Ten tips for writing a customer experience survey or questionnaire
A poorly designed questionnaire will affect the quality of data gathered and therefore the resulting reports will lack accuracy. But get it right and not only will you get improved response rates, but the information will be actionable.
Here are 10 tips for writing a successful survey:
- Think firstly about what you want to know. We say 'start at the end' - what are the key areas you need more information about?
- Keep the questions and overall survey length short and to the point. Less is more. Long verbose questions and surveys are unattractive to respondents. Short surveys encourage respondent participation and help to keep their interest. Better to manage two or three short surveys than one long one!
- Inform the respondent how long the (short) survey will take to complete. We like to know what we are commiting to.
- Question flow must be logical, tested and validated. Take your audience on a journey, allowing them to recall events easily and logically. Avoid darting around different subjects and if you're tracking a customer journey, think about it logically and ask the questions in that order.
- Avoid obscure wording or work related acronyms. Use well known words and phrases - plain English works best.
- Be consistent in the wording used. Avoid using different words for the same subject throughout the questionnaire.
- Think about your scales; most research undertaken uses the 5 point “Likert” scale as a way of measuring how much a respondent agrees or disagrees with a statement. Be aware that customers sometimes tend towards the easy middle-of-the-road option by selecting '3'. However with unattended and anonymous touch screen surveys, respondents have been proven to be more honest than when responding to interviewers. In this case, a 5 point scale provides accurate feedback, as sometimes service is genuinely just 'average or OK'.
- Start the survey with interesting and engaging questions. Leave demographics or more detailed verbatim questions until later in the survey, as this will improve your response level.
- Use free text verbatim questions to truly get the customer's feelings voiced. New generation analytics now quickly draws out sentiment and textual analysis and provides highly valuable insights into the respondents experience.
- Say "thank you" at the end! This is a simple courtesy, but should reflect your value in the time and attention a customer or visitor has given to your organisation.
In order to get the best results from your customer feedback, staff engagement or other questionnaires, good planning, design, testing and validation of the survey will greatly assist you. At ViewPoint we can provide training on how to write a good questionnaire that will lead to better results. We can also provide expert help, if needed, in designing the perfect survey - ensuring your customer experience surveys are highly effective.
Don't hesitate to get in touch if you would like further information.