But how often are you asking the king whether you are doing a good job?
Our experience is that small business owners that periodically survey customers will outperform those that don't. If you are a business owner, these questions are for you.
Customer Survey Best Practices
Best practices are to undertake your own private interview of customers on a face-to-face basis. If that's not practical, online customer satisfaction surveys or mailed surveys will be fine.
Start by interviewing at least 20 customers or 20 percent of your customers, whichever is a lower number. That rule of thumb won't work for everybody but it's a good start. Remember, your goal is to find out what your customers like or dislike about your business, products and service.
A personalized client survey is a simple thing to prepare and implement. If you do customer interviews or customer surveys regularly, you can find when and where things are breaking down in your service levels.
Example Customer Service Survey Questions
Here are some customer experience questions that are worth asking if you own a brick-and-mortar retail store. With a small effort, these sample questions can be adapted to fit the needs of any small business.
1. Is the service we provide meeting your expectations? _____ yes _____ no
If not, in what areas can we improve?
2. Are we providing the brands and lines you want and expect? _____ yes _____ no
If not, please list the products that you would like us to carry.
3. Are our prices competitive? _____ yes _____ no
4. Is our business clean and pleasant to be in at all times? _____ yes _____ no
How can we improve it?
5. Do you feel our business is an active member of the community? _____ yes _____ no
6. Is our staff is friendly and well-trained? _____ yes _____ no
If not, please elaborate.
7. What suggestions do you have for us regarding improving our business?
Keep Customer Service Surveys Short
You may want to include more specific questions, but the key is to keep the survey short and to the point. A long and intimidating survey will rarely be completed by a customer.
You can always provide some room for written, open-ended comments. This allows customers to offer more feedback if they so desire.
What can you learn from this? Plenty. Feedback from customers allows you to fine-tune your operations. It's that attention to detail that differentiates a successful entrepreneur from an unsuccessful entrepreneur.
What can customers learn? Well, it shows you care about what they think. That, in and of itself, goes a long way toward improving customer satisfaction.