How to make your customer survey more effective

Quite often I see companies create and push out customer surveys, clearly with the best intentions. But had they taken more time to consider what actions they’ll take based on the results, their efforts would have produced something much more useful.

There’s no point sending out a customer survey unless you are gong to do something with the results. Yes, customer insight is critical and it’s great to show your customers that you care about their views, but if you ask them for their feedback then fail to take noticeable action, you’ll hear about it. And it won’t be good. Or, they’ll sneak way when you are not looking, and use someone else’s service. Why would they stay with you if you don’t show you care? Caring is all about taking action.

Take action, but take time out to think and plan, before heading into survey mode.

There are many things you need to consider when creating a survey. Survey design is a science. How you design your customer survey influences the strength of the data that you gather, and how you can take action on the results. This article focuses on just one question that you know you want to ask your customers. Make sure you ask it and collect the data in a manner that enables you to benchmark your efforts, against yourself and others in your industry.

“How likely are you to recommend <your company name> to a friend or colleague?”

Use the industry standard approach in your customer survey

By asking one simple question — How likely is it that you would recommend [your company name] to a friend or colleague? — you can gain valuable data that you measure your customer experience against.  Then use it as a benchmark for continued progress.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS®) is a widely accepted measure. It is quickly becoming utilised in most marketing teams, no longer left to large customer experience departments in global enterprises. It is based on the principle that every company’s customers can be categorised in three ways:

  • Promoters – loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth
  • Passives – satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings
  • Detractors – unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth

How to capture data for the Net Promoter Score® in your customer survey

Make sure to design your survey so that customers respond on a 0-to-10 point rating scale.

A screenshot of a customer survey

How to Calculate your Net Promoter Score®

First count how many responses fall into each of the three categories:

  • Promoters give you a rating of 9 or 10
  • Passives give you a rating of 7 or 8
  • Detractors give you a score of 0 to 6

To calculate your company’s Net Promoter Score®, take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors.  Once you have your number, you then have a benchmark to measure your performance against. You also have a clear view of how you are performing, through your customers’ eyes.

If you are wanting to learn more about the Net Promoter Score® system , There are plenty of resources. The Net Promoter Community is one. Take a look at their website for more great information. There are also some great systems for helping you to measure and monitor your Net Promoter Score. CustomerGauge is an end-to-end, fully integrated, feedback and loyalty management platform built on the Net Promoter® System.

Take Action:

Review your current customer surveys. Make sure you are asking this one very important question. And make sure you are collecting responses on a 0-10 scale, enabling you to determine your Net Promoter Score.  If you are not, fix your question, before your next customer survey is released.

If you require any assistance with your customer surveys or any customer insight project, contact KG Moore on 01206 646 006. We are happy to help. 

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