Leverage Surveys To Gain Customer Insights
They say a satisfied customer is a happy customer. Actually, come to think of it, they say a lot about a satisfied customer! A satisfied customer is a repeat customer, a great brand ambassador, and your best business strategy.
So who is “they”? Well, Bill Gates, for one. He once said: “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close, in fact, that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
Now, if you’re wondering how to gain customer insights, one way to do this is through customer satisfaction and customer insight surveys. But before we get into that, let’s take a step back.
Customer satisfaction, of course, is the measure of how happy customers are with your products, services, or capabilities. By understanding levels of satisfaction, you can make changes to your offerings to better serve others and potentially gain customers. So why is this important? Well, like many things in life, it’s all about the Benjamins. Here are some eye-opening statistics about the good, the bad, and the ugly of customer satisfaction.
Now that you know the facts about customer satisfaction, how do you get the feedback you need about your own company?
While some customers can be very vocal about the quality of your products or services, giving you a chance to improve weaknesses or build upon strengths, others don’t say a word and simply disappear, taking their money elsewhere. Worse, they may choose to blast you on social media after the fact, causing a potential PR crisis.
This is why it’s important to ask for feedback. Think of it as mining for free data and insight. Of course, you don’t want your customers to know that, so it’s important to go about asking for feedback the right way.
Too often, companies make the mistake of making requests for feedback seem like an afterthought (“feel free to let us know what you think”), which leaves the impression that you don’t really care one way or another, or that no matter how the customer responds, nothing is going to change. Other times, the request can come off like a chore for the customer. They may think, “you’ve just taken my money, and now you want to take my time, too?”
That’s where some survey best practices come into play.
Surveys can be quick and easy to draft when done correctly, and the impact is significant. They tell the customer that you’re interested in them and what they think about your products or services. When done incorrectly, they’re vague, too general, or too time-consuming. All of these things can create a negative customer experience when you’re trying to do the opposite. So, here are some things to remember when crafting a customer satisfaction survey:
Asking someone to complete a survey is asking for their time, generally without compensation. So, at the very least, try to make a human connection, addressing them by name or by the item they purchased so that they know they’re not just another number. For example: Hey [NAME], please let us know what you thought of [PRODUCT] and whether we can do anything to improve it.
To gain key customer insights, first determine what you want to find out more about. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, your survey will come off as unfocused, and you’ll likely be wasting the time and effort your customers put into the survey and any time you spend in the post-survey analysis.
Segmenting your customers based on demographics, purchase history, and agents they’ve worked with is a great way to target specific groups of people with similarities in order to draft more personalized surveys. Personalized surveys are more likely to get a response, which provides better data and insights.
Who doesn’t like free stuff? One of the best ways to convince a customer to complete a survey is to offer participation incentives, such as a money offer, a discount code, or exclusive access to premium services. Of course, this should only be given upon survey completion and the offer should not affect the type of people who respond so as not to create survey bias.
Customer insight software can create surveys, generate unique questions, and allow you to choose pre-made templates. They also help manage the delivery of surveys and store data collected from the surveys. When integrated with CRM software, data can be organized and turned into powerful customer reports that offer businesses unique insights.
Depending on your business and what you’re looking to discover about it through customer feedback, your questions will vary. However, here are ten customer satisfaction survey starter ideas (which you can also see in action, along with their scaled answers, by checking out the templates in the next section).
We could talk all day about customer satisfaction surveys (we really could). But, we know that sometimes a picture (or in this case, a survey) is worth a thousand words! So, check out three of our customer survey templates.
Surveys are an extremely useful tool for businesses to gain customer insight – and to gain leverage in a crowded marketplace. Often, customer insight surveys are delivered to customers following a purchase through email, although if you have a storefront you may also try collecting feedback on-site with a kiosk-mode survey. Gaining these insights is significant because they will help you determine how your business is operating and what you can do differently to optimize your entire strategy.
