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The recurring customer and employee annual survey follows the same year-on-year process; the same questions, similar results, similar actions…
Photo by Aakash Dhage
Sometimes, the annual survey can turn into a ‘tick-box exercise’ with thoughts of “we scored a bit higher/lower this year”, and then a lack of interest, apathy even, shown towards the report and any meaningful follow-up action. When it’s an employee survey, staff perhaps become resigned to nothing being done with their views and opinions. (What’s with those falling response rates, anyone?)
If you have been running an annual survey – to your customers or employees – for more than a couple of years, then we have a challenge for you:
Ask yourself these three questions…
1. Who is the survey for?
Who looks at the results? Is it limited to an Exec Board type meeting item, or a PDF that lives in managers’ inboxes? (No doubt this wasn’t the intention, just how it is now)
The challenge is to review your objectives with who ‘owns’ the survey, and review what happens with the results and insight. Can you bring the survey alive with new focus across the whole process of collecting and reviewing all the feedback?
You might want to start by asking who uses the survey results, and how does (or could) it help them?
2. What do you actually need from your survey, now?
What is, or was, the objective of the survey?
Things change – processes, technology, the rules… So do priorities and plans, people, managers.
The next challenge is review the research objectives. What actions and plans will the survey support?
3. What insight are you getting?
Nice to know doesn’t help us much.
If there are gaps in the insight – now is the time to review, and update the survey content.
Reports got a bit boring? Consistent scores year-on-year can be a good thing when part of the survey’s purpose is to monitor service levels or track behaviours like customer loyalty.
Scores fallen, but not sure why? Or results have been explained away? It is worth taking another look at the data – drill down and slice the data, there are nearly always clues.
But stale data is probably a sign that you’re not getting genuine insight, or that the survey has fulfilled its role (for now) and the next-steps-after the survey needs to happen.
New Year, new survey?
At the start of the year everyone talks about reflecting and what to tackle or change in the coming year. Why not rate your survey? Are you happy with the outcomes; do you feel more informed, does the survey deliver value? Could it do more?
Can we help? Contact us!