Every good business understands the importance of market research. One way to obtain feedback from your customers is to hear what they think about the quality of customer service. Yet, how can a survey be conducted?

For example, a contact center can figure out how their agents are doing with a post-call survey. This allows customers to provide feedback just after a call has taken place because it’s fresh in their mind. Yet, if a survey is misleading or wastes time it can be useless. Here’s how to keep that from happening.

1. Why are You Conducting a Survey?

Before you start writing, ask yourself what you’re trying to learn from this survey. For example:

  • Does your company want to improve customer service?
  • Is your company looking to expand brand awareness?

Create a survey that conveys your purpose clearly. Leave out questions that are irrelevant. This will maintain focus and yield the best possible results for your outcome.  Once you have decided on your IVR survey topic, you should clearly define the keywords in your topic so that you know exactly what you will be measuring. For example, if your IVR survey topic is “The degree to which customers believed their issue was resolved to their standards”, define:

2. Cater To Your Customer

One of the problems with collecting data on how much of your customer base will respond. Most companies average response rates of 5-10% using traditional delivery methods. To increase these odds, you need to cater to your customers. One factor to take into consideration is which day will be most likely to get a customer response. A company that handles dedicated IVR surveys will most likely be able to predict how to generate the best possible customer response.

The day of the week that a survey is delivered can impact the rate of response. can impact response rates. For example, studies show that if you’re sending out an email survey, Mondays will yield the best return. That isn’t to say that email is the only way to go. Other channels can yield different results.

  • Online surveys usually generate a response rate of about 5%
  • Email has a response rate of 9.3%.
  • IVR surveys have the best response rate, 70% of those who say they will participate, do.

3. Hey, I Just Met You

It’s helpful to get information from customers, no matter their level of experience. However, asking a first time visitor for feedback is a bad idea. The customer will feel put off by being asked so quickly. This is especially so if they just called, or came to your site, for the first time. Let your customer get the help they need first, then offer a survey asking for feedback. This will keep the experience fresh in their mind without being invasive.

4. Go with Who You Know.

In order to best guarantee the most responses, go after the customers that are most loyal to your brand. These customers will be able to share their own knowledge based on their experiences with your company over time. Most importantly, they are most likely to respond because they like your company. In psychology, this is referred to as the Ben Franklin Effect.

5. Don’t Lead The Participants

Honesty is the best policy. This is especially true when it comes to surveys. Keep the wording of your survey as neutral as possible. This will help to keep the responses honest.

Questions that begin with ‘would,’ ‘could,’ or ‘should’ are typically considered leading. This is also the case of your survey asked if an agent provided excellent customer service. Your respondent will feel uneasy and most likely want to answer the question correctly, instead honestly. This skews the data and makes the survey biased.

6. Get to the point. 

One problem with surveys is the chance of your respondents dropping out. If a survey has too many questions, the chances of getting all the answers you need is unlikely. A survey should be able to be completed in under 120 seconds. Factor in the drop out rate. If too many people drop out before the end, shorten it.

7. Keep it Simple

If your survey questions are too difficult to understand, this will frustrate your respondents. Avoid the use of insider terms or complex words. If the average person can’t understand your survey, you’ll likely not get the results you need.