Customer Service

How to Create Customer Feedback Surveys that Work

Customer service surveys are everywhere. But are yours giving you the data you need?

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Writing a customer survey that solicits truly effective feedback can be a challenge. Vague ratings questions may help you pinpoint a problem, but they won’t necessarily help you dial in on the source of the issue or its solution. A questionnaire that’s too lengthy and unwieldy to fill out can drive people away, leaving you with low response rates and many more questions. If you’re interested in using a customer service feedback survey for maximum impact, here are a few tips to create effective surveys that current and future customers won’t mind completing.

Go digital, and stay multimodal: A variety of tools have made it easy to complete surveys online. Online surveys, especially those that are mobile-friendly, let customers fill out your survey at their convenience. These tools can increase participation and speed up positive results. However, don’t overlook the power of in-person focus groups, phone surveys, and other modes. Make sure your survey distribution is representative of your entire base, not just a specific segment, unless that’s the goal of your market research.

Have a clear objective for the survey: Simply gathering a wide swath of information about your performance can be interesting, but doing so makes it difficult to pinpoint actionable advice. Instead, define your company’s vision for customer success and customer service—and then create a survey that measures how you’re performing against that objective. Target your questions and follow up to those key points, as they’ll reinforce your larger business goals.

Get to the source, and get actionable results: Focus on getting to the source of customer service issues. If there’s a problem, find out what the specific root of that problem is. Also, make sure you’re soliciting feedback on how to solve it. The insights about a problem in a survey should lead you to potential solutions. Being able to put that information to work to improve your business is the best potential outcome from any customer service survey.

Mix up your formats: Ask questions in a variety of ways. Multiple choice, ratings scales, and other set questions all play a role in the larger conversation. Make sure to include open-ended questions to gather additional insights. When customers take the time to share specific experiences or make suggestions, take that feedback seriously. It doesn’t mean you’ll implement every point, but consider where it’s coming from and whether it could benefit your business at scale.

The way you design, administer, and analyze customer service surveys makes a significant difference in the quality of information you’ll get from them. Ensure that any survey you’re asking customers to spend their valuable time on yields real insights that will let you glean the most insights from the time and thoughts they share with you.