps we are taking to help us reach that point, are all necessary components for bettering our circumstances, as well as ourselves. For businesses, constant evaluation is necessary to remain competitive and profitable in markets that perpetually (and often dramatically) change. Here’s why:
Evaluation is Critical for Success
Businesses need customers. It’s not a hard concept to grasp. They need people to take an interest in and buy or use (in the case of a non-profit organization) their products and/or services. What is harder to grasp, however, is how businesses can (and should) determine what customers need. Too often, companies become complacent in their past performance, believing themselves already knowledgable about what consumers want out of their products. But good companies know that in order to grow their businesses they have to have customer feedback with which they can analyze how well they are meeting not only their own expectations, but especially those of the people they serve.
The Key is Being Proactive with a Customer Feedback Survey
Of course, feedback can be both unsolicited and solicited. Unsolicited feedback commonly comes in the form of complaints, the majority of which are frequently not even directly given to the business itself, but rather circulated amongst family and friends or posted on the Internet for the entire world to see. A better strategy, then, is for businesses to be proactive — to nip any complaints in the bud — by asking for and responding to customer feedback so that well-informed decisions can be made. The best tool to use: a customer feedback survey.
Tips for Maximizing the Customer Feedback Survey
Evaluating your business practices without alienating the people from whom you need help can be a tricky process. You don’t want to bombard your customers with repeated survey requests, nor do you want to cram so many questions into one survey that they become fatigued trying to answer them all. The balance is a delicate one. You need enough respondents to guarantee statistically significant results but not so many that the findings aren’t representative of your customers. Read on for a few tips:
Craft a Creative Subject Line
A lot of surveying is done over the Internet these days. It’s easy for respondents to get a customer feedback survey request and send it immediately to the trash, but if you can grab their attention, you at least have a shot at getting a response.
Provide a Purpose
People are more willing to help when they know what’s needed and why. Clearly tell them how you will use their feedback.
Don’t waste anyone’s time. Use as few questions as possible to garner the information you need. Sometimes only one question can get the job done!
Keep It Simple
Use multiple choice questions as much as possible and make sure all questions are relevant to the people you’ve targeted. If people aren’t kept engaged, they won’t continue to respond.
Always thank your respondents for their feedback. Respond to their problems or critiques. And let them know how their opinions and experiences have been put to use by sharing your customer feedback survey findings with them at the end of the survey project.
A good customer feedback survey enables companies to respond to the changing needs of their customers. It’s a critical part of good business practice. To ensure the feedback you get is accurate, relevant and truly addresses your business’s most pressing concerns, contact our team at Communications for Research (CFR). We have over 20 years of experience selecting the right samples, crafting the right research instruments and analyzing results; we can help you get the data you need to improve your products and practices and increase your ROI!