You’ve quite certainly, at least one time, given your response to a traditional “checkbox survey” - that is, a kind of a survey in which answers are given with grades, for example, from 1 to 5 or from dissatisfied to satisfied. How do you feel when you see this kind of a survey?
Based on a great amount of conversations, we would guess that the feeling is not particularly positive, let alone enthusiastic. Furthermore, if there are two or three pages of questions, it’s almost a miracle if you're willing to finish that survey from the beginning to the end.
Even the results of these kinds of surveys are rarely useful: With scale 1-5 most of us give grades 3 and 4. So it seems everything is quite OK. It doesn’t really matter who, when and what is being asked: the results tend to be very similar. Usually the averages go around 3,7.
Furthermore, the traditional "checkbox method" gives ambiguous and even misleading responses. For example, a customer survey average 3,9 is 0,5 points better than last year’s 3,4 doesn’t necessarily mean that things have gone better. It may well be so that satisfied customers have become even more satisfied but the amount of dissatisfied customers has increased. By analyzing mere average results one might conclude that one’s business has improved - even if the reality may be a whole different story.
Also, the importance of different things from the respondent’s point of view is rarely asked. If the importance is ignored, who decides what are the most important points for customer satisfaction? Company. And yet, it is your customers and not you who should decide the importance.
Sometimes a company can consider some surveyed matter as very important even if customers don’t really care about it at all. Unclear survey results don’t have an impact on a company’s decision-making. It’s safe to keep on the same old track and just hope for the best.
In conclusion, we suggest that it’s time to forget about checkbox surveys! Instead, surveys should be made as pleasant as possible for the respondents and with a method giving reliable and easily readable results! We listed 5 points to consider when creating a survey:
A modern survey is visual. Instead of check boxes, use "stairless" scale or fourfold table. Fourfold question type enables you to find out the importance of things and hence the results you get are more precise and practically useful than with a traditional survey method.
2. Game-like response experience
It is important that the respondents have a pleasant,even game-like experience. Nowadays, people are playing mobile games a lot and hence a game-like user interface is familiar to them. The game-likeness of your survey shows directly as increased response rates.
3. Mobile usability
A large amount of respondents take surveys with their smartphones. To get as high response rates as possible, make sure that your survey functions smoothly also on mobile!
4. Different respondents
People are different. Grades they give vary depending on an individual respondent’s personality, culture, response time, expectations etc. It’s important that your survey tool understands what your respondents actually mean by their responses and fixes the response scale to the report accordingly.
5. Importance and priorities
The purpose of a customer survey is to prioritize your actions so that you’re doing the most important things at the right moment to fulfill your customers needs. Ask the importance of different things and focus on those things that most urgently need improvement, as told by your customers.
What do you think about this subject? We'd love to hear your opinion in the comment box below! :)