Encouraging your customers to give you feedback about your product and services will help your business thrive and give you important information on how to improve. You can also include some questions about your social and/or environmental mission to understand how relevant it is to your customer’s purchasing decisions, and how they may be influenced by it. But also keep in mind that you should keep the survey short so it is more likely that customers will take the time to respond.
The best time to conduct a customer satisfaction survey is when the experience is fresh in their minds. Depending on the type of business, you may solicit feedback more than once. The frequency will depend on the frequency with which you interact with your customers. You will want to solicit feedback often enough to get useful information to gauge your progress, but not so often as to upset the customer.
There are any number of ways to get feedback from your customers – face to face, by phone, by mail, by e-mail (directly or as a web survey invitation). Choose a method that fits whatever is convenient for your particular business. If you choose to develop a survey on-line, the following are a few popular all-purpose survey sites:
- Survey Monkey
- Qualtrics (formerly SurveyZ)
For a useful reference for evaluating these alternatives see: Rose M. Marra, Barbara Bogue, A Critical Assessment of Online Survey Tools, University of Missouri -- Columbia/ The Pennsylvania State University.
Follow up on the comments your receive. Fix the things customers complained about, and celebrate the positive feedback. Let your customers know that their answers were appreciated and you acted on them. This could even include sending thank you notes to the customers whose comments caused you to make a change.