Make customer satisfaction surveys simpleEverywhere we turn at the moment, we find people writing about onerous customer satisfaction surveys. You know – the 20 page or 10 question one, when actually all the company really wants to understand is how you felt about the service/widget/journey you’ve just had from them and possibly have an opportunity to talk to you about it, especially if you weren’t happy.

We talk to a lot of our customers and prospective customers and I had a great conversation with a large company a couple of weeks ago who told me honestly that they run a multi-question survey post event and actually get a pretty good response rate as they have loyal customers. In the year he’d been in the business, however, he’d yet to see any form of analysis of those results and worse still, no form of action had been directly taken as a result of the data received.

WHAT?!

They pay a survey company to manage feedback for them, they bother their customers regularly for answers and at the end of it all, DO NOTHING.

That can’t be right.

We found this clipping yesterday – a lady’s experience from a library in Edmonton, Canada:

When an invitation to fill in a survey popped up on the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) website under the heading “Tell us what you think of us, EPL needs your feedback,” I decided to participate.

The library staff has always been friendly and helpful. I thought in this survey I’d have an opportunity to compliment EPL and, maybe, sneak in a request for a wider choice of ebooks.

Instead, the customer satisfaction survey wanted to know if the staff greeted me when I came in, if I felt appreciated and if I thought they were listening to what I was saying. After being asked the same questions in different forms for three pages, I gave up on the process.

Do you really need to ask customers whether staff greet you when they come in? Do they want to be greeted? So what if they don’t? What will they actually do if 62% of customers aren’t greeted?

Seriously, what’s the point of asking the question?

Every moment you have with your customer providing feedback to you is precious. Don’t waste it. Think whether the question(s) you are asking is/are valuable. What will you do with those answers and more importantly, how and when will you communicate the actions taken to the people who’ve given up their time to help you?