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Customer satisfaction questionnaires

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Stuart Reid
Customer satisfaction questionnaires
on Feb 18, 2006 at 10:54:40 am

I am designing a customer satisfaction questionnaire for my video production company. I plan to e-mail it as a Word document to customers when a job is complete, to ask them for feedback.

Does anyone on the forum have an example of a questionnaire that works well for them? Or effective questions that you've found have generated valuable feedback for you?

Many thanks!
Stuart Reid

Black Mole Productions Limited
London, UK
E-mail: StuartReid*at*stuartreid.freeserve.co.uk


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Customer satisfaction questionnaires
on Feb 18, 2006 at 2:04:12 pm

Hi Stuart,
I certainly applaud any efforts to improve customer service, however I believe mailing a survey to customers is not a good idea.

Essentially you are asking very busy people to do work on your behalf. While some may appreciate your efforts, many others might resent receiving what they consider to be spam.

I think most of us have a relatively small client base so it's easy to spend some face to face time with them. Take them to lunch or coffee and just chat. In a relaxed atmosphere you can ask them direct questions about how you can serve them better.

Best regards,
Leo



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Customer satisfaction questionnaires
on Feb 18, 2006 at 3:04:47 pm

That's a wonderful point, Leo. Busy people do not need more jobs -- especially when it's a job that is not going to put any money in their pocket. More are likely to resent the effort than those who will appreciate it.

Taking them to lunch is a great way to see how they like the job and to also maybe learn of anyone who they know that also liked it who might be a good prospect/referral. Birds of a feather do flock together and many times in the past, I have gotten a job from a happy client that I was speaking with who told me about a friend that was very impressed. My biggest account that I had for years was gained just this way. Using a survey, I would never have learned about him. Short-cuts are costly and there is no substitute for interpersonal interaction.

Which brings me to a joke for the day: Would a Bhuddist monk with multiple personality disorder be experiencing intrapersonal or interpersonal interaction during meditation?

Just a thought... ;o)

Ron Lindeboom


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Nick Griffin
Re: Customer satisfaction questionnaires
on Feb 18, 2006 at 4:30:21 pm

I wholeheartedly agree with Leo and Ron on this. Surveys are useful when there is a very large customer base and an impersonal connection to the company. Surveys are good for asking if the service technician was friendly and informative. They are no substitute for a face-to-face conversation with a person -- especially if that person was the one who had just spent a lot of time personally providing the product or service. (IMHO.)


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Bob Cole
Re: Customer satisfaction questionnaires
on Feb 18, 2006 at 4:40:15 pm

I agree with the above responses, while applauding your desire to get better customer feedback. There may be customers for whom lunch isn't really appropriate, depending on the nature of your business. As it happens, I was just talking with an Internet entrepreneur about this (while trapped on a delayed flight, so we covered the topic thoroughly).

The only way you can get busy people to fill out a survey is to offer them something of value in return, whether it is a drawing for something big or a definite small freebie. Often, btw, the surveys you fill out have a purpose that is totally disguised; they are used to provide a list of "qualified leads" to some mega-corporation which isn't even mentioned in the survey.

-- Bob C


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Bob
Re: Customer satisfaction questionnaires
by
on Feb 18, 2006 at 5:53:26 pm

To echo the prevailing wisdom, whenever I get one of those "phone surveys", the first thing I ask is "What are you paying for my time?", which usually throws off the person reading from the script, then they say "Ummm, nothing", whereupon I say "That's what you're getting from me then" & I hang up.


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Stuart Reid
Re: Customer satisfaction questionnaires
on Feb 26, 2006 at 10:45:51 am

Thanks all for your views - given the unanimous view that a postal survey is not a good idea I'll re-think this.

As Bob Cole suggested, taking my customers out to lunch is not an appropriate route for me (I think there is probably a difference in UK and US practice, added to which my clients are in the public sector and might find it difficult to accept an invite like that). I do already seek feedback either face-to-face or over the phone. I had two thoughts in my mind when I considered supplementing this feedback with a form to be e-mailed back - one is that some clients might find it easier to give feedback about things they didn't like in a more impersonal way, rather than directly (and I want to hear about the things they didn't like as much as the things they did, so I can do something about it and win their future business). The second is that it would be easy to include a box for testimonials that they would be happy for me to quote (while being free to leave the box blank if they prefer).

The point about people being busy, and not seeing anything in it for them, is a good one though and I'll think about that some more.

I appreciate the advice, and thanks again to all.

Stuart Reid



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Patrick Inhofer
Re: Customer satisfaction questionnaires
on Feb 27, 2006 at 4:54:00 am

[Stuart Reid] "I do already seek feedback either face-to-face or over the phone. I had two thoughts in my mind when I considered supplementing this feedback with a form to be e-mailed back - one is that some clients might find it easier to give feedback about things they didn't like in a more impersonal way, rather than directly (and I want to hear about the things they didn't like as much as the things they did, so I can do something about it and win their future business)."

I forget where I read this, but one way to ask this question without putting your clients on the defensive:

"If you could change one thing about my business, what would it be?"

I tried this myself a few months ago. I found if I just spring the question on them they tend to stammer. It was better for me to prep them by saying I'm doing some homework on my business and I'm calling my favorite customers for feedback but not to worry since I'm only asking one question, then I pop the question.

The first time I did this a few months ago I got some interesting and useful responses.

- pi

Patrick Inhofer

editor, compositor, nice guy

Fini, nyc


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Stuart Reid
Re: Customer satisfaction questionnaires
on Feb 27, 2006 at 9:09:25 am

Thanks Patrick, I really like that question. I use a very similar question when I'm managing someone and want some upward feedback - I ask what the one thing is that I could do differently that would help me to manage the person better. Same idea, but I hadn't thought of using it in this context until you suggested it.

PS like the reel on your site.

Stuart



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