tabsurvey blog

Customer Happiness Or Not

“Were you happy or not with your experience today?”

You have probably been asked this question on more than one occasion. Either when you were doing your shopping online or visiting a physical store or outlet.


The trend of having a device placed near the exit of a store has come to stay. You meet them in airports, on gas stations and convenience stores and many other places. It’s a trend that has evolved rapidly for various reasons: For one, it signals to the customer that: “Hey, we care about you as our customer”, which I guess is a good thing. It also gives the surveyor (e.g. the retailer) some sort of indication of how the store is doing in terms of customer satisfaction – i.e. were they happy or not. Also, quite nifty if you want to run a successful business.

Asking is committing

However, there are some issues that are inherent to this way to interacting with the customer. When someone is asked about his or her experience, and experience wasn’t all that great, then as a customer or a respondent, you expect your experience to change for the better the next time you visit the store. For instance, let’s assume you went to a store to purchase a pair of pants, and they didn’t have your size. On the way out you’re asked about your experience on one of those smiley stands. You look around to see if anyone is watching before you smack the red angry smiley with your hand.

are customers happy or notLater that week, the store manager reviews the answers of the week, and notices your negative response. But she also thinks to herself: “Our average score is up from the week before, so I guess the new displays we had installed really worked!”

You go back to the store the following week, only to find that the store still doesn’t have your size. The disconnect between question and answer is obvious, nevertheless the smiley stand is more popular than ever.

The missing link

In our view, the appropriate way to interact with the visiting customer is obviously to ask about the shopping experience. But it’s also important to have a follow-up question to understand the why. Why was the customer happy or not, what was missing? What could be done to improve the experience?

customer happiness

From my experience in working with retailers over the past 11 years, I know that if you want to work with a KPI – for instance customer satisfaction, it’s not enough to measure it. You also need to understand specifically how to improve it. Does the store need to staff up during peak periods? Do they need to be more attentive to product range and availability? Does staff meet the customers in a friendly and helpful way? Does anyone really care about the new displays? The list goes on, and you really won’t know, if you don’t ask.



You can seek inspiration on what great questions to ask in this voice of the customer case, or in this blog post. Be sure to also visit this guide on how to avoid typical pitfalls when placing your device in the store.


Survey methods for better strategic fit

The two sides to business feedback (Part 2)

Last article gave an account of the two main approaches to surveys; namely, push and pull. Today’ blog will focus on getting the mix right for you and your organisation. We give you four essential questions that, when answered, will give you a clearer view of your best fit in terms of survey methods.

Getting to the right mix is not a one solution fix for all companies and will change along with context. Rather, it is a roadmap to understanding important factors of influence. What is a best fit for your organisation will likely fail for others. So, factor in the difference, take what you can use from the questions below and find your ideal fit!


Continue reading →

push pull survey strategy

Survey strategy for cost-efficiency, culture and needs

The two sides to business feedback (Part 1)

Setting a good approach for your survey is an important step to getting the good results that you want! Today’s article will focus on which survey strategy to use to collect data. Namely push and pull. These two approaches are similar to marketing efforts. Continue reading →

subjective questions result in survey mistakes

Avoid making these survey mistakes

Avoid survey mistakes with these tips!

Have you ever been asked one of those irritating questions where you don’t know exactly how to respond? We call them survey mistakes, as the surveyor often doesn’t intend for these to happen, but they are still very annoying for the responder.

Imagine you are at a mall and go into a store. There they ask for feedback from their customers. You get prompted with a “Hi, please give us some feedback” on an iPad device. Next up you see the questions, one of which might sound something like “Did you find what you were looking for?” (Yes/No).

Now imagine how a person could potentially respond to this question. If they walked in just to browse through what you have, then the question is probably quite hard to answer. The question assumes that everyone is looking for something specific. If they found what they were looking for, but maybe not in the right size/colour, then a yes or no question also makes answering difficult. Yes, they found what they were looking for, but not exactly.

Continue reading →

better survey structure

Stronger brand image through better survey structure

Collect more data and ensure a positive experience for your responders

A how-to-guide on designing a better survey structure

There are many important aspects to consider when you are designing a survey. Each is good for it’s own purpose and depend in large by the nature of your survey. You might look solely on the forming of the questions and deal with bias and validity. You could also view the survey as an in-depth overview of several areas and create a large generic survey. Here at tabsurvey, we go for the simple, small survey that is easy on the eye and get a lot of answers. In similar vain as previous posts on placement and appeal, todays blog looks to designing a better survey structure that is easy to respond to and reflects well on you or your organization.

improve survey structure

Often when a company or a person decide to work with surveys, it stems from a need for more information. This could be information about a specific subject i.e. customers, employees, happiness, brand perception etc. This need can come as an epiphany of suddenly realizing that there are areas of knowledge deficit (four stage competence building) or simply from new industry dynamic indicators. We believe that acknowledging areas of knowledge deficit is a major step for improvement (hey, we live from this need). However, there are often issues with the first few surveys that are designed. Today’s blog will go through some of the major issues that we see in surveys.

