The brilliance of only 1, 2 or 3 questions in your feedback surveys

We have been pioneering the use of in the moment short and snappy feedback for 16 years. Right from the off we found that some organisations got it and were quick to adopt the techniques, whilst others held back and were more reluctant to let go of their very long surveys that tried to cover many aspects of the customer, visitor or patient journey.


But things have changed. Survey design has changed. Ratings have become the norm and people have less time and attention than ever before. And that’s why touch devices at the point of experience are being used with great success in many settings.


In the moment is where it's at. In the moment feedback gains the real feeling, the real emotion, the true experience and it's not taxing on the respondent. Accuracy comes as standard and with ViewPoint technology we utilise patented algorithms that recognise and filter out kids messing about or others manipulating responses.


This kind of validation is important where smiley faces are used for ratings, as kids love them. Of course smiley face surveys are not everyone's cup of tea. That's ok, because  stars and other images can work equally well. Being on brand and demonstrating great empathy with the surroundings is crucial – just as being clear and concise on what the purpose of the feedback is.


One, two or three questions?

Many organisations use one question to track satisfaction levels over time. They can then try different things and track the effect on satisfaction levels. For example, a different menu, a different greeting or new products. If ratings improve you’re on the right path, if they worsen, try something else!


A second question can drill down a little into the ‘why?’. Why did the respondent hit the poor service rating or the excellent service rating? The quick way to achieve this is with a range of options following the question, “Thank you for your response. Please tell us what you liked/disliked?” Answers might be: Environment, Service, Product Choice, Queueing Time, Greeting Received. Because you know the exact time of day the area of feedback is linked to the satisfaction rating and a picture will start to emerge, enabling actions to be taken to improve.


A third question could be, “Is there anything else you would like to tell us today?” This would provide for free text feedback on any matter that your customer might want to tell you and is often where the real value is uncovered. By grouping text and sentiment a picture will emerge from the voice of the customer, empowering management to make improvements to specifics.


Actionable Insight

It’s crucial that the feedback is used. In other blogs we deal with this more fully, but one of the keys is to provide the information gained in ways that work specifically for the recipient. If there’s an existing reporting suite, feed into that. If managers use email, feed them their report in email. If a live dashboard is a familiar tool, provide that. Our advice is make it as easy as possible to receive the information that can be acted upon.


In summary

  • In the moment feedback is where it’s at for many organisations keen to know what their customers are thinking.
  • One question, if it's the right question, provides fast current and useable information. 
  • Two questions can inform on specifics and start to understand the ‘why?’
  • Three questions enables powerful feedback, with customer’s able to share what’s really on their mind. 


Read more about survey design in our guide to all you need to know!

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Written by Simon Rowland

Simon is the CEO of ViewPoint. Find out more about Simon Rowland.

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