How To Create A Customer Feedback Survey That Gets Answered
One of the biggest difficulties when it comes to marketing is knowing what customers want. Customer acquisition would be so much easier if marketers knew who they were talking to, what motivates them and what their business could do to solve their problems.
Well today is the day that you might be able to take one step closer to finding out what customers want, by using using a customer feedback survey.
Not only are we going to explain how to find out what they want, but we’re also going to use customer responses to fuel other areas of a business. With the aim being to attract more people that look like your ideal customers and hopefully increase sales.
Customer feedback surveys use one of the most under-utilised marketing tools available to businesses and if you are trying to increase your conversion rate, then they should definitely be on your agenda.
It’s NOT super-fancy, but it is definitely super-effective….
Although it involves doing something alot of businesses really don’t like to do.
Talking with customers.
Talking to customers will usually unlock some of the biggest insights into a business – but many just don’t do it.
This post is hopefully going to show you exactly why you should be and why it’s so effective.
This how-to guide is going to cover the following areas :
- What Can Customer Feedback Surveys Can Help With?
- What Questions Should You Ask In a Survey?
- How Many Questions Should I Ask?
- When Should I Send Out A Survey?
- How Many Responses Should I Aim For?
- Tools To Create A Survey
- Analysing Survey Responses
So let’s get started!
What Can Customer Feedback Surveys Help With?
Before diving in, let’s go through some of the benefits of using surveys for your business.
The reason being is that previous customers will give the biggest insights into what’s working and what isn’t.
Not only can surveys tell us what we’re doing right (so that we can do more of it), they can also tell businesses what they are doing wrong – so they can fix it.
Here’s just some of the benefits of using a survey :
- You can find out what motivates your customers to buy
- You can find broken elements or flows on your website
- You can use the responses to write more engaging website copy
- Use the responses to write more engaging ads
- Use the responses to optimise landing pages
These are just the basics, the actual potential areas you can benefit is huge.
However, it’s not as easy as just asking a few questions, there needs to be a clear vision of what’s trying to be achieved.
What Questions Should You Ask In A Survey?
Let’s talk first about the purpose of a survey.
If there isn’t a clear objective or purpose for a customer feedback survey then it’s more likely that you could end up with average results.
A goal may be to find out where the biggest holes are in companies website and to try to use that information to increase their conversion rate. Or maybe they want to know what motivates customers to buy from them rather than their competitors.
Once an objective has been decided, it’s time to choose the best questions to ask in order to do that.
The goal of questions in a survey is to provide as much insight as possible. So using Yes/No responses isn’t something that’s going to provide that much context to answer.
The additional insights you will get by using open-ended answers will far outweigh the extra time it will take to review the responses.
Here’s some of our favourite questions to include in surveys :
- Ask something about themselves to get an idea of who the customer is
- What is your job role?
- What can you tell us about yourself?
- What were the 3 main reasons you decided to buy from us?
- What doubts and hesitations did you have before buying?
- Which competitors did you also evaluate?
- What was 1 thing that almost stopped you from buying from us?
- Was there anything you couldn’t find the answer to?
After a decision has been made about which questions are going to be asked, it can be really useful to go through each question and think about what you are going to do with the information. If it’s not going to provide any real value or contribute to your survey goal, then it may be worth re-writing it or dropping it altogether.
Here’s some additional quick tips to take onboard when designing surveys :
- Use an informal tone when asking questions. If it’s unnecessarily complicated, then this could confuse recipients and result in them providing useless responses.
- Use neutral language that doesn’t encourage users to answer in a certain way or with a certain answer.
- Try to group similar themed questions together.
Now that we have the questions covered, it’s time to start looking at creating the survey itself.
How Many Questions Should I Ask?
We usually ask around 8 – 10 questions in a customer feedback survey. The reason being is that if we ask too few questions, we aren’t going to get the insights that we’re looking for. And if we ask too many, then we could potentially put people off from completing the survey once they see how many questions there are.
When Should I Send Out A Survey?
If this is the first time that a survey is being sent out, then it’s a good idea to try to send it to the most recent customers.
The reason being is that the business will be fresher in their memory and the response is much more likely to be insightful. If it’s longer than 1 – 7 days since a customer made a purchase, they can start to forget key points in their decision making process.
How Many Responses Should I Aim For?
It’s really important that a business doesn’t start jumping to conclusions when they receive a similar response from a very small sample of people.
A successful customer feedback survey will usually have around 200 – 300 responses. However, we would normally be looking for at least 100 responses before we start drawing any conclusions.
We’ll cover this in more detail later on in the post, when it comes to analysing survey responses.
Tools To Create A Survey
There are a range of different tools available for businesses to use to create surveys. Some are paid and others are either free or offer free versions.
Let’s take a look at a couple of different options that are available.
For paid tools, SurveyMonkey and Typeform are well known in the industry. The complete user experience can be adjusted to suit a business’ requirements as well as more in depth reporting when analysing responses.
If you are however looking to just get the job done, we’re big fans of Google Forms. This is a free tool that will allow you to create a survey that can be sent out to customers. There isn’t anywhere near as much customisation available or data analysis. But it’s free.
OK so you’re all set.
So far we’ve covered setting a goal, how to decide on which questions to ask and we have also chosen a tool to collect responses. All that’s left now is to push the send button and sent it out to the recipients.
Once you have reached your response target, it’s time to start analysing the responses.
Analysing Survey Responses
Remember when we were deciding on our survey questions, we wanted a clear goal of what we were trying to achieve from the survey. And that doesn’t change either when we are analysing our responses.
The objective should always be a business’ biggest priority when interpreting the data.
As mentioned earlier, it’s best not to start jumping to conclusions too early when analysing the replies.
If there are 200 replies and 2 people said that they don’t like the checkout process, it might not be time to grind everything to a halt and complete redesign our website.
Ideally what we should be looking for common patterns in the data. Groups of people that all have similar answers to the entire survey or particular questions.
Therefore we need a way of categorising the replies and grouping similar responses together.
One way is to create a tag for each response that matches a specific criteria. For instance, we may notice that a lot of people are referring to customer service and the time it to get reply. An ideal tag for responses that feel the same about this would be something like “customer service response time”.
Tags that aren’t very useful in helping towards the primary goal can just be disregarded.
Once you work your way through all of your responses, you should be able to build a pretty good picture of who the customers are and they feel about what you asked.
It’s at this time that it’s a good idea to write out a summary of the findings and what has been learnt. Try to use the voice of the customer where possible, paying close attention to the language that they have used.
Hopefully by now you have some clear and valuable insights into how you are going to achieve the goals for your survey. The next step from here would be to decide how to address these findings and build on your current performance.
As well as this, there may be some interesting feedback that marketers can use to optimise other areas of a business. Aspects like buyer personas, ad copy and creative or website copy can all gain an advantage from these insights.
I really hope you have found this guide useful when creating a customer feedback survey and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to reach out to us in the comments section below.