Writing a customer survey

A business that understands their customers’ needs and then develops products and services to satisfy those needs will reap the rewards.

A survey can be used to gain an insight into many areas e.g. product development, event & seminar themes, customer satisfaction, academic research.  Informed decisions can be made from information gained.

You may even discover a new way of positioning your product or service, which is attractive to your prospects and gives you an advantage over your competitors.

Here are my top tips for writing a survey:

1.  What’s your objective:
a. Be clear about why you are conducting the survey.  What information do you want to gather?
b. Beware of leading questions e.g. ‘which do you prefer’ when they may not prefer any.

2.  KISS (Keep it Short & Simple!):
a. Ensure there is a purpose to each question.
b. Use familiar & relaxed language (no jargon).
c. State how long the survey will take so they don’t lose interest half way through.
d. For online surveys try SurveyMonkey.  It’s free! www.surveymonkey.co.uk.

3.  Beginning, middle & end:
a. Structure the survey in a logical manner.
b. Start with general, interesting questions leading on to more specific, complex ones.

4.  Multiple-choice:
a. Reduces ambiguity.
b. Easier to analyse.
c. Keep the rating scale consistent throughout.
d. Example of rating: 1 – 5 where 1 = Totally disagree & 5 = Totally agree

5.  Test:
a. Ask someone to proof read your survey.
b. Test on a small number of people to make sure that you are getting the information you require.
c. Ask those that tested the survey if they understood the questions.
d. To improve response rates consider offering an incentive.

You never know what you might find out!

Tell me how you’ve used a customer survey.

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