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Is "survey" in "customer satisfaction survey" now a 4 letter word?

 It’s a common thing these days: businesses ask their customers or employees to participate in a survey, to which many respond with a groan.  The word "survey" has become associated with a nuisance, rather than the positive message of interest as it was intended.

Maybe the request was to complete a customer satisfaction survey, or a product opinion survey, or an employee satisfaction survey, or even a personal preference survey.  In every case, there's that word again: Survey.

Think about the last time you were asked to participate in a survey. What was your reaction when you answered that phone call or opened that email to see the word "survey" staring back at you?  Do you think:

Not again..

Do I HAVE to cooperate?

                                                                                Is this worth my time?

How long will this one take?

Does anyone really care?


If this is how you react, don't you think your customers might feel the same?  While every opinion counts, might the word “survey” be getting in the way of the responses you need, and standing in way of improving customer service?

We all know that surveys are a data collection method that can surface critical customer feedback or insight from customers, vendors or associates.  We can’t risk demotivating any response to our customer feedback measurement program and missing an opinion that might make a difference.


Simply stop using the word "survey".  Instead, start using words that help respondent understand the importance of their customer feedback.

Effective ways on asking a customer to participate in a “Survey”

Instead of "Do you have time for a short survey?", ask "Could we ask for your advice on our new product?"

Instead of "Would you have a few moments to complete a survey on how you use our product?", ask "We’re working on product improvements.  May we ask your or your colleagues to help us direct our next improvements?"

Instead of "Will you please help us with this survey to measure your satisfaction?", ask "I'm calling as a follow-up to make sure your new project is all you wanted it to be." 

By avoiding the word “survey”, you’ll remove a distraction (be it even minimal) and instead stir productive, useful, and open conversations that help you learn what you need to make a difference.

Customers, vendors and associates control your future.  Most are more than willing to help.  Make sure that you ask them the right way.  Don't be just another survey, be the company that is open for advice to help improve the way they do business.

SERVICE 800 can start a customer satisfaction measurement program for you in days, so you can start simply and evolve your measurements over time. Why wait? Can you afford not to know? Start learning from real time customer feedback now.

Topics: CX Blog

Written by Iresha Herath

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