Keep Asking Your Customers!

Last week, we looked into how surveys could help with online reputation management. It seems pretty straight-forward: if you proactively ask your customers about their experience, they are likely to tell you about their positive and negative experiences first before going to social media to tell their friends about it first.

questionmarksWhat’s not so clear-cut is how often you should be administering a customer satisfaction survey as part of a reputation management toolkit.

That answer is pretty easy: as often as you can.

Asking your customers how you’re doing just once doesn’t provide an accurate picture of your organization’s reputation. Asking your customers to provide feedback regularly over time, however, gives you a better picture. In a separate blog post, we covered some viewpoints about sample sizes. In the case of reputation management, you want as many answers as you can as often as you can.

Let’s look at the possible impacts from an in-depth study done twice a year versus a shorter survey administered after every transaction with an organization.


First, let’s say an organization sends out a fairly comprehensive semi-annual customer survey. This survey asks about a number of facets of the customer experience, from their initial perception of the organization through the purchase process and using the product or service they purchased. This survey is sent to all customers who made a purchase in the previous six months. While this feedback might be in-depth, there are a few issues. First, some respondents are being asked to provide feedback on an experience six months ago. Second, let’s say a number of customers had poor experiences six months ago. By the time the organization has run this survey, it’s not only too late to address the experiences the customers had, it’s also now going to be harder to reverse the ratings and perception the customers have had about your company in the past six months.

Employee Satisfaction Surveys Create Happy EmployeesNow, let’s say this same organization decides to run a regular, short customer satisfaction survey that asks a few questions touching on some of the same topics as the in-depth view. The difference is that this time, they’re asking for responses from their customers after every transaction. Every week, they look at the survey responses. For a few months, everything is looking great. Then, one week, they see a slight decline ratings. The second week, that decline gets a little larger. Rather than wait months to learn about the decreasing satisfaction, the organization saw this trend after just two weeks, giving them the opportunity to investigate the issue behind the decrease in satisfaction, address the issue quickly, and keep monitoring to see if satisfaction rates start increasing again.

Learn more about reputation management and what tools to have in your reputation management toolkit at QuestionPro’s live event with Andy Beal, online reputation management expert and author of the new book, Repped: 30 Days to a Better Online Reputation.