Ask the Right Questions to Improve Your Survey’s Effectiveness

Last week, FEI marketing whiz Marka taught savvy salesperson Zoot and head honcho Org how in-person surveys can help businesses uncover useful information and strengthen customer relationships. This week, she tells Zoot how to develop intelligent survey questions. Remember, fire = print.

Zoot strolled into Marka’s office one morning. “So far 17 customers have signed up to take a brief in-person survey at next week’s Fire Expo conference,” he said. “This will be great! Surveying these customers will allow us to build better relationships with them.”

“Have you developed a list of survey questions yet?” Marka asked.

“Oops,” Zoot said. “I thought you were going to do that.”

“Let’s do it together,” Marka suggested. “When coming up with these questions, we need to strike a fine balance. We don’t want every question to focus on what FEI’s already doing well. What’s the point of doing that?”

“On the other hand, we don’t want to only focus on what needs improvement,” Zoot said, following Marka’s line of reasoning. “Certainly, we should ask questions whose answers we might not want to hear. But asking too many questions like that may put customers in a negative frame of mind. Some might even walk away from the survey questioning whether the FEI relationship is as strong as they thought.”

“You’re right on target, Zoot,” Marka agreed. “To counteract this potential issue, let’s make sure every question that invites criticism has a follow-up that asks, ‘How can we improve or correct this in the future?’ That will get customers thinking about the brighter future instead of pains they may have encountered in the past.”

Together Marka and Zoot brainstormed some survey questions. They arrived at this final list:

1) How satisfied are you with your relationship with FEI? What can we do to improve?

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Comments
  • steve

    I wish you could write a normal article. Zoot, Zat, Powee!

    I often try to read your articles because they sound helpful but after a couple of ZOOTs and MARKA, i just give up.

  • tjtedesco

    Hey Steve – Got your point! Over the past couple of decades, I’ve authored 1,000s of blog posts and tech tips, 100s of articles and 7 books published by PIA. It’s not that I’m tired of normal-style communications, but I wanted to try the business fable genre for this blog.