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Seven Deadly Customer-Survey Sins

Presented here, in abridged form is the list of things to avoid if you want to generate positive and useful results without ruining your relationship with your customer or worse yet, generating a wealth of data with no practical use or way of analyzing it…

1. Interrogating instead of asking. Don’t ask questions you know the answers to, and don’t ask leading questions — it skews the results.
2. Colombo syndrome. Avoid asking “just one more question.” Keep within a unified theme and keep the focus clear.
3. Field of Dreams fallacy: “If you build it they will come.” Target the proper audience with a clear and concise invitation to participate in the survey. Offer incentives. Don’t assume everyone wants to respond out of sheer kindness.
4. Monty Python Disease — SPAM. Know your customer, and comply with anti-spam regulations.
5. Data worship. Design your surveys for optimal quality. And remember it’s the analysis that counts.
6. All substance. No style. Make your presentations a worthwhile read for the end user. Make the data dynamic.
7. Mr. Magoo syndrome — Data myopia. Repurpose data whenever possible. Don’t underestimate the value of the results.

There are two types of customer surveys that I see organizations doing. The most common survey type is the “how are we doing” survey. This survey seeks to get customer feedback on the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization’s customer-facing processes. The second type of survey, is the type of survey that seeks to empirically measure customer loyalty and attempts to understand customer expectations and how well the organization is doing at exceeding these expectations. I have found that using the surveying techniques discussed in “The Ultimate Question” to be quite effective in this regard. CRM Mastery has had great success with it’s Customer Insight Analysis survey that incorporates the Ultimate Question concepts. If you haven’t looked into this yet, you can check it out here.


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