Thanksgiving is only a week away. Cooks across America are deciding on which turkey they will prepare for the big feast.
Fresh or frozen? Brine or no brine? Hen vs Tom? Organic, natural, or free range? There are so many choices.
Life had to be easier when you when out in the yard, looked at your turkey Tom, bid him farewell and raised your ax. Don’t you think?
I don’t mean to sound cruel. But that is how it was – and still is – done! Turkeys really don’t grow in a plastic, netted bag.
They also don’t start life with a pop up timer in their breast.
The pop up timer came into existence in the 1960’s. The technology was going to help do away with dried, overcooked turkey. Or undercooked turkey. Bingo! Wait for the plastic piece to pop up and pull the bird out of the oven. This simple device thrilled homemakers and novice cooks.
So, your pop up timer tells you – yes, the turkey is ready, or no, it is not. And sometimes it’s right, and sometimes … it’s not.
To be assured that the turkey is really ready, you should also use a meat thermometer. One that is tucked tight between the turkey leg and the breast. A place where the truth will be told.
A pop up timer is somewhat like the design of some customer satisfaction surveys.
Many surveys ask simple yes and no questions. Questions which give a bird’s eye view (pun intended) of a basic interaction between a customer and their contact with your business. Their responses will let you know if it was considered a positive or a negative experience.
But it doesn’t get to the meat of the matter. It doesn’t tell us what was juicy or what was dry.
Below are some typical questions on a customer experience survey.
- Did you have a good experience? Yes or No?
- Was the sales representative attentive? Yes or No?
- Did we have the product you were looking for? Yes or No?
These are all good questions, but they need to be followed up with a WHY. A detailed explanation of why it was good or bad. Satisfactory or not.
Just because the turkey is done does not mean it is good.
In the same way, just because the questions are answered, doesn’t mean the responses are helpful.
Five Ways to Cook up Holiday Dinner Worthy Customer Surveys
- Word your questions carefully. Poorly worded questions can have a counter-effect on your questions – providing you with misleading or incorrect information.
- Use ranking vs. yes/no answers. This does not have to be for every question. Save it for those questions that involve personal preferences, attitudes, or styles. A ranking scale will force the respondent to tell you what is important to THEM. The customer you want to keep – and keep happy.
- Keep it simple. Focus on the topics that are currently most important to the customer experience. If the survey is too lengthy, fatigue will set in. The survey will either be abandoned or not filled in correctly, so the respondent can ‘get it done’.
- Ask for and encourage comments. If you don’t ask, they won’t comment. If you word your questions carefully and ask for comments, you will learn the why’s. Which is the meat of what you need to know to increase customer retention and revenue.
- Do something with the feedback. Surveys and customer feedback are a waste of money if you do not take action to recognize what is right and fix what is not. If the customers do not see change, they will stop taking your surveys.
If you are going to invest in a customer survey program, make the right decisions before you ‘put it in the oven’. Then include a real thermometer to know the temperature of your customers’ experience.
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