We know we don't live in a perfect world so there is no definitive answer to this question but consider the following two factors.
What's in it for the customer?
Put yourself in your customer or target respondents shoes - Why should they participate in your customer feedback surveys in the first place? Sad but true these days, there must be some kind of perceived value to them. The promise of improved service may be enough of an incentive. But promising them something of potential immediate personal value like a discount voucher is more likely to get you a response. And remember, if rewards are higher, the customer may be more forthcoming with answering longer surveys or privacy related questions. Basic human curiosity is enough to get you initial feedback. Changing and varying the rewards you give is often enough to encourage repeat feedback.
What is the purpose of my survey?
We suggest to you that customer feedback is a continuous process which creates evolutionary improvements to your business. Because it is such a potentially valuable source for new ideas as well as helping identify how you can improve your existing business we recommend every business has some form of simple continuous customer feedback, which you can dip in and out of as much as you choose to.
Then there are what we call the special projects. These are one-off research projects with a defined closed purpose or restricted time value on which you will make a specific business decision like, for example, testing out a new menu or a new colour. As feedback is gotten to assist with a specific end purpose these kind of customer feedback surveys are most helpful to avoid you making costly business mistakes. Our view, always, is if you are not sure, why not ask?
You are not necessarily going to get the right answer even if you ask for opinions. But how many times have you been in a personal situation, unsure of something, and turned to friends for their opinion. Regardless of how big your business is, your customers are your friends. Treat them as such by consulting with them when you are unsure. The majority will be pleased to help you. Your friends are not always right but they usually value you asking them so long as its not intrusive or constant. At the end of the day, the most consistent and best decisions are made based on fact than supposition.
So to conclude, “how often should I survey my customers?” the best answer is, "often enough to get the most information, but not so often as to upset the customer". In real terms, the frequency with which you conduct a cleint feedback survey depends on the frequency with which you interact with your customers.
For example your satellite television licence renews every twelve months. It would be silly for them to ask you each month what you think of the last renewal experience. But if they asked you every 2 months what you thought of the programming they might be able to react better when it comes to the next renewal process. Conversely, if a train company surveys the commuters on my train into work only once a year, they will miss important changes in their attitudes that may be driven by seasonal events.
So get started today with a simple survey with your FREE SurveyMe trial account. We have made is really easy for you by creating simple templates which you can use and edit.