Customer surveys may not be a miracle cure, but you cannot find another instrument, that elevates your customer’s demands and needs as quickly and as cheap as this. Periodically used, they base your decisions and help dominate the consumer market. Attracting new customers, or strengthening your old customer loyalty – no matter what your goal is, customer surveys are the right instrument. (See also: Goals of Customer Surveys)
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The goals always sound different – Customer loyalty, sales increase, quality assurance – but essentially it is always the same: customer enthusiasm! How do you inspire your customers? You obtain the necessary information: what they expect, what they like, what they love and what they hate. The rest is a piece of cake ;-)
How about that – you want to increase your sales, you are thinking about discounts, marketing strategies, maybe a creative PR action? But what did a customer survey teach us: Your customers pay less attention to prices and advertisements – they are looking for an exciting shopping experience. Imagine a person sitting on their couch, surfing the internet with their smartphone – but what they want to feel is a walk on the Champs-Élysées.
What this means for you: Forget about discounts and advertisements! Hire a graphic designer, or a usability-expert. Create an exciting shopping experience and your customers will come back:
Every marketing action without the right knowledge about your customer’s wishes is a shot in the dark. Don’t accept “creative, mind blowing, breath-taking, viral and super potent, exciting” ideas from big marketing agencies, if customer surveys are not number one on your agenda. Don’t be the emperor with his new clothes:
read more about addressing/recruiting participants for surveys »
In a survey we differentiate general and specific questions. General questions for example are the ones about overall satisfaction with the product, service or company. Often your goal is to calculate the probability of recommendation or re-purchase. Specific questions are about satisfaction with your customer service (competence, kindness), with your product (quality, product design), with the shipment (delivery time, delivery cost, packaging) or even about a certain company sector that is confronted more often with complaints.
read more about objectives of the customer survey »
Pros and Cons about the methods (telephone, mail, and especially online surveys) have to be considered. In principal a hybrid of the mentioned methods is possible, but online surveys remain the silver bullet. Depending on the method used are the rate of responses and availability of your customers and therefore the results to your survey. The kind of participation is also different, which is why the surveys are not always compatible or comparable to one another.
read more about Benefits of online customer surveys »
In surveys consumers are being confronted with a variety of questions (open and closed questions, ranking questions, etc.). With open questions the consumers can describe their wishes and demands more detailed. Consequently the evaluation will take longer. With closed questions the evaluation is a lot easier and quicker. Normally scales are used for these (for example from 1=”very satisfied” to 5=”very displeased” or from 1=”very bad” to 10=”very good”). (open and closed questions, ranking questions, etc.). With open questions the consumers can describe their wishes and demands more detailed. Consequently the evaluation will take longer. With closed questions the evaluation is a lot easier and quicker. Normally scales are used for these (for example from 1=”very satisfied” to 5=”very displeased” or from 1=”very bad” to 10=”very good”).
A very important component to consumer satisfaction analysis is the NPS (Net Promoter Score). The NPS calculates the probability in a scale from 0 to 10 for your consumer to recommend or promote your business. A score equal to 10 is “very likely”, 0 means “highly unlikely”. Participants that answered 9 or 10 are considered “promoters”. The ones with an answer equal to 7 or lower are the critics. The “passively satisfied” between 7 and 9 are not part of the estimation. The score is calculated by the subtraction of the percentage of critics from the amount of promoters. (NPS = %promoters - %Critics).
read more about evaluation of online surveys »
Communicate the goals before your survey, to stimulate your customers. Communicate from the beginning the most important parameters (anonymity, duration, etc.) in order to increase the participation rate. After your survey, communicate your results, to ensure transparency. Very important: Communicate your measures, no matter if they already have been implemented or are planned in the long term. This way your customers feel like they make a difference and are taken seriously!the goals before your survey, to stimulate your customers. Communicate from the beginning the most important parameters (anonymity, duration, etc.) in order to increase the participation rate. After your survey, communicate your results, to ensure transparency. Very important: Communicate your measures, no matter if they already have been implemented or are planned in the long term. This way your customers feel like they make a difference and are taken seriously!
A survey can reveal customer satisfaction at a certain time. It is important to measure customer satisfaction regularly, to evaluate the effectiveness of your actions and business decisions (Marketing, Advertisement, PR, etc.).
read more about Feedback to participants »
Just the use of a customer survey creates satisfaction and leads to customer loyalty. Your customers feel like their opinions see appreciated and like they can make a change.
According to Statista every fifth online shop utilizes surveys to reveal potential optimization. Almost every second (47% of participants) are planning on using surveys. No other method for sales increase is as popular as surveys. This shows how important interaction and feedback from customers really are and will still be in the future. No one knows the customers’ wishes better than the customers themselves. No one knows the relevant factors for customer satisfaction better than the customers themselves. And as you know – customer satisfaction leads to customer loyalty, resale, spreading and last but not least – sales increase!
The Reason: Online Surveys about customer satisfaction have no disadvantages – some risks at best:
a) Representativeness. The most frequently mentioned “disadvantage”. You reach out only to a certain group of people. Women participate more often than men. Elder customers don’t have access to the internet. Those arguments are all outdated and inaccurate. Trust scientific researches and our experience – you can reach the target group you want online today! And if you see a risk here – using control questions, odds and individual paths you can filter the needed sample with our survey tool!
b) Return rate. Allegedly they are really bad – people say between 5 and 15%. Well, with the experience of thousands of commercial surveys we can assure you – this is not true! This information is usually spread by companies who offer traditional survey methods or scientifically highly controversial methods, like the net promoter score. Online surveys have higher return rates than offline questionnaires!
Any more questions?
More about customer surveys:
"Every customer survey has opportunities and risks that should not be underpinned. Only a well-made customer survey is a successful customer survey."
Uwe Weinreich, Eike von Lindern
Senior Manager Trademarks, Patents & Licences
" We are very satisfied with LamaPoll, especially with the intuitive usability of the system, with the possibility of conducting multilingual surveys, and with the preparation of the results. "
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