Customer satisfaction surveys are extremely useful data tools in the world of business and retail. In order to remain competitive, retailers and UK businesses must analyse the markets, get into the minds of their customers and determine which existing processes are working, and which aren’t. Customer satisfaction surveys can allow you to determine market trends and gain an insight into the daily machinations of your own business, but there’s more than one option when it comes to putting your surveys in the hands of your customers and clients. You can either use paper questionnaires to glean the responses you need, or otherwise employ online forms or touchscreen kiosks. So which is the best approach for a given situation? Take a look at our brief guide and find out…
Depending on your industry and the kind of clients you deal with on a daily basis, certain approaches will prove more effective than others. If, for example, you run a supermarket retail chain, your customers may be more likely to fill in paper questionnaires there and then than they are to visit your company’s website to complete an online form at home. If your business operates as a B2B supplier on the other hand, the opposite is true. As you’d expect, it is important to bear your industry in mind when selecting your preferred approach. Where and when will most of your customers and clients be when you’re asking for their time for feedback?
Ease of use and convenience
Arguably, online forms are both easier to use and more convenient than their paper equivalents, but again this depends on circumstance. Today’s tech-savvy customers will often be happy to access an online form using their smartphones or tablets, but it’s sometimes necessary to incentivise your customers with a prize draw or similar should you want them to spend their time filling in a questionnaire at home. Occasionally, paper questionnaires will achieve higher engagement and response rates than their online equivalents, but it often depends on the audience…
Considering your audience
Retail customers come in all different age groups, social classes, ethnicities and genders, and the nature of your business will often help to determine the nature of your survey’s audience. If your customers are predominantly young men and women aged between 15 and 40, you’ll probably find that online forms may be more effective in terms of capturing the data you need. On the other hand, a retailer with a customer base of predominantly 60 and over is more likely to experience higher response rates with a paper questionnaire. It’s all relative – and the way you present your questionnaire can have an impact upon responses too.
Form scanning and digitising
What is worth considering, however, is the process of digitising your data for use in spreadsheets, graphs and other data visualisations at a later date. Online forms naturally have the advantage of already being digitised, and the data fields can easily be transferred to other digital applications without much hassle. Paper forms can of course be digitised using such tools as document scanning, text analytics and natural language processing. Whilst our automated processes can improve the speed at which data from these sources can be accessed, it will naturally take longer than if the data was already stored digitally. Without an automated process in place, it may be even more resource-intensive to access information from your questionnaire. Such demands to time and resources ought to be considered.
Genuine responses and qualitative data
Qualitative data is the holy grail of data capture, providing businesses and retailers with truer insights into their companies than quantitative data alone. Online forms and data collection can even be linked to social media accounts where your customers often leave the most honest, insightful comments. Modern audiences frequently interact with social media in a more intimate way than they would more traditional forms of questionnaire, so it can prove to be a potentially productive data mine for you and your company. We’re able to design data collection process around social media too – drop us a line with your specific needs.
Both online forms and paper questionnaires can be effective customer satisfaction surveys for different reasons and in different circumstances. Why not take a look at some of the other data capture solutions available on our website, or contact us to arrange a free, no-obligation where you can about what we don in more detail?