Sometimes it feels like we're inundated with customer satisfaction surveys: Tell us what you think! We need your feedback! Even with the promise of taking only a "few minutes" of our time, they always seem like a hassle and are ignored more often than not. But when you're on the other side of the exchange and rely on the feedback to improve your customers' experience, you get a new perspective on the importance of these surveys and are frustrated when you can't get any responses. What can you do to change this?
One possibility is the use of a one question survey. Essentially, customer satisfaction surveys all strive to answer one simple question: Are we doing a good job? Even though multiple areas of your business can impact a customer's experience, their satisfaction ultimately boils down to their response to that question.
A free online survey tool like Survey Monkeycan make these surveys easy to set up and monitor. The format of the question can be flexible, but should provide a yes or no answer to a question similar to one of these:
After a simple set up on Survey Monkey, you'll get a URL that you can include with every email to a customer. "Please take 20 seconds to answer one question about your experience with us." You can also ask them to leave an email address when they answer the question and have a monthly drawing for some sort of prize. This increases their incentive to take the survey and only increases their time commitment by perhaps ten seconds.
The biggest advantage of one question surveys is customers are more likely to answer a single yes/no question than multiple questions that they have to think about ("Rate your experience in the following categories on a scale of 1-10"). Instead of a few minutes, they can be done with the survey in 30 seconds.
However, one question surveys also have some obvious limitations. Unless you ask customers to leave their names (and many still won't), you won't be able to specifically address a negative response. Also, they don't allow you to delve into specific areas of your business (timeliness, pricing, responsiveness, etc.). They're a great way to get a general idea of how happy your customers are, but don't provide exact details about what you do or don't do well.
In addition to Survey Monkey (which is more of a standalone tool), there are also free resources for adding a one question poll to your website. For example, BooRoo allows you to create a quick poll and copy its code into your website's source code. Visitors to your website then have the opportunity to tell you how you're doing by answering a single question while they're browsing your site.
One question surveys have their limitations, but can be a quick way to increase customer