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Customer surveys

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8 Tips for effective employee surveys

By | Customer surveys

Well-structured employee surveys can yield a wealth of management information you can use to create a more positive, productive workplace.

People want to be heard and valued. Conducting regular employee surveys sends a message that their perceptions matter and responsiveness is proof of management’s commitment to upholding a fair two-way relationship with staff. The result is a give-and-take that builds trust, supports higher levels of retention and engagement, and improves the overall strength of the organisation.

The type of employee survey you need depends on your objectives. Do you want to measure employee engagement or check alignment to strategy? Do you want to find out how employees feel about organisational culture or whether the organisation is fulfilling employees’ expectations?

Here are the basic criteria for constructing sound employee survey items that deliver actionable results.

 

1. Define your objectives

Begin by defining exactly why you’re conducting the survey. What are you trying to accomplish, and importantly, what will you do with the results? It’s critical that the survey content is aligned with objectives and that the results help boost organisational effectiveness and improve employee engagement and commitment. In other words, you’re looking for more than ‘nice to know information’. Survey results should be actionable and enable organisational improvement.

 

2. Make questions easy to understand

Make your employee survey questions clear and easy to understand by using plain language that everyone will generally comprehend and interpret similarly. Also, use short sentences that speak directly to the point of the question. This will keep the readability scores high and difficulty levels low.

 

3. Create content that’s applicable to everyone

As a general rule, make sure your survey content is rateable by all employees, not just those in a specific area of the business or at a particular job grade.  Asking for ratings on issues outside of an individual’s experience creates confusion and likely cynicism about the purpose of the survey.

 

4. Keep questions focused on just one issue

Each item in the survey should deal with just one topic – not two or more. Statistical results for an item that addresses more than one topic will be ambiguous. For example, ‘My supervisor sets clear goals and provides positive reinforcement when employees meet the goals.” What do you want to rate, the goal setting or the positive reinforcement?

 

5. Phrase items to generate disperse responses

Ideally, there is variance in how employees respond to an item. When all employees respond at either end of the scale, the results don’t reveal much about their perceptions or the differences among groups.

 

6. Word items in the positive

All survey items should be worded in the positive so that the same end of the response scale always indicates favourable ratings. There is a common myth that mixing in some negatively phrased items will increase accuracy. In fact, this only confuses both the employees taking the survey and the people interpreting the results.

 

7. Write items to fit with the response scale

There is no one ideal type of employee survey response scale, so make sure that all items are written so the chosen scale is applicable and appropriate. For example, eValue uses a Likert scale with responses written in the familiar either / or format (agree / disagree, important / not important).

 

8. Be sure not to confound items and response scales

Avoid confounding variables that may lead to inaccurate results. For example, with a frequency response scale (‘always to never’) an item such as, “My supervisor always sets clear goals”, would be confounded.

 

Repeat the process

Employee surveys are most useful when they’re part of an ongoing measurement system, rather than just one-time snapshots of employee satisfaction or engagement. Trend results are the most powerful way of determining what’s improving and which areas of the business require further attention or different interventions, assuming that some form of remedial action has been taken.

As for frequency, some organisations conduct annual employee surveys, with pulse surveys conducted throughout the year. Some only survey employees every 18 – 24 months. Ultimately, the frequency depends on the type of survey you’re conducting, what you’re trying to achieve and your readiness to act on feedback. Remember, the emphasis is on action and using survey results to improve the employee experience and business performance.

 

 

 

customer survey

How you should be measuring customer experience

By | Customer surveys

As every business knows – delivering first-rate experiences to customers is a strategic priority. But many companies still fail to accurately quantify the complete customer experience (CX). Without a layered approach to CX measurement, you’re missing the first crucial steps in getting insight into customer satisfaction and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to predict customer loyalty with any accuracy. Fail to do this, and you probably won’t survive the decade in a world that’s finely balanced on the fulcrum of customer-centricity.

