In the retail and hospitality industry, your business should offer top-notch customer service. Once a customer engages with your business, their first impressions will last, and that is a singular opportunity to either sway them towards doing business with you or otherwise. Which is why your business should always be prepared to please both your potential and current customers by delivering great products and services, right at the start of the first contact. But how can you predict what people will expect from your business? Surely you cannot please everyone, nor can you read their minds from your initial encounter. The best way to get is by gathering your customers’ feedback through forms and surveys.
Surveys and polls will tell you if you are doing anything right or if your customers are not in favour of how they have been serviced. Likewise, you can use surveys for:
- Feedback on your products and services
- Conducting market research
- Feedback on your customer service
- Gauging your employees’ satisfaction
With the trend of most transactions going digital, alongside the prevalence of quarantine regulations, the best choice of conducting your surveys should be online. Creating surveys or polls is quick and easy, especially when you make use of online tools. There are many free or paid services, but the latter offers additional features such as survey logic, more data export choices, as well as fully customizable elements.
This is not to say you shouldn’t still be using phone calls, direct mail, or in-person surveys. Alternatively, you can use them too if you think your customers will respond more through them. Here are the benefits, as well as tips, on how you can improve relationships with your customers using online survey forms:
1. More Efficient Feedback Gathering
- Conduct your data gathering faster and receive equally quicker responses. Turnaround time can almost be instantaneous since customer information can be gathered automatically. You don’t have to wait for paper questionnaires to be submitted back to you, one-by-one. You can also send out hundreds of your feedback forms all at once.
- Save on research costs, postage, as well as allocating time and manpower to transcribe collated information onto a database. Imagine being able to conduct market research at a fraction of the cost.
- Answers on your questions will not get lost in translation, as your customers enter their responses directly into your survey tools. This weeds out human error from the transcription, as well.
- Easier Analysis. Survey results can be easily viewed at any time and be shared with anyone. They can also be monitored even if they are still ongoing. This enables you to react faster to what needs to be changed, as well.
2. Easier for Both Parties
These days, the convenience of performing transactions online is almost everyone’s preference – both for businesses and customers. Expect nothing less from your customers, especially when answering surveys. Let them do it at their own pace, and at their own time.
On your end, save more time for productivity by not having to wait on their reply. You can do other tasks in the meantime. And when data does arrive, it can be quickly formatted to your preferences, with seamless tracking of your respondents’ information on their name, and specific transaction.
You can also keep everything quiet and private. Some customers will prefer to go straight to your staff, or worse, up to your managers if they ever have issues with your services particularly on-ground. However, most of the time, you’ll get feedback privately and anonymously through your feedback forms. And you should be thankful for these gestures, as the last thing you want is an angry rant made in public.
You can read more about improving customer relationships with regards to marketing analytics, here.
3. Unmatched Flexibility
Questionnaires that were printed out limit the means to adjust to specific situations. Not only was the order of the questions unchangeable, but the flow of the questions had to follow a specific route, even if some questions were not relevant to a respondent’s situation. With online survey tools, you can have survey logic adjust your questions, with some that can even be skipped without being seen, altogether.
That’s how flexible online forms can be created. They can be custom-made for your respondents and adjust on-the-fly as each answer goes towards not just one, but different paths. This way, your customers will feel that they’re not just answering a generic poll but something that is relevant to them where their feedback is deemed important.
Here’s a quick list of 5 popular online survey tools that you can check out and help you begin in creating your polls and surveys. All of these are free but other premium features are available in their paid plans. It’s recommended to test them and other similar platforms first before deciding on one that you’ll eventually use for your business. Take note too that many of these online survey tools have a month on month flexible plans that allows you to downgrade, upgrade, and even cancel anytime.
- Create unlimited surveys comprised of 10 questions and over 100 responses.
- Automatic Scoring feature for user-created quizzes.
- Can assist you in composing your survey questions.
- Full-time customer support.
- Make flexible survey forms, with Google Forms being a part of Google’s suite of office and productivity tools.
- Be able to create a lot of surveys that can receive an unlimited number of responses.
- Add custom themes, templates, survey logic, and allow for user collaboration.
- Offers 4 key metrics for gathering information for your business:
- Customer insights
- Brand and market research
- Product research
- Employee experiences
- Online reporting.
- Get 10 questions per survey and 100 responses.
- Create 3 surveys with an unlimited number of questions and 100 responses per survey.
- Customize your surveys with radio buttons, checkboxes, as well as short or long answers to questions.
- Have full-time access to their community forums.
- Easy drag and drop of features that you want to add to your form. It is very user-friendly that is why this is a favorite among non-technical users.
- One of its best features is that it can be integrated into lots of other tools and software from Slack, Zapier, Office 365, Google Suite, Facebook, Mailchimp, Hubspot, Salesforce, and many more.
- They have a free forever plan.
These are just some of the tools that you can use for your surveys. There may be other tools which may be better suited to your specific needs, but this initial list will definitely give you an idea on how flexible and affordable your options are in terms of producing your own surveys and polls.
As businesses invest more on going online, feedback gathering also follows the same line. Adapt and go where your customers flock to, and let them access your business from where they are. In fact, building your online presence is already a sign that you are willing to follow along where they need to see you. It is also telling them that you are there to listen to them and cater to their needs. Online surveys are meant to augment how we communicate with our customers, to be able to understand them better.