5 Tips for Building Loyalty Using Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Customer loyalty leads to substantial sales growth and, inevitably, attracts new customers. Building custom loyalty, however, is no easy feat. Below are five tips we've put together to help you build customer loyalty by creating an effective survey.

Customer Loyalty

Tip 1: Make it easy by printing your survey link on receipts

Timing is everything, and the best time to win customer loyalty is right after they have received your products or services. Printing your survey link on the receipts or e-receipts is one of the most efficient approaches for collecting fresh feedback from your customers.

If you use POS terminals to print receipts, discuss with the POS terminal provider about integrating a survey link into your receipts. If you offer e-receipts, like Intuit or Salesforce, use their online tool to add a survey link to the receipt template.

Tip 2: Offer incentives but make them non-conditional
When your customers receive a link from you, they immediately need to determine whether the survey is worth their valuable time. There might be a few customers who want to help your business without any financial benefit. However, most of your customers will expect compensation for the time spent on your survey. Offering an incentive increases your survey's participation and completion rate, especially for long surveys.

Many retail businesses use coupons as a survey incentive because they bring existing customers back for another purchase. By customizing your survey messages, you can put your coupon code on the "Thank You" page of your survey, ask for their email addresses, or physically mail these special coupons to your survey participants.

Incentives should be non-conditional. Don't offer incentives only to those who provided favorable responses; extend those same incentives to those who shared unsatisfactory feedback. Negative feedback is actually more important and helpful to your business. Don't ignore it.

Tip 3: Allow customers to complain and provide open-ended questions

When your customers receive defective products or unacceptable service from you, what would you like them to do? Do you ignore their displeasure and allow them to share their terrible experience with others, or do you listen to them and find every possible way to remedy the situation? If you don't allow your customers to blow off steam, you risk having them share their unsatisfactory experiences with all their friends and colleagues. A survey to such customers serves as an effective and elegant release valve for them to complain.

You should avoid too many text or open-ended questions but don't worry if your survey only contains one. You can use such text or open-ended questions to collect complaints, concerns, or suggestions which will ultimately help your business.

Tip 4: Keep your questions simple and easy to understand

It is important to keep every one of your questions simple, compact, and easy to understand. You should not assume all of your survey participants are as smart as you or have the same background as you while they read your survey questions. If a question is perceived to be too difficult or takes too much time to understand, they are more likely to abandon the survey.

When a question takes more than 60 seconds for a normal customer to comprehend, it's definitely too long or too complex. For every one of your survey questions, we suggest you limit the average reading time to 30 seconds.

Don't just go with your perceptions of the survey. Share it with both friends and colleagues to gather their opinions before you release it.

Tip 5: Keep the survey short and sweet

Not only do you need to keep each question simple and compact, you also need to keep each survey short as well. No one appreciates long surveys. For some, when asked to take a long survey, they push themselves to complete it as quickly as possible and thus create inaccurate feedback. We suggest you limit your questions to 10 or less.

We often see people put similar or nearly duplicate questions in a survey. Sometimes this is unnecessary. For example, in a Customer Satisfaction Survey, if you have already included a question, such as "How likely is it that you would recommend our company to a friend or a colleague?", do you still need another subset question, like "How satisfied are you with our company?" People who would recommend you are likely satisfied with your company. It's redundant. If you feel your survey is too long, consider excluding similar or nearly duplicate questions in order to keep the survey short.

If your survey contains more than one page, adding a progress bar at the bottom of the survey gives participants a better estimate of how much time they need to complete the survey. A progress bar has been shown to increase survey completion rates. In cases when your survey contains more than 20 questions, we suggest you break it down to shorter ones and have your survey participants take them at different times.

By implementing these five tips, you can build customer loyalty and receive valuable feedback from your customers. Remember, building customer loyalty takes time and effort, but it's worth it in the end.

About the author:

Joe Gao has over 20 years of IT development and management experience across very large companies and startups. Previously he worked for General Dynamics. He is in charge of the technology sector of the company.

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