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Here's How To Give Your Customers A Chance To Give You Feedback

Published: 15/01/2013
By: larry

surveyChad Jones ask me for advice and ideas on putting together a customer satisfaction survey of his customers. Chad says:

I want to create an anonymous online survey my clients can take after my last communication with them (invoice for payment in my case). The objective is to get insight into how my real estate photo business is running and perceived from my clients. I'm just stuck on what questions I should ask.

I think this is a great idea. You should always be looking for feedback from your customers. Some will customers will tell you what they think whether you want to hear it or not but for others you need to draw it out of them and provide them with a way of being anonymous.

First of all there's a great way to survey up to 200 customers per month with a survey that has up to 10 questions for free. It's called Polldaddy.com. I've used it for years. I use it for all the polls on the blog but it works great for surveys too. Here's a little demo survey I setup at polldaddy.com. Setting up a survey is very easy and intuitive. There are a bunch of convenient ways to link to and embed the surveys. Now the question is what questions do you ask?

Here is my take on survey questions:

  1. 10 questions is more than enough! I personally hate long intricate surveys. I think a few radio button or multiple choice check-box questions are plenty.
  2. I would start by asking for a general 5 level satisfaction indication and then let them tell you why it's high or low. This way you're not constraining their answers and then you can look for common complaints.
  3. I think it's important to have several text key-in boxes where customers can give you feedback that is completely open and unstructured. That is let them say what they want instead of just click radio buttons or check boxes.

Chad wants to hear your ideas too on what a good RE photographer customer satisfaction survey should could contain. What questions would you ask?

10 comments on “Here's How To Give Your Customers A Chance To Give You Feedback”

  1. Funny, I was just having a discussion with a friend about this last night. I feel like lately I'm absolutely bombarded with surveys and feedback requests. I bought a $1.95 cable online and got 3 email solicitations to write a review and give feedback on my "experience" in buying this magnificently awesome cable. It is seriously out of control.

    Best advice I would give is if you're going to even bother, keep it VERY short and VERY simple, because at some point my eyes just glaze over and I hit "quit". It's just too much, too often.

  2. I would definitely follow the KISS principle with this.

    There is a general problem with satisfaction survey, people tend to go with either unsatisfied or very satisfied. The choices in the middle tend to be glossed over. Instead I would go with a expectation to comparison survey. So instead the questions would be:
    1) Exceeded expectations
    2) Met expectations
    3) Did not meet expectations

    or

    Compared to other RE photographers you have used, the service were:
    1) better than other photographers
    2) About the same as other photographers
    3) Less than other photographers

  3. @Simon - Note that Polldaddy will do 200 surveys/mo for free while SurveyMonkey will only do 100 free surveys/month.

  4. The best way to survey clients is to as them personally what's their opinion. I always do that and have a great feedback and great suggestions to improve and clients acknowledge that I care about what they think. It's not a machine or something random or automatic. Sometimes I even get recommendation letters. It's much better to present to new clients hand written satisfaction letters signed and dated from older clients then just giving statistics or some random emails.
    Generally people hate surveys and will often skip some questions or wrongly answer because it's annoying. Imo it's not a good way to evaluate opinions. Even good surveys have those problems but usually surveys are awful. I disagree with the kiss principle. It's easier for example to ask "from 1 to 10 how did the service meet your expectations? 1 being X 5 being Y 10 being Z" instead of "yes, no, sort of" type. Sure it takes much more work to ask personally but good hard work always pays off and even if you can't do it personally you can always phone and have a good chat instead of just sending a boring link to a survey.

  5. We talk about video all the time. It seems the best "survey" would be to get a video testimony and post it on your website. This would be great for SEO and real testimonials sell. That is my plan/goal when I get my new website completed. Just saying.
    ~Will

  6. A Google Form via Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) is a pretty good free option with unlimited surveys and responses. Not as pretty as some of the paid services, but if it's for internal use only and you don't care about displaying the results on a web page not a problem.

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