Of course, before you can survey your customers, you have to create the survey! We mentioned under the best practices section how beneficial survey software can be – and we want to be your survey provider! SurveyLegend is a leader in online surveys, offering a variety of types and styles of surveys, beautifully rendered and pre-designed, and responsive on any size screen.
So, stop guessing or wondering what your customers are thinking about your company, and find out now. You can get started with your online customer insight survey using SurveyLegend for free right now. Have comments or questions? We’re here for you.
From the “two thumbs” system popularized by Roger Ebert to the 1-5 star system used by companies from AAA to Zagat, we’re all familiar with many different rating scales. These scales are often used to let the public know the quality of something; two thumbs up means a movie may be worth your time, while 1 star means you should probably steer clear of that restaurant offering so-called fine dining. But what about when you want to get the public’s opinion on something, rather than give your own? This is where the Likert scale comes into play.
While it’s easy to remember the survey name “likert” because it’s often used as a measurement of how much someone “liked” something, it’s actually named after American social scientist Rensis Likert, who devised the psychometric approach in 1932 for conducting social and educational research. It’s been around ever since—and today Likert-type scales are considered some of the best survey tools for researching popular opinions, whether it’s in the form of a customer satisfaction survey or a marketing research survey.
In a Likert scale, a person selects one statement among several that reflects their perceived quality of a product, service, or other item. The most effective Likert rating scales generally consist of 5-7 balanced responses that people can choose from, often with a neutral midpoint. It’s very common for companies to use Likert scales when they want to evaluate a customer’s level of satisfaction during a recent experience.
Later on, you’ll see many examples of Likert survey scales that you can use to craft your own. But, just so we’re on the same page from here on out, here’s a typical question using a 5-point Likert scale:
SurveyLegend provides quality support to its customers:
3–Neither Agree Nor Disagree
Hint: The correct answer is 5…at least that’s what our customers are saying!
Unlike some types of surveys, Likert rating scale questions use a universal method of collecting data, so the results can be easily understood. Responses on a Likert scale give quantitative value to qualitative data, making it easy for researchers to draw conclusions and then create reports and graphs for further analysis.
In addition, because questions using the Likert method follow a scale, respondents don’t have to answer yes or no, or either-or; instead, they can choose to be neutral.
Finally, Likert scale questions eliminate the need to ask people open-ended or fill-in-the-blank questions which are more difficult to analyze because the answers haven’t been configured in advance.
Most researchers agree that the best Likert scales are the 5-point and 7-point varieties. This simply refers to how many responses the person has to choose from. Most Likert scales are going to be odd-numbered, with an equal number of positive and negative responses on either side of a neutral response. There are exceptions, though; some Likert scales will simply go from “poor” to “excellent” as you’ll see in one of our examples below.
So why are 5-point and 7-point Likert scales considered ideal? Well, if you offer less than five options, online survey takers may be limited in their responses, resorting to picking the “most” applicable answer. This deprives you of their true opinion. On the other hand, if you go above seven, respondents may feel overwhelmed or annoyed and just pick a random answer to move along quickly.
That all depends on who you ask! While almost everyone agrees that the Likert rating scale provides ordinal data, the argument over whether it also provides interval data rages on. You can see this first-hand on this ResearchGate forum, where us survey geeks and other researchers have been arguing over it since 2014!
Here’s how we think it shakes out: Likert survey scales provide ordinal data, as the results have natural, ordered categories representing someone’s preferences, i.e., we know that a 4 is better than a 3. However, because we don’t know exactly what constitutes a 3 versus a 4 in someone’s mind, it’s not interval data.
That said, when a survey has enough questions, many researchers use the data to come up with reliable averages, which means at the very least, likert scales “approach” the definition of interval data. We think Dr. David L. Morgan from the Portland State University’s Sociology Department summed up the interval nature of Likert scales in the forum when he stated, “The key point here is to use multiple items, where any one of them may be too weak to provide an adequate measure, but the combination of them is much stronger.”
