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One of the worst mistakes a business can make is forgetting about its customers. It may sound ridiculous – after all, everything the owner and the employees do is supposed to be aimed at customers, right? However, in reality, all that you often get fixated on the product, service or the business itself. You think of how to improve the product, not how the customers are going to use it in the real world. You think of how to improve the public image of your company, forgetting that it is your customers’ opinion that creates it.

Businesses that actively seek feedback from their existing and potential customers get noticeable advantages over the competition. However, even if you decide to follow this path, a lot depends on how you approach the task.

In this blog post, we will discuss some practices that will help you improve the efficiency of surveys – one of the most convenient ways of seeking feedback and capturing and analyzing data from real-time sources.

1.    Use Survey tools

As the main purpose to creating the customer’s survey is to measure customer experience at a much more significant level, a powerful combination of SAP’s expertise in capturing operational data (o-data) with Qualtrics’ ability to capture experience data (x-data) could be the best way to reach your business goals. Operational data tells you what’s going on, whereas the experience data tells you why it's happening.

It allows you to get human sentiment at the moment. Combining these and having one view will transform the way we even think about CRM as we know it. It provides visibility into what your customers want, which will ultimately make you more efficient.

2.   Understand the Net Promoter Score benchmarks

The main advantages of NPS are close correlation with a company's growth and easy collection, interpretation and communication of the data. It is a powerful and effective technique, which can significantly increase a company's revenue if used properly.

SAP's Net Promoter Score is based on responses to a single question, typically on a scale from 0 to 10:

  • Detractors, responding with a score of 0 to 6 are believed to be less likely to exhibit the value-creating behaviors.

  • Responses of 7 and 8 are labeled passives, and their behavior falls in the middle of promoters and detractors.

  • SAP's promoters are those who respond with a score of 9 to 10. They are likely to create the most value, such as buying more, remaining customers for longer, and making more positive referrals to other potential customers.

If SAP sends out NPS surveys immediately after purchase, they are tracking their customers' initial excitement and the checkout experience.

On the other hand, if they survey their customers a few weeks after the purchase, they are also tracking how satisfied their customers are with their products and services over time.

Therefore, comparing the NPS score of SAP with your own without any further context is not that useful.

3.    Optimize for mobile

According to SurveyMonkey, at least 30 percent of surveys completed in the USA are submitted from mobile devices, with the share rising to 50 percent in some other nations. This means that if you do not optimize your surveys for mobile, you lose a significant portion of potential answers. Therefore, make sure smartphone users are comfortable answering your surveys:

  • stick to the vertical arrangement of questions

  • stick to response options (they are easier to read)

  • avoid open-ended questions (not all people are good at typing on smartphone screens)

  • keep your surveys short (smartphone users tend to take surveys on the go or during short breaks)

4.    Determine the right sample size

A survey will be of use for your business only if it is reliable and representative for your industry, and these factors firmly depend on how many people you will get to fill in your questionnaire. Of course, in an ideal world, you would simply ask every client your questions and receive truthful answers. Still, in reality, typical customer survey response rates range from 5 to 30 percent, depending on the industry and other factors. This means that before you take the results seriously, you have to determine the number of people you need to survey using a sample size calculator.

5.    Add images

Whether you offer a client to fill in a questionnaire via email or on your website, accompany everything related to it with images. According to Vero’s study, e-mail campaigns with images have a 42 percent higher click-through rate than their imageless alternatives. The truth is that people are more and more drawn to low-effort interactions, and will instinctively shy away from text-heavy surveys and lead-up emails.

6.    Keep it short and simple

Two factors primarily influence survey completion rate: length and difficulty. While length is simple to understand (more questions equals greater length), the difficulty is less straightforward and roughly means the amount of time and attention required of the participant to answer a question. For example, an agree/disagree question is easier than "choose one statement", which is, in turn, easier than an open-ended question. According to Insights Association’s research, the difficulty is even more important when determining whether a client will complete a survey than length. A rule of thumb will be to prefer more straightforward questions and keep them fewer than 30.

7.    Make your survey easily available

Many surveys are preceded by prolonged introductions trying to persuade the client to take part in them. However, these usually achieve a diametrically opposite effect – if the link to a survey is located at the bottom of a page or if you have to click a few times to get to it, the chances of the client responding drop dramatically. Make your survey links:

  • Obvious

  • immediately available

  • highly visible

  • useful to use


Considering how important it is to listen to your customers to avoid churn, surveys should be a priority for anyone who wants to take care of their loyal customers and win new ones. A correctly constructed and presented survey can be an invaluable source of information for your business – so do not put off optimizing your methods!

What is extremely useful though, is using the NPS methodology to track the customer's satisfaction over time.

I would love to learn more about how you seek feedback from your customers and analyze the data. Please put in your comments and suggestions in the comments section below.
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