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How do I Choose the Best Customer Questionnaire?

Article Details
  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A customer questionnaire is an effective way for companies to get feedback on products by interacting with customers. In order to find out what questionnaire is best for your company, you must consider your goals for the survey, the types of questions you should ask and how it will physically reach customers. These elements can be organized countless ways to customize a questionnaire for your needs.

It is important, when choosing a customer questionnaire, to consider what you want to find out from your clients. It generally is best to have only one goal when creating a questionnaire, so you do not confuse the reader and dilute the results. Deciding first whether this form aims to determine customer loyalty, customer perceptions, potential market for new products, ratings of current products or other options is essential if you want to have a functional questionnaire.

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Based on what goal you have set for the customer questionnaire, you can decide what types of questions to ask. Open-ended questions require the customer to write out an answer and often are a great way to get in-depth opinions and thoughts, but the amount of work required also can upset some customers. Closed-ended questions or multiple-choice questions are great options for directing attention to specific aspects of customer experience. Leading questions are great tools for gauging satisfaction because they normally give options on a scale of one-to-five and ask the customer to mark an approval level. Dichotomous questions are effective ways of determining overall opinions, but they are poor indicators for specifics because they consist of basic "yes" or "no" answers.

After the goals and question types have been established for a customer questionnaire, you have one final hurdle to overcome. Choosing the type of form requires some general knowledge of your customer base, but it will make the entire process simpler in the end. A mail survey is an inexpensive and simple way to gain insight from customers, but its major drawback is a low return rate because customers either choose to ignore it or they simply forget to mail it back. A group-administered customer questionnaire requires a focus group to fill out a survey and has a high return rate, but many companies find it difficult and costly to organize focus groups. A third option that adds a personal touch but can also be expensive to administer is a household drop-off questionnaire that blends the previous two by having a person hand-deliver a questionnaire and ask the customer to mail it back.

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