Advantages and Disadvantages of Customer Feedback Surveys

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Customer feedback surveys allow you to learn more about your customers' demographics, preferences and perceptions of your company and its offerings so that you can offer a better experience. These surveys can offer valuable insight in a fast, cheap way and allow for customization over time. However, the value of the data can vary, and a small group of customers may have impressions that are largely different from the rest. Keep these advantages and disadvantages of feedback forms in mind to implement them effectively and to make good use of the results.

Advantages of Customer Feedback Surveys: Perspectives

One of the main advantages of customer feedback surveys is that they offer you a chance to hear the customer's impression of your business so you know what you are doing well and where you need to improve.

For example, you might use a survey to ask customers how they use your product, what problems they have encountered and what would make using it easier. This valuable information can help you improve your product's quality and even add new features that will appeal to more customers and ultimately bring in more sales.

As a bonus, you might even increase your customer loyalty since customers will feel their voices are heard.

Advantages of Customer Feedback Surveys: Customization

Customer feedback surveys also come with the advantage that they are easily customizable and can be adjusted based on your changing business needs and previous findings.

If your business decides to offer a new service or change an existing process based on previous surveys, you can use a customer feedback survey to get impressions on the change and determine if it actually helps or hurts your customers' impressions.

At the same time, you can change up your surveys to gain different insights about the customer experience. For example, you might shift from using product-based questions to focusing on overall satisfaction or likelihood of recommending the company to others.

Advantages of Customer Feedback Surveys: Time and Cost

Lastly, customer feedback surveys provide a quicker and cheaper way to learn about your customers' preferences than methods such as focus groups, face-to-face interviews and personal research.

While you could still use a paper survey like a comment card, you can easily automate customer feedback surveys through your business's website, Google Surveys, Survey Monkey or customer relationship management (CRM) software.

You can simply share the survey link on the customer's receipt or through email and have the results back as soon as the customer responds. You can also find tools that display helpful metrics based on your survey questions.

Disadvantages of Customer Feedback Surveys

The major downside of using customer feedback surveys is that the data you get is only valuable if your customers actually respond and give quality answers. As more businesses request customer surveys, customer burnout becomes an issue. Respondents may answer more negatively about your business simply because they do not enjoy answering surveys.

This can be problematic when customers do not share helpful information about your business's strengths due to annoyance about the survey or when they cut their answers short. You might also find that customers who would have good insights fail to respond because they are worried about privacy issues or just do not have the time.

Another potential issue is that you will find there will be customers whose perspectives are outside the norm or are influenced by some other factor.

For example, you might find that a few customers hate your new self-checkout system, while most others find it convenient, or you may have a few customers request that you add a delivery service immediately. You might also have customers who had a bad day and give unfair ratings as a way of venting about their day. Carefully weighing responses is crucial so you do not decide to make an expensive change to your business based on outlier feedback.

Using Customer Feedback Surveys Effectively

Now that you understand the pros and cons of feedback surveys from customers, it is important to think about how you can structure your surveys effectively so they engage customers and provide you with the information your business specifically seeks.

This requires setting clear goals for the survey, using clear and unique questions and including a call to action that encourages customers to respond. When you do get the results, it is important to know that the results are just a sample of data that may not represent your whole customer base.

References

About the Author

Ashley Donohoe started writing professionally about business topics in 2010. Having eight years experience running all aspects of her small business, she is knowledgeable about the daily issues and decisions that business owners face. She also has earned a Master of Business Administration degree with a leadership and strategy concentration from Western Governors University. Some other places featuring her business writing include JobHero, LoveToKnow, PocketSense, Chron and Study.com.

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