Are your surveys customer-centric? Many are not and that’s a problem.

Surveys, surveys, surveys. I am sure you get them; I know I do. And I think it is likely that, like most people I know, you delete most of them, unless of course someone or some company has done something outstandingly good or bad.

This is just one problem with surveys. They tend to get traction on the ends of the scale, really great or really bad. What about the stuff in between? A lot of that gets missed.

Another problem is that they are usually built for the person who wants the data rather than those charged with providing the data. This is odd since you would think a person immersed in customer experience (CX) like a CX professional would want to build a survey that considers the customer’s needs.

Recently, I was talking to a CX professional about the different scales used in surveys. They typically range from simple yes or no to 5-point, 7-point, and 10-point Likert scales. The person I spoke with was adamant about 10-point scales being best. “They allow much better analysis of dissatisfaction drivers.” My response was that that might be good for you but not for the customer filling it out. I know when I am a customer, I hate 10-point scales. I spend way too much time trying to decide between a 5 and a 6. I mean, what’s the difference really?

In this person’s defense, as a customer experience professional trying to find the best place to begin improving, 10 points is great. Many data points provide more detail and a better feel for love and hate because 1 is a much farther cry from 10 than 1 is from 3.

What about the customer though? Ten points? Yikes. I have heard many a person say that the minute they see 10 possible ratings, they hit delete, it’s too much to think about. Much like me, they simply cannot be bothered with trying to decide between a 9 and 10, 7 and 8, or 4 and 5.

So, if you are a CX pro and you are struggling to get feedback from customers. Are your surveys customer-centric or CX-pro-centric? If you are asking your organization to focus on the customer, you might want to look in the mirror and see if you are.

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