Ultimately, of course, it’s up to you how you want to use your Likert scale data!
Once you see our Likert scale examples, you’ll have a better idea of how to create them and how to write survey questions. But first, there are five important things to remember:
It’s often not enough to ask one general question about a particular topic, opinion, or experience, as it won’t be enough to give you the full picture. Asking multiple questions remedies this, taking into consideration all of the factors that could have contributed to this response.
Mixing different scales within your surveys can cause respondent confusion. Bonus: Using only one scale will also make your final analysis that much easier.
Do not simply attach a number to possible responses. Always include wording on your scale question, otherwise online survey takers may confuse which numbers are positive and which are negative, skewing your results.
For best results, stay away from survey questions that may lead people to answer a certain way or force them to choose between extremes as it can skew your results.
Creating a survey doesn’t need to be complicated; in fact, the best survey questions are concise and to-the-point. Long, complex questions tend to lose readers or test their patience, and inadvertently asking two questions in one can leave respondents unsure of how to answer.
Below are a number of Likert scale examples for consideration or inspiration when designing your next professional online survey or online poll. Please note that the numbers in the answers indicate the relative position of items, but not the magnitude of difference. You do not have to include numbers in your survey questions if you prefer not to.
Conduct a brand awareness survey to research your company’s position among competitors.
Anyone not living under a rock recognizes Nike’s swoosh and Apple’s, well, apple. But not many people have probably heard of Bob’s Bait Shop. These brand awareness examples highlight the wide spectrum of awareness that exists among brands.
Brand awareness, then, is the number of people who are aware of a particular brand, company, or product. Understanding your brand’s position in the market helps when trying to build a presence, develop marketing initiatives, and increase sales.
Brand awareness studies conducted by Cahners Research reveal that brand awareness is the first step toward increasing brand preference, which leads to an increase in market share and sales. In addition, as greater levels of awareness are reached, conversion to preference comes more quickly (for example, as awareness increases from 25% to 35%, preference increased from 10% to 15% (a 5% difference); between 85% and 95% awareness, preference increased from 55% to 70% (a 15% difference).
These results demonstrate how important it is for companies with low brand awareness to get their message out; otherwise, sales, and the company, will suffer. Of course, many companies don’t know how often people actually think about them, which is where brand awareness research comes in.
Consumers remember brands in different ways. Some brands have such an overwhelming cultural presence and global reach that they enjoy “top of mind” brand recognition, such as Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Disney, and the aforementioned Nike and Apple. Other brands only come to a consumer’s mind when they are reminded of them when they see their logo or hear their name.
Brandwatch, a company dedicated to tracking what various brands customers think about, writes about how to measure levels of brand awareness in a blog post here that’s definitely worth your time. Now, let’s take a look at two types of brand awareness research.
Researchers using surveys to gather data have their work cut out for them. Not only do they have to determine whether to conduct surveys in person, by phone or mail, or online, they have to decide which types of survey scales to use. That’s not all; it’s also important that researchers actively work to avoid survey bias. At best, a biased survey can produce useless data; at worst, it can result in a company fixing a problem that never really existed or spending millions on new product development when there are actually no real buyers in the marketplace.
While the vast majority of respondents fill in the surveys in good faith, there are sometimes many rotten apples in the crowd. This is especially an online phenomenon, and these individuals are sometimes referred to as “trolls”. The anonymity of online environments can provide a safe place for the rotten apples to freely express what goes on in their sick minds, ruin other’s lives, spread hate, and destroy what others are trying hard to build or improve. They may have any type of motivation to do such things, and unfortunately sometimes surveys and research projects fall victim to these cheaters too. Affecting the final results of a study, research, or a competition may have a lot of benefits for them.
Some professionals estimate that up to a third of online survey respondents these days are not real respondents. They may not even be real humans. The rotten apples and robots unfortunately propagate themselves and ruin research that could otherwise be insightful.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to minimize, prevent, or even eliminate cheaters, trolls, or robots from affecting your survey results.