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Marketing & Sales
Nov 29, 2017

Customer Survey Best Practices

Sponsored Content provided by Jim Ellis - Vice President, Account Director, Signal

The end of the year is the time to reflect on progress and plan for the future.
At Signal, our customer satisfaction survey is a critical part of this process. Our customer survey offers us priceless insights into what our clients like, what they dislike and where we can make better decisions to keep them exceptionally happy.
As we get closer to 2018, consider these best practices for your own customer survey.

Keep it short.

Attention spans are fleeting. You also don’t want to burden customers, which can decrease your response rate. Make it something that can be easily answered in five minutes – about 10 questions.

Brand it. 

Leverage your existing relationship to engage customers in completing the survey. Business logos and high-quality graphics and copy increase trust and willingness to offer meaningful feedback.

Ask the right questions.

Each question needs a reason for being on your survey. We find that a blend of open-ended and rating-scale questions makes it easy for customers – and gives you a good mix of input.

Use the net promoter score.

The net promoter score uses one question to measure customer loyalty: “How likely is it that you would recommend our organization to a friend or colleague?” It’s a simple, quantifiable, standardized way to benchmark the likelihood of referral.

Check any bias.

As you review your survey results, beware of the natural human bias towards what we want to believe. Celebrate praise for your company, but don’t rest on your laurels. And take care not to dismiss negative responses as being from “those clients no one can please.” Look deeply to improve for the future.

A Closer Look at the Net Promoter Score

It correlates with business growth

The net promoter score has some weight to it – pun intended! Studies by the Harvard Business Review and Satmetrix show that companies across many industries have higher income when they improve their net promoter scores.

It’s easy to build into your survey

Calculate your net promoter score with the answer to this key question, using a 0-10 scale: How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?
Answers are grouped as follows:
  • 0–6 = Detractors—unhappy customers who can hurt your brand through negative word-of-mouth
  • 7–8 = Passives—satisfied but indifferent customers who could be swayed by the competition
  • 9–10 = Promoters—loyal customers who will keep buying and referring others
Subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters yields the net promoter score, which can range from a low of 100 (if every customer is a Detractor) to a high of 100 (if every customer is a Promoter).

Jim Ellis has over 20 years of experience in marketing strategy and implementation throughout a variety of industry sectors. Since 1999 he has been with Signal, a digital agency based in Wilmington and Raleigh, North Carolina. Signal has proven strengths serving as the “local agency” for global companies, generating solid results in web design, brand identity, mobile app development, digital strategy and more. Jim provides counsel to many of the agency’s largest clients with an eye toward integrated communications and a vast knowledge of both traditional and modern practices. As a songwriter and musician with a business degree, he believes his artistic/corporate “dual personality” gives him added perspective to be an effective liaison between clients and Signal’s talented creative team. Originally from Ohio, Jim graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.S. in Business Administration.


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