Join Jeff Toister for an in-depth discussion in this video Establishing a survey goal, part of Using Customer Surveys to Improve Service.
- Chances are you've taken a customer service survey that you found to be a little annoying. Perhaps the survey was too long, they may have asked you the same question more than once, or asked for information they should already know. You may have even suspected that they weren't going to do anything with your feedback. Surveys end up like this when they lack a clear purpose. Before you launch your customer service survey it's important to understand why you're doing it. This will make it easier to design a survey that can really help you improve customer service, and keep in mind that surveys are an aspect of customer service too.
We don't want to waste our customer's time, or make them frustrated with an unfocused survey. I've created a survey objectives worksheet to help guide you through setting a goal for your survey program. You may want to pause the video and download the worksheet before continuing, since I'll reference it from here on out. The survey objective worksheet will walk you through a few key questions to help clarify your survey program goals, let's look at them together. The first question is what do you want to know? This deserves some careful consideration, since it will guide the rest of your survey.
In other words, why do you want to do a survey? Do you want to solve a specific problem? Identify new revenue opportunities? Prevent account cancellations? The more specifically you answer this question, the more focused your survey will be. The next question is who's your audience? In other words, which specific customers do you want to gather feedback from? For example, if you want to improve the customer service section of your website you might specifically target customers who contact you online, or if you wanted to improve service at a physical location you might target customers who receive service in person.
The next question is what type of survey do you want to conduct? There are two general types of surveys you might use depending on what you want to know. One type is a transactional survey. This type of survey gathers feedback about a specific interaction, such as a shopping trip to a retail store, a stay in a hotel, or a phone call to a contact center. The other type of survey is called a relationship survey. This type of survey goes beyond a single transaction to look at your entire relationship with your customers.
For example, a bank might survey account holders to see how they can retain their business, a university might survey students to see how they can improve dining halls, a software provider might survey subscribers to see how they can reduce cancellations. The last question is what will you do with the data you get from the survey? A study by Gartner once estimated that only 10 percent of companies actually use customer service surveys to improve service. If you're going to ask your customers to spend time giving you feedback you'd better do something with it.
Okay, now it's your turn. I encourage you to use the survey objectives worksheet to lay out a clear purpose for your customer service survey. This is the single most important step in the survey process. You'll likely find that going through this upfront effort will make your survey much shorter, more focused, and more effective.