Many years ago, I was a public policy major at Syracuse University. One of the most important disciplines in that major was conducting scientific surveys on public opinion. Giving surveys was not a glamorous or very enjoyable part of my studies. It was, however, something that was essential to understanding how people felt and gauging their opinions on specific matters.
Like public policy majors, small businesses also need to learn best practices for how to create a customer survey. Too many times though, I have conversations with customers who want to conduct quick and easy customer satisfaction surveys to just get them over and done. Perhaps “easy” and nonchalant surveys will save you some time in the creation process, but you can expect that your results will suffer.
How do you know the results are actually representative of your customer’s satisfaction with your products or services? Are the questions you’re asking unbiased and soliciting honest answers?
Check out these 6 tips on how to create a customer survey that your customers will actually want to fill out:
How to Create a Small Business Customer Survey
Learning how to create and conduct customer surveys is such an important part of both new customer attraction and existing customer relationship management. Customer satisfaction surveys are an efficient and fun way small businesses can interact with their customers to determine any problems that exist, their satisfaction level with the product or service, potential areas of change or growth, or really any other metrics you’d like to collect customer data on.
To conduct a survey that will provide an accurate sample of your customers, you need to make sure to take the following steps:
1. Create a Specific Customer Survey List
Determine the “population” of people you want to study (i.e. your customers). If you want to create and send out a more targeted customer survey, you can divide up your customers into groups based on what buyer persona they fit into. That way, your data will be hyper focused and you can use your results to implement more specific change.
2. Determine Your Survey Goals
Figure out what you want to learn from that “population” (what’s the point of this survey?, what do you hope to learn?, and how will you use the data your receive?).
3. Design a Simple Survey
Create a brief survey with easy to understand questions that are not biased and do not lead your customers to answers you want. You also need to choose the format of questions you want to ask (open ended, multiple choice, ratings, etc.). You can either create a hard copy of your survey or you can use a survey creation tool to help you. We at Cazbah use Survey Monkey and have found it to be the best option for our business to reach our customers.
4. Calculate Your Survey Sample Size
Calculate the “sample size” of the population. A sample size is the number of people you will have to survey to get within a plus or minus error rate (this will help you determine how accurate your data is). Use this sample size calculator tool to determine the proper sample size for your survey. Not everyone will complete your survey, so you want to make sure that the responses you do receive will be most likely to represent your entire population (your customers).
5. Select Your Survey Distribution Method
Choose the way you want to distribute the survey. The best options small businesses have to distribute their surveys is through email or social media. Type up a short paragraph explaining what the survey is about, what you plan to use the survey data for, and approximately how long the survey will take to complete. You can then include a link to your customer survey in an email or social media message.
6. Track and Analyze Your Customer Survey Results
If you use a survey creation tool like Survey Monkey, Google Forms, Type Form or others, most of those platforms will notify you when your survey has been completed. Some small business survey creation tools will also allow you to measure, track, and analyze your survey results right in the platform as well. Once you analyze your customer data from your survey, you can use that valuable information to make any changes in your marketing and sales process to ensure customer satisfaction. The more you know about your customers’ opinions of your small business and your products or services, the better you’ll be able to serve them.
This may seem like a lot a work to create and conduct a customer satisfaction survey. Perhaps. But, not taking to time to create these in-depth, thought-out customer surveys could leave you with useless data (or none at all) that will get your small business marketing efforts nowhere.
If you really want to learn what your customers want, need, or feel about your small business, conduct your survey in a scientific way. Put in the effort now so you can gain the benefits later.