Customer surveys can provide spa and salon management valuable information to help your business grow. Here’s how to ask the right questions and get the insights you need.

We live in a golden era of customer insights. The sheer volume of information available through such a wide variety of channels on just about any industry makes it pretty much inexcusable to not be an expert on your own market. From internal reports from your own SaaS solutions (like Book4Time) to studies from industry experts and business schools, marketing departments have more to work with today than ever before.

But, while there is immense value in studying quantitative data, it’s important not to forget another simple method of learning what your customers want and whether you’re providing it: asking them. Crazy, we know!

Customer surveys are easy to create using cloud-based spa software, and should be conducted on an annual basis to track the changing preferences of your market. But how to get the best insights?

 

Define your goals

First, before doing anything, define your goals. What insights do you want to gain from the survey, and how do you plan to use them? Do you want to know how your clients feel about your staff and customer service, or do you want to gauge interest in new treatments? These two subjects will obviously require different sets of questions. Stick to one topic, instead of trying to learn everything in one go. People don’t have all day.

And how do you plan to use the results? If you’re creating a report to impress stakeholders, the structure will differ dramatically from if you want to use the information simply to gauge satisfaction with your staff and make appropriate changes. In case #1 you’re looking for positive responses and in case #2 you’re looking for potential areas of improvement.

 

Research, plan, write – and rewrite! 

Once you know what you want to learn, carefully craft the questions that will draw out useful responses (and don’t waste customer time by asking questions you could find the answers to yourself. Do your research). Ask one specific question at a time. Don’t ask “How satisfied were you with the customer service you received?” What if the receptionist was great but the therapist was impatient and rude? Ask about each experience separately.

 

How to get people to engage and finish the survey

Of course, not everyone is going to answer your questions. How many customer surveys have you ignored? But you can help things along by offering an incentive, like product, service, or loyalty reward, for completing the survey.

And people don’t want to spend an indeterminate amount of time that could be two minutes or 20. Let them know their progress or how many questions you’re about to ask, so they know what they’re in for.

And keep it short. Don’t ask about every aspect of your business. Pick a goal and stick to it. Not everyone agrees with me. This article on Inc.com recommends that you “ask a lot of questions.” But, with all due respect to the author, I don’t think this is good advice. Attention is a finite resource and research from OpinionLab shows that people only have so much of it to spare for your survey. Their research found, among other things, that 80% of customers have abandoned a survey halfway through, and 52% said they would not spend more than three minutes filling out a survey.

 

Know the limits of self reporting

Finally, surveys should by no means be your only source of information. Human beings are notoriously unreliable self reporters and the things we say we want are often not reflected in our actual behaviours. But as an adjunct means of gathering information they can be invaluable.

Book4Time.com offers a cloud-based spa software to help spa and salon management handle online spa booking, spa reporting, and more all in one place. Book4Time.com also offers powerful marketing tools to handle your customer surveys, loyalty programs, scheduling, payroll and more. Learn what all the hype is about. www.Book4Time.com

(Image: Copyright : warrengoldswain)