Survey Processes – Keep it Simple

Employers and employees alike enjoy knowing when they have done a good job. One of the best ways to gauge your customer’s satisfaction is through customer feedback questionnaires. However, not all questionnaires are created equally and the method in which you survey clients can have a large impact on the percentage of completed questionnaires you receive.

As with most professional services organizations, IQ tracks every proactive and reactive service request inside a ticketing system. From the smallest issue to the largest project we capture all relevant data in an individual silo. Once a ticket is closed we generate an automated questionnaire (survey), which is sent directly to the customer point of contact for feedback on the services performed. In our industry, the response rate to these questionnaires is generally around 5%. Imagine my surprise when identifying we had only received feedback on about 2% of all tickets closed over the past 5 years. Upon review, we discovered the problem didn’t stem from our clients simply not having the desire to read and submit answers to what, at the time, was a very wordy and time intensive survey process. The answer, to our surprise, was implementing a new survey tool that greatly simplified the process and made completing questionnaires much easier.

Prior to implementing this new survey tool we utilized an automated email response to closed service requests, which contained a blurb about the work performed, our gratitude for the partnership and a five question, multiple-choice survey. People simply did not care enough to take the time to complete the surveys. Upon using this new system, which you can easily find on the web or by contacting me, our return rate on surveys jumped from 2% to 45% in just a few days. The reason, surprisingly enough, is because the new survey system is a single question: “Please let us know how we did” followed by a series of smiley faces ranging from happy to sad. It’s almost embarrassingly simple but the results are real. Not only did the responses skyrocket but so did the feedback customers submitted along with their chosen smiley face. We have had a landslide of positive reviews with kindly worded messages to our technicians. Initially, the only reason we wanted the surveys in the first place was to quickly react to any customer that might have had a bad experience. Instead, the real value has come from our service team learning just how much people appreciate their work.

As with many things in life and business sometimes it makes the most sense to keep things simple. Everyone is busy, especially this time of year, and by simplifying our survey process we have garnered more insight to our customers and improved morale.