Big Mistakes Made By Small Business Owners While Making Surveys

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Photo Credit:’s fizkes

Starting a business in itself is a huge responsibility; a task that requires your utmost determination and dedication to blossom into a fruitful business venture. You may have good investment, perfect location, and even good employees, but unless you know what you want to do with them; in fact, what your customer wants you to do with them; you will be at a great loss. The entrepreneur must listen to his clientele and implement changes accordingly.

How To Know What Your Clients Wants?

The answer to this question is one simple word…Survey. You can find well-made templates of commonly used surveys on various online platforms, such as the SurveyCrest website. Otherwise creating a sensible questionnaire is not as simple as it seems to the ones attempting it or reading it later on. Even with pre-made templates, many organizations commit some really silly mistakes in the way they handle customer feedback. Here, let’s shed some light on a few.

1. Dwell on Customer Satisfaction

There is no need to ask about customer satisfaction in a customer feedback survey. Research suggests that it is a poor indicator of customer loyalty in future. The research done on Net Promoter Score ® (NPS) concurs with the same.

Customer Satisfaction surveys may be good to measure current status of customers, but when it comes to their future loyalty, it’s just not useful. Many people, who are loyal to a particular brand, stop using it or try something different whenever and wherever they find a better deal.

So if you are interested in something correlated to the revenue of your company and your client’s loyalty, you are better off using the Net Promoter Score (NPS).

2. Absence of Enough Statistical Analysis

A customer survey typically captures the opinion of a limited portion of your entire customer base. For this reason, we work with statistics (mean, median, etc) to summarize and understand the trends of the entire customer base.

But analyzing data without statistical precision may cause some problems in interpreting the actual extent of the readings. For instance, the above chart shows a typical graph that shows profit or rise in whatever is being calculated. However it may just be a coincidence that you choose to survey the group of people with a slightly higher opinion of the subject.

What you should aim to calculate is a significant statistical change which has occurred and that requires a pretty high level of statistical analysis.

3. Being Misleading About the Survey’s Time Duration

Trust us; we have all faced this issue at one time or another. Many a times, we receive a phone call or an online survey which says it will only take five minutes, whereas, after 15 minutes, we still find ourselves mindlessly answering questions and trying to get it over with as quickly as possible.

This generates two results.

  • As soon as the given time passes, you start losing patience and give less or no thought at all to your answers.
  • You don’t just lose your patience; you lose your trust on the brand.

So, in all honesty, please be honest with your survey respondents and tell the exact time it will take them to attempt your survey. If you think it is long; reduce the number of questions, not the estimate of time.

4. What’s in a Word? Actually, Quite a Lot!

One major problem may be the structure of your questions. Be very careful with the way you phrase them out as most of the surveys become substandard because of their poorly worded appearance. If the respondent is unable to interpret then you will receive only a distorted version of what they think of your product.

Some typical examples include:

  • Emphasizing more on one attribute – you unconsciously target more questions toward one attribute of the product and miss out on some other seemingly unimportant ones. For example, you might ask 2-3 questions regarding the packaging design than ask about other aspects of the branding.
  • Opinionated questions – that’s when instead of using a neutral tone for the questions, you start by saying, “How bad do you feel after smelling the chemical?” Never do that.
  • Asking confusing attributes in one question – respondent can either rate for one attribute in a question or another. Don’t confuse him by asking for two or more attributes in a single attempt.

5. Got the Customer’s feedback – Now Do Something About It!

Last but not least is what you do with the outcome of your survey. Only collecting the data is not enough. If you are not willing to change your strategy, or any other thing that might be affecting the standard of your business, then don’t bother doing the survey in the first place. The only reason why you collect customer feedback is to ensure the customer loyalty to your brand and how you are viewed in the market. It’s done only when you realize the importance of feedback in order to improve your business.

Apart from collecting data you should:

  • Introduce change management programs to practically implement the operational variables
  • Recognize key players who contribute in bringing about customer satisfaction in your organization.
  • Link the score of customer survey with employee incentives.

If you want to be a successful small business owner, you must avoid these mistakes in making your surveys. You must listen to your customers and improve accordingly.

About The Author

Kelvin Stiles is a tech enthusiast and works as a marketing consultant at SurveyCrest – FREE online survey software and publishing tools for academic and business use. He is also an avid blogger and a comic book fanatic.