The case for CX measurement

Customer experience is simple enough – your company’s interaction with your customers. From their perspective – you will be judged on how well you deliver to their wants and needs. But that’s where simplicity ends. Leveraging the power of CX to influence consumer spending and inspire loyalty to your company, begins with an understanding of the complexity of the customer experience.

CX takes place in three areas: the customer journey, the various points of interaction between the customer and your brand, and the different environments in which interaction takes place – from digital environments to the sales floor.

Contact with your company can be both direct (during the purchase phase) and indirect (advertising, word-of-mouth, news items). Now add to this, the different levels at which the customer experience takes place – physical, sensorial, emotional and rational, and ideological.

Although creating a superior customer experience involves six disciplines – strategy, understanding your customer, informed design, accurate measurement, and governance and culture – this blog focuses on measuring customer experiences, and how your understanding of the role and complexity of the customer experience determines how you choose to measure CX.

Common CX measurements

Two of the most widely used customer experience metrics include: Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). eValue’s CX survey maps and links theses metrics for comparative demographic analysis and historical trend analysis.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) – also called the brand or relationship metric – gathers data based on the question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?” Scores of nine or 10 represent ‘promoters’, seven or eight ‘passives’, and zero to six ‘detractors’. For deeper qualitative feedback that can guide product or service improvements, an NPS can include a more nuanced follow-up question like “Care to tell us why?” Because the NPS draws on a customer’s experiences with your organisation for the entire duration of the relationship, it is mainly used as a predictor of customer loyalty and can be used to inform your customer retention strategy.

An NPS is the best starting point when initiating a customer feedback program, but keep in mind that NPS surveys will give you an overview of customer experience only. For a customer experience measurement at specific touch points or transactions along the customer journey, you’ll want to include the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).

Your CSAT survey gathers data around a recent customer interaction with your company, like a purchase or customer service call, and how satisfied they were with that transaction. CSAT is a popular CX measurement because it can be easily customised to your particular company’s customer experience landscape. It is also highly flexible – allowing for several questions in a longer survey. Responses are then averaged to create an amalgamated CSAT score. It’s recommended that an open-ended follow up question is included – giving people the opportunity to tell you what aspects of satisfaction are working, or not working, for them.

Delving deeper into the customer experience

NPS and CSAT surveys are undoubtedly a valuable source of customer experience metrics. But using a layered approach to measurement will give you a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the landscape and the game-changing insights that could set your company apart.

We recommend delving deeper into your customers’ experiences by using a drip-approach to NPS. This means continuously keeping your finger on the pulse of customer sentiment so you can react to findings in real-time, instead of just once or twice a year, as is common practice.

In the same way, using short CSAT surveys often and when needed, can be used effectively for a specific time period of change, or to identify staff who may need additional training, for example.

When planning to make product or service improvements, include a Product Satisfaction Score (PSAT) in your metrics with a question like: “How satisfied are you with [this product or service]?”

Customer Effort Score (CES) surveys ask the question: “How much effort did it take to have your request handled?” The customer can provide a score of one to 10. A CES can provide insight into your customer churn rate and is a great way to effectively amp up your customer support offering. In fact, CES may be a more accurate forecaster of repurchasing than CSAT.

Putting customer experience metrics to work for you

Measuring customer experience can happen in many ways, using multiple CX metrics in varying combinations. Irrespective of your methodology of choice, to be truly effective, measurement should cover the main categories – quality, satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. Only then will you have the data needed to manage and nurture long-term customer relationships.

Your next step is deciding ways to improve CX, testing these and coming up with scenarios based on your new results, which in turn inform further changes or improvements, and so on.

Of course, continuous testing and optimisation can be an insurmountable challenge for companies using outdated methodology – like surveys that go out to customers once or twice a year. More agile survey methodologies deliver results in real-time, which is especially important for rapidly evolving products and services. They are also able to process this data and unlock insight from real-time qualitative feedback. Once the “why” behind your experience measurements has been established, you’ll be able to quickly prioritise improvements that will drive your business forward.

Contact us today to learn how eValue can help you unlock the customer insights that lead to genuine customer-centric service and long-term loyal relationships.