One concern when working with typical surveys is the abandonment rate – the percentage of which responders discontinue the survey. Research show, as a survey reaches 30 questions or more, the percentage of respondents who fulfil the entire survey decreases drastically – 10 percent dropout for every 20 questions asked (Research paper & SubscriptionInsider). This research is for the standard online survey taken at the respondents’ own leisure. This percentage sees a higher escalation with a physical location as you are ‘interrupting’ responders in their daily lives. Your customers will most likely not appreciate having to stand next to the cash register plotting in answers for more than a minute.

Why asking 30 questions is plain old rude

As we discussed in placement and appeal, the attraction rate is crucial to generate a lot of data. In essence, the attraction rate is the percentage of customers you can attract to your physical survey. If you wish to attract higher numbers of responders to your survey, you need consider a few things. A good idea is to state how many questions you are asking or how long the survey will take. If you downplay the time it will take, abandonment rate increases as customers become frustrated. This frustration might create an unfavorable attitude towards your survey or your brand. On the other hand, if you are transparent about your 35+-question survey, attracting responders becomes increasingly difficult with higher number of questions in your survey. In a sense a survey with Tabsurvey that has a lot of questions balances on a tradeoff between attraction-rate or abandonment-rate.

So how do you avoid the trade-off? The solution is simple.

Ask fewer questions

ask fewer questions

We see the best results when surveys are designed with less than 10 questions – ideally a maximum of 7 questions. This number of questions takes around 30 to 40 seconds to answer for the respondent. At the same time it yields enough data to compute correlations or delve into deeper insights.

You might now be thinking that 7 questions are not nearly enough to cover your need of information. Your need from the epiphany is more encompassing and 7 questions is not enough to cover your need. But 7 questions is actually a lot if you keep a clear focus on the purpose of your survey. There are several ways to gain the more specific knowledge with tabsurvey. For instance, if you are looking for causes, a multiple select question can cover what several questions can accomplish, in one. If you want specific knowledge on a target group then you can incorporate flows into your survey. So while the survey contains i.e. 13 questions, each responder will only be faced with 7 questions as the flow is created from previous answers.

Unfocused survey

One of the major pitfalls we see in surveys is managers’ that try to generate a numerous streams of data from the customers, jumping from one area of focus to another. These surveys are often characterized as large surveys, which cover a broad range of very different questions. These questions go from; factual information → purchase behaviour → brand perception → customer experience → employee performance → NPS all in one survey (not necessarily in that order).

Talk about question overload.

We recommend that you stay on topic (remember the focus of your survey). It is better to go in-depth with a physical survey than grasp at everything. If there are several areas you need information, then why not split the survey into part and conduct them through different channels or locations. Remember, it is free information given to you from the customers, so don’t transgress on their willingness to help.

If you are sitting at the end of this blog and still wondering why designing your survey is important then reflect back on the previous post. We, as in people, consume ideas and information. How this information is designed, impacts our attitude towards the sender. For a company who is using tabsurvey, remember that the way you communicate reflects back on your brand, your professionalism, the identity of the company and the general perception customers have of you.

Consider the effect on the customer if you start the survey with the message “help us improve – answer a few questions” and it actually takes 5 minutes to finish.

How does this reflect back on you?


Any person creating and working with surveys should always hold focus on what is important for the survey. To structure a survey that sends a good image of your company, work with flows so questions build upon previous answered questions. This sends the message that you are in a sense listening to your customers and aware of their previous answers. Next, to ensure a low rate of abandonment, stick to the agreed upon expectations of the survey – stay transparent in your dealings with customers. Lastly, to generate as many answers as possible, limit your questions to a maximum of 7. This is important to not transgress on customer’s willingness to give feedback.

Stay tuned for our next blog on the art of writing questions for optimal responses.

hook more customers to survey

Are you persuading customers to respond to your survey?

How to hook more customers to your survey

In the previous blog, we discussed the placement of the survey was important for decreasing response pain. We wrote on how to look at the customer journey and factors to consider when blueprinting your survey placement. Today’s blog has a more positive approach to the survey. We focus on how your company can hook more customers to respond to your survey. What is crucial in the split seconds when decisions are made on whether or not to respond? We will look to customer’s initial impression of the survey and give a how-to, to get more customers to engage with a stationary survey system. Continue reading →

improving your survey placement

Are you asking your questions the right place?

Improving your survey placement

Do you ever wonder how you can receive quality answers and a lot of them? Well, one of the low-hanging fruits is simply by improving your survey placement.

”Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” – Anthony Robbins

While asking the right question is the beginning to all great insights, asking them at the right time and place is also crucial. This is probably a larger truth with a stationary system like tabsurvey that has no human administration. Today’s blog look at the customer journey and help you blueprint when and where to ask your questions. Continue reading →

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