The Key to Creating a Survey That Actually Improves the Customer Experience

I think in almost every industry, there is a sense of nostalgia for how things “used to be done.” I say “almost” because I know that for the customer experience (CX) industry, the way things used to be done brings one thing to mind: simple, single point customer surveys.

It’s an ugly truth, but surveys used to be the go-to method—or even the only method—for anyone looking to gather customer data. It may have worked at the time, but thankfully, we know better today.

The fact is that the modern customer doesn’t want to answer questions about what they bought and where they bought it. (After all, with all the technology available today, we should already have that information from transactional data.) Customers also don’t want to spend large amounts of their valuable time going through pages and pages of questions when they only wanted to comment on their experience.

So if the old methods aren’t creating a great feedback experience for your customers, what will work? Today, the key to creating a survey that will actually improve the customer experience is a simple shift in mindset:

Stop interrogating. Start conversations.

Whenever I think of interrogation, I think of the cliche police scene where a suspect is sitting at a table beneath a harsh spotlight while a serious looking detective drills them about what they already suspect the person has done.

There are a couple of things wrong with this interrogation picture when you apply it to customer experience. Firstly, you should never make your customer feel like they’re in the hot seat by firing question after question at them. Second, you should never ask a question that you already have the answer to. Third, interrogating the customer is not focusing on their experience, it’s focusing on what you want to know. Essentially, when your surveys feel like interrogations, they aren’t improving the customer experience. They’re taking away from it.

When you focus on starting a conversational survey, the picture completely changes because of one major fact: conversations are customer-focused. They are mindful of the customer’s time and don’t ask too many questions (they definitely don’t ask unnecessary questions.) Most importantly, they focus on what the customer wants, not what they want to get out of the customer.

So before you set out to create your next survey, think to yourself: Am I interrogating or am I starting a conversation?

Looking for a better way to ask? Check out our first of it’s kind Digital Intercept tool that helps you enhance your customers’ online experience—without interrupting it. Check out the free Digital Intercept eBook!

About Author

Derek Bell Associate Product Marketing Manager

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