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Are You Making These Six Customer Feedback Mistakes?

This is a guest post by Eric Czerwonka.

Most businesses know that customer feedback is important.

When done correctly, obtaining feedback from your customers can benefit your company greatly. After all, how can you really understand what your customers are thinking if you aren’t asking?

While good customer feedback surveys are few and far between, this doesn’t mean that they’re impossible to create. By avoiding some of the common mistakes and problems that surveys so often have, and making the experience a pleasant and straightforward one for your customers, you can increase your chances of obtaining usable data, and of course, help to ensure that your customers are able to finish the survey, without losing interest halfway through.

With this in mind, here’s a look at six common survey mistakes that you’ll want to avoid making.

Mistake #1: It’s Too Long

We’ve all been there before. You’ve committed a few minutes of your time to fill out a survey, but five pages in you realize you aren’t even halfway done, and reluctantly close it down.

If your survey is too long, your customers won’t complete it. In fact, a whopping 80% of customers admit to abandoning a survey halfway through. If you are looking to get feedback from your customers, remember to keep it short, sweet, and to the point. You don’t need to obtain your customers’ entire life story just to determine if they were satisfied or not. Asking a few questions and getting a completed survey is far better than no feedback at all.

Mistake #2: It Asks The Wrong Type Of Questions

It’s also important to avoid asking repetitive or unnecessary questions.

When creating your survey, try to only include questions that are relevant. Asking too many personal questions –about income and marital status, while it may benefit your research, should be done tactfully and at the right time. Too many questions too quickly can turn your customers away from the survey. Consider making these questions optional for those who don’t wish to answer them, or eliminating them altogether. Likewise, never ask repetitive questions, or quiz your customers on things that you already know.

Mistake #3: It’s Full Of Errors

Believe it or not, grammar plays a big role in your customers’ feedback as well.

A survey that’s poorly worded or full of grammatical and spelling errors could frustrate a customer. It will also indicate to them that the survey’s just not that important after all. Be sure to check, and then re-check your survey to ensure that it reads well, makes sense, and doesn’t have any mistakes.

Mistake #4: There’s Nothing In It For Them

Even the busiest people will give you a few minutes of their time if there is something in it for them.

Consider offering a small reward to customers who complete your survey, to show them that you appreciate them and respect their time. Even better, promise your customers a reward right from the start. A $10.00 gift card should be enough to encourage them to make time to complete your survey.

Mistake #5: Too Many Text Boxes

No one wants to open a feedback form only to find that it’s filled with empty text boxes. When most people see those, they feel like they’re in for a daunting project, and will be reluctant to commit.

Instead of trying to get your customers to write a 1,000-word essay, supply them with checkboxes, yes and no buttons, or a rating system. If you must use text boxes, try to keep them to a minimum. After all, your goal should be to make life easier for your customers, not more difficult.

Mistake #6: Poor Design

If you’d like your customers’ full attention, then you should spend a few minutes designing a survey that’s appealing and attractive.

Your survey needs to look professional. After all, you are asking your customer for their opinion of your company, the last thing you’d want is for them to remember you by the poorly designed survey! A professional survey should be carefully planned and designed; even if it means that you hire someone to design it for you. Never rush a survey on a whim. Instead, make sure it is tested, improved, and perfected before you send it to your customers.

When it comes to finding out how your customers feel and what they want, surveys are undoubtedly the best way to go. By taking the time to structure them properly, you’ll be able to increase their effectiveness, and ensure a much better response rate as well.

Have you conducted surveys before? What advice can you share?

Author Bio: Eric Czerwonka is co-owner of Buddy Punch, one of the top SaaS time clock systems in the world.

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