Say Yes to CES! (customer experience survey)

CES (customer experience survey) is an important gauge for any business. Earlier I was reading Kate Nasser’s blog post regarding customer feedback, and thought about when is the best time to receive feedback from the customer? I agree with the premise that you should be checking on your customer during their visit, but CES documents an entire customer’s experience. As a customer experience connoisseur, I watch and react appropriately to trends revealed through its usage.

The survey’s results tell a story about how customers perceive your business/service during a snapshot in time. If you are doing your part and assisting your customer to satisfy her needs, there should be nothing to fear in CES results. Not only negative feedback is tracked from these surveys. If as a customer, you received exemplary service (my personal favorite) there is usually place to describe it either in the questions themselves or in comments at the end of the survey.

Reading the results also helps you understand a possible cause for changes in daily metrics such as conversion, and sales. If a customer does not receive adequate service, he may leave your business empty handed (hence lower conversion rates). Questions may include whether they were greeted or acknowledged and were they able to find everything they needed easily? If results are low, you can better decide if results are a factor of low staffing, too many projects that take you away from customer focus or how effective you and your staff really are.

The trick to CES is obtaining a large enough sample as to avoid selection bias. If you only receive 10 responses in a given time period and one response is not positive, the entire survey is skewed towards a negative rating. What is the best method for getting the customer to take the survey in the first place?

It is impossible to follow someone home to ensure the survey is completed. The best way I found to get more samples is to explain the importance of the survey results and that changes or action plans are created according to obtained results. If you show your customer that she is valued as a client, she is more likely to complete a CES.

Often there is a prize or gift involved for taking the time to rate a business. As a consumer, I am not intrigued by a survey that gives me a one in a billion chance to win a $500 gift card. I would much rather receive one that offers a discount for my next visit, or to come back for a free product/service. The benefit to attaching a coupon or some other value to the survey is that it brings in repeat patronage.

What are your thoughts regarding CES? Do you ever fill them out? Are they helpful to your business or are they just another thing to report?

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