Surprise! Your customers. That’s easy. The hard part is getting your customers to tell you.

Surveys are a reliable data collection tool; however, many (most?) surveys put out by companies end up being simply a way to demonstrate that the vendor is either oblivious to a client’s needs or show open hostility to the customer. Recently we reviewed a situation at a business and learned that a survey had been sent out. The executives were soured on surveys because the number of completed results was extremely low and the results that did arrive had an “unhealthy tone”.

In looking at the survey we discovered it was over 20 pages long and would easily consume 30 minutes to complete. These surveys were directed to C-level executives and even worse than eliciting low number of responses was that the impression delivered was that it was OK to waste the time of the client executives.

What’s the best approach?

Consistent Data Management (acquisition in this instance) means that collecting data consistently over the long term in small increments is far better than trying to collect all the data at once.

How to get the most from surveys

First, don’t ask questions that are variations of “What can we do better?” or the type of answers received will be “charge us less!”.

Instead look at your process and ask specific questions about your product or regular interactions such as “What is the first thing you look at
when you open the report from us?” or “How much time does someone spend reviewing our orders?”

Above all, keep surveys short (under 1 page) and don’t be afraid of frequency. Once a month can be useful. Surveys are communications, AKA
“advertisements”, and they become more effective if they are seen often.

RadiusBridge® develops and supports custom Data Management systems for executives to know, protect, and grow their business.