Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Written by Linda Alexander
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Customer satisfaction surveys begin with the end in mind. When you learn about customer satisfaction, how will you use the data? Identify your goals and objectives for conducting the surveys before you begin designing the survey instruments. Realize that designing a questionnaire is an ongoing process--questions are formulated, tested, and reformulated.

It is also helpful to conduct a pre-test if you have time. You can complete a pre-test for paper-based as well as web surveys and phone data collection. This is normally done through focus groups, and helps you identify problems with the survey. You can evaluate the survey for relevance, length, clarity, and readability. It will help you fine-tune the survey before you roll it out to a larger audience.

Confidentiality in Customer Satisfaction Surveys

You should also ensure that your customer satisfaction surveys are completely anonymous. Allowing an outside company to conduct the survey for you will eliminate bias and allow customers to express themselves freely, without fear of identification. When you tally the results, they should be combined or averaged to hide the identities of the respondents. Confidentiality ensures that the answers are honest and the results reliable.

Finally, you should administer the customer satisfaction surveys, whether you do it on paper or electronically. If necessary, include instructions. If it's possible, posting the questions and results on your website will allow respondents to have easy access to the surveys, as well as to see the results.

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