If it is your aim to increase the customer centricity of your organization, collecting feedback is of key importance. While collecting feedback, you want your response to be as high as possible of course, because the more data you have, the more focused you can work on the customer experience.

But how can you influence the success of your questionnaire? And how can you collect as much data as possible, without bothering your customers with long questionnaires they probably won’t completely fill out anyway? Below you will find five tips that will help you to increase the response to your questionnaires.

1. Don’t ask too many questions

It sounds like an open door, but there are still many companies and research agencies that confront their customers with long questionnaires and then act surprised when they don’t receive many completed forms. Our advice is to ask no more than 4 questions. This does not mean that you’re collecting a minimum of information by the way. If you are smart about which questions to ask and how to ask them, you can create a maximum amount of information using a minimum number of questions. Using a well-constructed ‘root cause analysis’, your four questions will allow for in-depth analysis and result in a wealth of information.

2. Don’t wait too long asking for feedback

If you’re asking for feedback at different, important contact or decision moments during the customer journey, make sure you do it within 24 hours after the contact took place. Not only will the contact still be fresh in the memory of the customers, it also allows you to react immediately to what they tell you. Customers are much happier to provide feedback for something that happened yesterday, than to something that happened a month ago. On top of a higher response, their feedback will also be more accurate than if you wait too long.

3. Avoid manipulating the answer in a particular direction

Think long and hard about which questions to ask, but also about how to ask them. Make sure that you are neutral in your choice of words and avoid pushing respondents in any particular direction. Leaving your customers no other choice than to be positive, won’t result in the quality of feedback that you need to improve the customer experience. Also allow customers to tell their story and to stress what they think is truly important to them. Don’t just ask for a score without asking for a clarification. Customers often enjoy the chance to “say it as it is” and the answers you collect will provide you with a wealth of qualitative, emotional response that will support your deeper understanding of customer needs.

4. Don’t ask any questions you already know the answer to

Don’t ask unnecessary questions, like if your customer has a loyalty card or what product they have bought. Most likely you will have this information stored in your CRM systems and your customers are well aware of it. Instead, use this information to personalize your questionnaires so that customers get the feeling you actually know who they are. Of course not asking for known information will also help you to keep the questionnaire short and focus on new information that is relevant for your analysis. Focused, dynamic questionnaires provide you with clear insight and take the dynamics of the customer journey into account.

5. Don’t ask complex questions

Keep the questions as simple as possible and make sure they are mutually exclusive. Don’t ask questions that are overlapping or look so much like each other that it becomes confusing to the respondent. Use short, clear and to the point questionnaires that are easy to fill in and don’t take too much time.

Last but not least, don’t forget to thank your customers for their feedback. They are doing you a favor and by giving them a quick ‘thank you’ they will feel valued. This in turn will motivate them to give you feedback again the next time you ask.

Also have a look at: Infographic ‘11 Costly Customer Survey Mistakes You Should Avoid’

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