CHS® Survey Best Practices

Over here at The Customer Happiness Score® HQ, we know that an authentic, fair survey produces the best results. We’d all like our feedback to be as positive as possible, but if it doesn’t truly reflect how our customers feel, what’s the point?


With that in mind, we have a list of best practices that we thought you might like to see…



Mind your language


Avoid using emotive language in your brand message or question. By focusing on the sender’s feelings more than the customer’s, it can evoke a particular reaction from the reader and manipulate survey results.


It can also mean that the message or question is perceived either positively or negatively, which decreases the likelihood of a rational response. Contacts will be more likely to respond instinctively.


Emotionless language may seem dull, but it is crucial for a professional and reliable survey.


Phrases to avoid:


  • “We’d love to hear what you think!”
  • “Be brutally honest – we won’t mind!”
  • “We’re really sorry to see you go. We’d really appreciate your feedback.”


Similarly, we’d also advise that you eliminate any descriptive words. These can introduce bias and influence how the customer responds. Always try to avoid hinting at a specific result – your survey shouldn’t be prompting in any way.


Phrases to avoid:


  • “Thanks for visiting the most romantic place on Earth!”
  • “How do you feel about your experience at our five-star restaurant?”
  • “How do you feel about your fun-filled day at the best theme park in the country?”



Keep it simple


The beauty of a CHS survey is the simplicity. It has just one question and takes less than a minute to complete. The less you ask your customers, the more likely they are to answer.


We understand that you probably have lots of questions you want to ask. What do they think of your customer service? Will they recommend you? Will they return?


However, resist the temptation of sneaking in an extra question. Your results won’t be accurate because you won’t know which question the customer is answering when selecting a face.


Examples include:


  • “How do you feel about your experience and the service you received?”
  • “How do you feel about your membership and the gym equipment?”
  • “How do you feel about our business and how likely are you to recommend us?”



Don’t point out the best answer


Believe it or not, we’ve seen all sorts of surveys that have a not-so-subtle gesture towards the best result.


This could be in the form of a glaringly obvious arrow or finger pointing directly at the desired response. Or it could be a tad more indirect, such as a person looking towards the ideal answer.


Leading your customers to your desired result, not their own, produces inaccurate feedback. To improve and grow your business, you need to understand what your customers truly think. Unreliable results won’t provide you with the honest insights you need.



Reconsider offering incentives


We know that incentives can encourage more people to complete a survey. Whatever the incentive is, they want it.


However, incentives can greatly skew your results. They influence who completes the survey and why. 


For example, you might be a restaurant offering a discount to everyone who responds. All the customers that love your restaurant will submit your survey. They have motivation – they want that discount. Anyone who isn’t a fan, who doesn’t want to return, won’t bother to complete it. 


This means you’ll mainly hear from your happiest customers. You won’t be aware of the reasons that are discouraging others.


Always try surveying your customers before adding in an incentive. Simply by using CHS®, you’re already seeing a higher fill-in rate than alternative survey tools. We believe that there is no need to incentivise.

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