Create a Customer Survey with 4 Times the Average Response Rate

We’re living in an exciting, yet extremely competitive time for residential contractors. We like to call it, The Age of the Customer. In the home services segment, homeowners don’t just want a service or product – they’re looking for an experience.  They want to know they are appreciated and feel valued. It’s no secret that an excellent customer experience leads to stronger consumer loyalty.

So, how do you turn first-time customers into return customers? You let them know how much you appreciate them! How do you do that? By thanking them and asking for feedback on their experience. Customer feedback is crucial to your company’s retention rate and growth, and online surveys are an effective tool to gather positive feedback while also pinpointing areas that need improvement.

Unsure of where to begin when it comes to crafting a customer appreciation survey that consumers will actually complete? Clients of To Your Success consistently see a survey response rate of over 40%, so just follow these expert tips and you’ll be on your way to 4x the amount of visibility into your daily customer interactions.

Ask the Right Questions: Quality Over Quantity

According to SurveyGizmo, the average industry response rate for online customer surveys is a low 10-15%. This isn’t surprising given the fact that if consumers open an online survey to discover question upon question, they may lose interest quickly and decide they simply don’t want to spend the time it would take to give their feedback.  Or, maybe they read through a question or two only to find the questions confusing, so they move on to the next item on their to-do list, leaving you with a missed opportunity for valuable feedback. Surveys should be both organized and actional, so nothing is lost in translation.

When it comes to crafting questions, it’s important to choose quality of questions over the quantity of questions. Really think about what feedback you’re looking for, and then carefully plan your questions around that most valuable information. When your survey is concise and the questions are direct, easy to understand, and quick to answer, consumers will be more likely to complete it.

  • Consistently survey every customer (and not just the happy ones!)
    • It’s critical to survey all departments and customers, keeping track of where the responses come from so you can segment the data later on. Don’t be afraid to survey departments you know (or assume) are doing poorly. It’s even more important to hear negative feedback than positive. You’ll find the most insight, business opportunity, and room for improvement by surveying all customers, gathering a full spectrum of their experience and pain points. You’ll also give customers a place to vent and be heard, before going online or hurting your reputation publicly.
  • Use Yes/No questions to gather information
    • If you’re tracking things like an employee following certain policies or procedures, ask the question plainly and use a solid Yes/No to answer these informational questions.
  • Use scaled questions to gauge customer’s feelings
    • Using a 1-5 scale will give more insight into a customer’s personal experience. It provides more insight than a yes/no answer, but is easier than a checkbox or complicated description.  You can then feature those 5-star scale results on your website.
  • Considering checkboxes? Randomize the order
    • Some respondents may simply click the first checkbox without reading through all the options, weighting your responses. It’s important to continuously shuffle the options on checkbox questions, making it clear which answers consistently come to the top.
    • Don’t go overboard with options. Narrow them down to what really matters. For example, if you’re comparing sources of advertising, only include checkboxes for the sources you’re determining to keep or cut. Then, include an “Other” option where the customer can type in a manual response for the outliers.
  • Leave room for comments
    • Always include both static questions and a comment box. Your customer’s words will provide deeper insight than any static survey question, but comments are also the most time-consuming. If customers skip the comments, you’ll at least have helpful data. If they include their comments, you’ve struck a goldmine of insight–especially when their feedback is negative.

Cater to the Preferred Platform: Make it Mobile Friendly

In today’s culture, consumers live on their smartphones. If your online survey isn’t mobile friendly, rest assured you’re missing out on creating that highly sought-after consumer connection simply because you’re not operating on one of the market’s preferred platforms.

Making your online survey mobile-friendly may make all the difference in driving up your response rates! When people can easily navigate your survey on their phones, it gives them the opportunity to complete it while they are out and about, as opposed to only being able to complete it when sitting at their computer, which they probably don’t frequent as often.

Seize the Moment: Timing is Everything

Excuse the cliche, but the early bird really does get the worm, or in this case, the client feedback. Our experts at To Your Success know that response time is absolutely critical for a customer to feel valued. If you wait too long to send a survey asking about their experience, the client may feel like an afterthought or may forget some details, or just flat-out may not respond.

However, when you implement a system that quickly solicits feedback after every consumer transaction, you’ll likely see your response rates to online surveys increase! When you receive a completed survey, be sure to also thank them promptly for taking the survey. Just like it’s important to gather the feedback soon after an experience, it’s also very important to thank them soon after they take the survey. After all, if there were no customers, there’d be no “you.” Be sure to seize the moment and shower them with appreciation for the valuable feedback only they can provide.

Delight Customers and Build Relationships

Get this: when To Your Success sends survey requests without a gift, on behalf of our clients, the response rate is around 25%. That’s still a solid response rate and well above average. However–when one of our Thank You gifts is included with the request, response rates rocket to a whopping 40% or higher. Did you get that? Saying “Thank You” moves the customer feedback needle 60% higher! Why? Because when customers feel valued, they are always responsive.

Delighted customers are much more likely to respond to your questions, because they know you’re listening and you care. Look at your overall approach to customer follow-up, especially after the job is complete. Are you actively thanking the customer for their business? Are you showing appreciation in a tangible way?

One mistake to watch out for: Don’t tie your appreciation to customers who respond to the survey. Express appreciation to each and every customer after the job is complete, to acknowledge their trust and financial investment. When you say “thank you,” you’re primarily thankful for the customer’s ongoing relationship–not just a survey response. This is important to truly strengthen the relationship and not just get more out of your customers.

You’ve Got Questions. We’ve Got Answers!

According to a Customer Experience Impact Report from Oracle, “Eighty-one percent of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.” Our professionals at To Your Success are dedicated to equipping your company with business intelligence tools as well as freshly baked cookie Thank You packages, to ensure your customers feel valued and their voices heard.

We’re sure you might have some questions about the technologies we offer, and how they’ll integrate with your unique company. We’d like to invite you to a live demo with one of our team members, and you’ll even receive a freshly baked cookie sample on the house!

Schedule your session today!



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