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2013-10-10 00:00:00Customer ServiceEnglishFormulate The Right Questionnaire: Customer feedback is a very important factor to understand the direction your business and your product... The Right Questionnaire

Formulate The Right Questionnaire

3 min read

Customer feedback is a very important factor to understand the direction your business and your product are heading. As a rule, 80% of dissatisfied customers will simply switch their loyalty without giving you any indication of their dissatisfaction. Implementing a feedback regime may help you combat this and help you fix bugs and issues that you would otherwise continue to be unaware of.   Now there are many ways to go about this. You can mail survey forms to your established clientele or you could add a feedback button to your existing page. However, that does not really guarantee that you will get the right kind of feedback that will add value to your business. To ensure that you get correct and relevant feedback on your services it is essential to ensure that you ask the right kind of questions.

The following tips will be helpful guidelines to forming the right questionnaire

• Reach out internally to your frontline staff. They are the ones directly dealing with the customers. They will have first-hand insights into how the customers are reacting to the service provided. They can thus provide valuable input as to which are the major areas on which feedback may lead to improved services on your part

• Start your questionnaire with questions that can be easily answered. Keep the loops of ‘if-then-else’ for a later stage. Chances are if your customer goes through the initial few questions then he will complete the questionnaire

• Maintain a uniform structure of grading for the questions. If you are using a rating scale of 1-10 then stick to that scale. Avoid ambiguity by rating sections in 1-10, followed by 1-5 and followed by 1-10 again

• As a rule, it is better to have even a number of options as the answer choices. There is a natural tendency to go with the middle answer when there are 5 to choose from. Avoid providing scope for generic responses like ‘maybe’. When a consumer is forced to choose between, ‘slightly like’ and ‘slightly dislike’ rather than a ‘maybe’ then you will have better data to eventually fall back on to improve your product and services

• Keep it simple and short. Imagine yourself as a customer. Would you like to be handed a 3-page feedback form? If the answer to that is no, then it is most likely that your customer would not be happy to receive a long and cumbersome feedback form

• Sift through all the information that you need feedback on and create around 3 distinct fields of reference. The first should be generic information gathered about your product. The second part should have more specific questions relating to any particular focus area and the third should provide some information on the customer. This third part is relevant because if you can form a classification of the kind of customer the feedback is coming from, it may help you notice patterns and work on them accordingly

• It is also a good rule of thumb to follow to put forth your questionnaire at the appropriate moment. Placing it too early will not get you correct feedback, placing it too late may again lead to the customer rushing through the form as a duty rather than responsibility. In both cases the feedback received would be pointless. You should schedule callbacks or leave options for the customer to mail it back to you so he can take time to give valuable feedback rather than hurried ones. Gentle reminders will often work to ensure that you get the questionnaire duly filled

• It is human nature to feel good about being given importance. Ensure that the tone of your questionnaire is such that the customer understands that his feedback matters. Pertinent, relevant questions will indicate that you have taken time to create a form whose content will ultimately matter.

Falling back on generic, ready to use questionnaires will indicate a lackadaisical approach on your end leading to slack in feedback on their end   A good questionnaire can really ensure that you can work on your product and service improvement. It is an indication to your customers that you take your business and their feedback seriously.

It also saves you time when you get relevant feedback that actually helps improve your service. Having to sort through useless information because the right questions were not asked can be a wasteful exercise instead of a helpful one. So ensure that the questionnaire is relevant and get genuine feedback that can do wonders for improving your product and services.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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