Super Opportunity to Improve Every Customer Experience Survey

Customer experience surveys have been standard procedure for most businesses and corporations for many years. The delivery mechanism and the assessment of answers have gone high tech.

Yet there is one super opportunity to improve every customer experience survey and it requires a double vision.

We generally think of the customer experience survey as a way to understand our customers. Yet the survey itself also speaks volumes to our customers about our customer service and experience philosophy.

Customer Experience Survey: Biggest Opportunity to Improve Image by:noluck

We think about what our customers are telling us. That’s good! Yet what is our customer experience survey telling our customers about us?

The quick answer might be that we care enough to ask their opinions. OK, that’s a start.  Yet do we really ask their opinions?

Does the typical customer experience survey ask for true opinions for improvement or mostly for votes?  There are the comment sections yet do customers receive a timely response? Do comments turn into corrective action?

Social media has become the venue for customers to get a response.  It begs the question, why haven’t customer experience surveys played the same role? As a customer, I fill out many surveys with concrete suggestions. I never hear anything back nor see results from my survey energy.  What has been your experience as a customer?

Does the customer experience survey measure what we in business care about or what our customers care about?

Or do the primarily structured survey questions broadcast that we think we know what’s most important? When we don’t respond to suggestions, does it say we don’t care? Or worse, that customers have to complain in public via social media to get a timely response?

Super Opportunity for the Customer Experience Survey
Acknowledge that the survey markets our customer experience philosophy and make every survey a two-way street.

  1. Ask: What do you think of this customer experience survey?
  2. Ask: Does it reflect what’s important to you?
  3. Ask: What would you add to this survey? What would you eliminate?
  4. Ask: What would make it easier to complete this survey?
  5. Invite customers to help redesign the customer experience survey.
  6. Connect the experience dots: Have social media teams review and respond to customer experience surveys A customer shouldn’t have to complain — and in public no less — to get our attention. If we respond to suggestions before the complaint, it says we truly care.

    Lengthy hotel surveys ask many voting style questions in multiple categories yet often do not ask questions that relate to special needs.
    They ask much about the appearance of the lobby yet nothing about the comfort of the desk chair in the room where customers spend time working on their laptops.

    Retail exchange forms with online clothing purchases ask the reason code for the return. Many of the reasons are valuable to improving future buying experience.
    The one blatantly missing is: “I don’t like how the garment looks on me.” If online retail wants to create the true clothing buying experience, this addition would speak volumes. Else this customer experience survey says, we don’t care about the bigger picture of how you look.

We can reinvent the customer experience survey to produce more than a metric based scorecard. We can have it reflect an open door that truly welcomes, listens to, and responds to customers’ feedback in a timely manner.

We can even have it be the vehicle of valuable dialogue, two-way understanding, and trusted exchange that builds long term loyalty.

Are you ready to review your customer experience survey? I’m ready to help you with objective insight.

From professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Customer Experience Super Blooms When We Flex.
The Best Customer Experience: Customers & Us in Harmony

©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please first email for terms of use. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on customer service, customer experience, teamwork, and leading change. She turns interaction obstacles into business success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

10 Responses to “Super Opportunity to Improve Every Customer Experience Survey”

  1. Khalid says:

    Great article Kate.

    To add to your post, I think CRM (Customer Relationship Management) will help facilitating the customer feedback experience! If an established CRM system exists, customers will feel more value in providing feedback because they are known to the system and their feedbacks can be easily tracked in their future visits!

    So imagine yourself as a customer returning back to the same restaurant that you left your feedback in to find out the waitress greets you by name and tell you that they listened to your last feedback and that now they put the kitchup in a seperate jar than the chips plate! How personal will this sound as a feedback? This doesn’t have to be a second visit to get results of your feedback, it can be through following your twitter account in their CRM DB to show you that they care!

    CRM is the heart of every good customer oriented businesses but always overseen!


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Excellent connection to CRM Khalid. All of this leads to two-way connection vs. surveys that (from the customer’s view) go nowhere!
      Thanks for adding to this post.

  2. Shep Hyken says:

    Hi Kate – Another great article. The right survey questions do matter. They not only help you better understand your customers, but also let your customers know what is important to you. In other words, the right questions, properly worded, can send a positive message to the customer about how much you care about them. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Monty Rainey says:

    Hi Kate, – great post. In case you missed it, a few months ago I blogged about incorporating the power of “HOW” into our comment cards. I thought you might enjoy reading ;

  4. Jeff Toister says:

    Kate – your post stimulates some good discussion about what a survey is really for. I don’t know if many companies really think through the purpose of their surveys, or even what they planned to do with the knowledge gained from a particular question. Starting with the end in mind, and incorporating the customer’s perspective as you suggest, will surely lead to more actionable customer feedback.

    By the way, I recently did my own post on the topic after receiving a 36 question survey in response to an oil change.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Jeff,
      A survey can be multi-purpose and deciding what you want out of it breeds best results. Many surveys are waiting to become something special 🙂

      Thanks for your link! I will check it out.


  5. Kate, this is absolutely music to our ears. So many customers walk away unhappy from busineses because they are put off by the onerous processes companies use to extract feedback. We wrote a post about this exact problem, suggesting that perhaps companies should look seriously at the sheer amount of time they are asking their customers to give up to help them improve. So many customers would love to offer more feedback if only it took up less of their day. Seth Godin once said of surveys that every question you ask is expensive in terms of customer goodwill. So we say, ask less and make it count in the way that you follow up to rectify it!

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Thanks so much. Glad you found the post a valuable voice in the movement for better customer experience. I will read your post and am very grateful you have shared it here. I like Seth’s comment that it costs in goodwill. Well stated.

      Warmest regards,

  6. […] Super Opportunity to Improve Every Customer Experience Survey – I’m currently working on a big project with customer surveys, and I love the point in this one about how a survey also is a reflection of the business. […]

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