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Six Questions You Need to Ask on Your Next Student Survey

Posted by Dean Asher on 1/8/15 7:09 AM
Topics: college store customer service, retail management

Even with social media being a click of the mouse away, getting feedback from customers feels like it can be hard. Getting feedback you can actually use to improve your service to students may be even harder. Jeannie Walters at doesn't think it has to be, and offers six questions that can get the most actionable feedback. We've included the first three here, but to see the full list, visit their site.


Who can deny that gathering feedback (not just plain old generic "rate our service" feedback, but actionable customer feedback) is crucial to providing excellent service?

However, it can be very difficult to actually go looking for feedback. You have to dive in head first, tell your ego to go take a long walk, and be prepared to face some hard-to-swallow truths about your business and (gasp!) yourself.

A study by Dimensional Research shows that excellent customer service trumps pricing, ranking the highest among key influences on brand trust, and ultimately, customer lifetime value.

Needless to say, it's important to ask questions. But it's also easy to ask questions that lead the witness. "Have we met your expectations" is a lame question to ask a customer. What can you learn from it if they say yes? What if they say no? Is that information really actionable?

Probably not.

You can easily ask customers more actionable questions to get the most out of those rare moments when you actually have the chance to ask them. Here are a few great examples:

1. Extract more specific feedback from compliments.

Ask: "What specific items or actions pleased you the most?"

I once received the mind-blowing answer of "You do a great job communicating the state of the big picture." The "big picture" was totally not the focus of the initiative or even what I thought worked. The real focus was all about the individual touchpoints and microinteractions, but I'm thankful I received this response because it enlightened me in ways I was able to build on and expand for future projects.

2. Zero in on the "Meh" parts of the experience.

Ask: "What would you like to see us add to our inventory or layout?"

We humans often don't know what we really want. Asking "what would make you satisfied?" leads to a lot of "um" and "I'm really not sure" replies. "What should we add" encourages customers to think more about what's missing.

3. Conquer the frustrating parts of the experience.

Ask: "How could we make it easier?"

Remove the limitations your customer has. Consider ways they can help you help them. We often assume certain things can't change, then we sit frozen like deer in the headlights overcome with frustration. If we lift those restrictions on our thinking, we can better visualize how things COULD be, which is liberating and empowering.

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