Why Customer Surveys are a Smart Business Idea

Hand putting check mark with blue marker

It’s no secret that business survival depends on customer satisfaction. What’s the best way to know if your customers are satisfied with your products and services?

Ask them for feedback.

Customer surveys help you gather feedback to understand how well you meet peoples’ needs. They show customers that you’re serious about their opinions. They give people a forum for expressing what they love (or hate) about your business, in a format that says you’re prepared to listen.

Surveys also help you improve staff engagement—nothing motivates people like positive feedback—and figure out the next direction to take your business.

A simple, effective way to survey customers
If you’re wondering where to start, the Internet is a great place. Simply search for “online customer surveys” and you will find numerous free, online tools (like SurveyMonkey, FreeOnlineSurveys, Google Forms and others) to help you create a customer survey.

Tips for successful customer surveys:

  •  Make it convenient. Long, cumbersome surveys are likely to be ignored, which makes them pointless. Show customers that you value their time as well as their opinions by asking brief questions in a convenient, multiple-choice format. Don’t overwhelm recipients with too many questions, either. More than 10 questions may result in people abandoning your survey without completing it.
  • Ask the right questions. A good survey asks candid questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. Whether your survey offers multiple choice, ratings scales, or text boxes where respondents can elaborate, you want to elicit useful answers that give you actionable insights. Think up questions in themes, such as “customer satisfaction” (How satisfied are you with the purchase you made? How many times have you returned one of our products? How does our service make you feel?); “customer loyalty” (How often do you buy from us? How likely are you to recommend our company to others?); and “future growth” (What should we do next? What do you buy from our competition? What don’t you like about us?)
  • Be humble. Don’t fish for compliments by asking people to “rate” you. Instead, position the survey as an appeal for feedback to help you improve. Customers are more likely to fill out your survey if they think that you’ll use the information to make your products and services better.

Use Vicinity to blast out your survey for better results
Once you have your survey ready, make sure it doesn’t escape notice because it’s buried in the inboxes of your customers. Instead of emailing the survey link, send it out with a short “call to action” message using Vicinity’s SMS text-messaging service.

When you use text to send out customer surveys you have a better chance of getting a great response rate.

Why? Because text messages are viewed almost 99% of the time, whereas emails are routinely ignored. So it’s likely that you will get more survey responses if you use SMS instead of email to send out the link to your online survey.

Vicinity SMS messages are restricted to 130 characters, but you can save precious space in your survey invitation by using Bitly to shorten the survey URL. Bitly transforms the long hyperlinks you get when you create online surveys into short, visually appealing URLs that you can brand with your business or product name.

Another great thing about using Vicinity to blast out customer surveys: you can offer free Vicinity points as rewards for completing them! This gives customers added incentive to participate in your survey because if they’re already collecting Vicinity points, why would they turn down a chance to earn extra freebies?

Have you conducted surveys for your business before? Share your tips in our comment area below.

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