Client surveys provide invaluable insight into how your company and its products are perceived in the market by your clients and prospects. Consequently, when they are properly performed they are an excellent source of actionable first-hand information about what’s working and what’s not. An added advantage of client surveys is that, when properly conducted, they build better relationships with your clients, which is worth its weight in gold.
Following are some do’s and don’ts of conducting client surveys that will help make the exercise as effective as possible:
Short & Sweet
A short survey is a good survey. In today’s chaotic, fast-paced world, people don’t have time to spare and even when they do, their time is valuable. When a client agrees to a survey, he or she is doing you a favor. “Reward” your client by keeping the survey short. This means that your questions must be spot-on and properly structured so as to get the most out of the time you have with the client.
Phone and written in-person surveys are old school. In addition to their well-known and documented inadequacies, they’ll put your company in a bad light as one that’s not progressive and doesn’t evolve with the times. Mobile survey apps are the way surveys should be conducted today – use them!
When it’s required that you do face-to-face interviews, the interviewer, at least for the purpose of the survey, is your company employee. He or she represents your company and should be dressed and behave in a way that leaves a positive impression about your business on the interviewee. If you have to pay a little more to attract quality interviewers, do so – remember, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
Timing is Everything
When you use mobile survey apps to conduct on-the-street interviews, the interviewer should first determine if a person is busy or not and whether they may be amenable to participating in a survey. Only people who seem to have the time for a survey should be approached.
Speak Their Language
A clients’ first clue that you’re an outsider is by using terms, language and acronyms they’re not familiar with. Use relevant language to show you understand them and value what they do and how they can contribute.
Ask For A Follow-Up
If you’ve left a positive impression during the interview, it means that you can have an excellent recurring reference point for future feedback. Avail yourself of this opportunity by asking if clients are open to you contacting them again in the future.
Don’t Get Too Familiar
Clients are just that – clients. They’re not your friends. They must be treated with respect and the interviewer must not cross the line between being friendly and courteous and being too familiar.
Don’t Get Too Nosey
Your survey questions must illicit the information you require but without getting personal – focus on their professional insights. Sometimes it’s a very fine line but you must err on the side of caution so as not to annoy the client. They’ll share what they want to share.
Don’t Make It Complex
The survey process should, if possible, be fun. People are more eager to engage in an interview if they enjoy the experience and if it’s not dull. The survey itself should flow logically and seem to be moving quickly. Complex surveys will not generate positive results.
Don’t Make The Survey Too Academic.
This isn’t a third-party experience. You’re after first-person responses – you want to know about one person’s experiences, likes, dislikes, etc. Don’t use the survey as a way to ask the client what he or she thinks others think!
Even those who have regular and productive conversations with clients can get valuable information from surveys – information clients don’t feel they can share with you or that they just haven’t had the right opportunity to share. A high-value improvement you make as a company could easily come from a single comment given in a survey that might otherwise have been lost.
About The Author: Sharon Blatt is a content producer for Dooblo, a tablet survey software provider and developer of capi survey software.