Choosing the Right Time to Survey

Choosing the Right Time to Survey

When should you survey? How often should you survey? These are two of the most difficult questions to answer when it comes to collecting customer feedback. Here are a few things to consider when deciding what's right for you and your business.

Determining how often to issue a customer feedback survey depends on a variety of factors. You need to consider the type of survey you’re sending out, the kind of product or service you’re offering, and the enthusiasm of your customer base. The type of survey you are sending out dictates when you issue your survey, and the nature of your business should determine how often.

Types of customer feedback surveys

Customer feedback surveys generally come in one of two forms: relationship and transactional. It’s important to understand the difference when designing a survey.

  • Relationship survey: A relationship survey gauges the overall perception of a customer towards your company or product. The survey questions are not tied to a particular transaction or event. Rather, it’s a snapshot of the customer’s broader sentiments at a specific point in time. Relationship surveys are usually issued at regular intervals, independent of the user’s actions.
  • Transactional survey: A transactional survey focuses on a specific stage of engagement from the customer. Usually, the survey follows a purchase, installation, update, or customer service interaction. The survey is designed to capture the customer’s feelings directly after the action, and questions should be designed to drill down on the specific event.

The frequency of a transactional survey depends on the actions of the user, whereas the timing of a relationship survey is entirely up to you. The conventional wisdom is that you should conduct a survey every six months, but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to customer feedback surveys.

Deciding how often to issue a relationship survey

If you are trying to decide how often to issue a relationship survey, there are three questions you should be asking yourself. Let’s run through the list!

How quickly is your user base and customer base changing?

If you are experiencing a high level of customer churn or rapidly experiencing customer growth, then you should be in a hurry to survey your changing customer base. The new crop of users may differ from your existing users in their needs and expectations. You’ll want to keep up to date so that you can tailor your product to their requirements.

How quickly is your product or service changing?

If your product or service is continually changing, you will want to survey your customers more frequently to gauge their reaction. Users and customers can be resistant to change, and their level of frustration can be quantified through a survey. On the other hand, your users could love the improvements you’ve made, and this would also be reflected in their survey responses.

What are your current response rates?

If your response rates are already low, then you may want to look into ways to improve your numbers before deciding to survey more frequently. Sending out surveys too frequently will make customers reluctant to continue filling out your surveys, especially if the questions are similar and their user experience hasn’t changed.

About Kris Tonthat

Kris is a writer and editor at Displayr. He is also a former sportswriter and a recovering economics graduate. Despite all his writing experience, he still struggles to craft a decent profile bio.