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Blog: The One-Question Customer Survey

Customer surveys can be a good idea. They provide you with a client scorecard and simple evaluation to determine if you met or even exceeded your customer’s expectations. If done correctly, they can also be great sales tools!  

I want to review a simple client survey that will not only let you know how you did but will also set the stage for future referrals. This should be the outcome of any effective survey.

This is called the one-question survey, and it’s both simple and brilliant! Here is how it works:

•    At the completion of every job, let your clients know that you will be emailing them a simple one-question survey that will take 30 seconds to complete (see sample below).

•    Here is the question: “How likely are you to refer us to a friend or neighbor (on a scale of 1 to 10)?” That’s it!

•    Ask them to complete the survey, hit reply and send it right back to you (due to the survey simplicity, you should have a high response rate).

•    After receiving each survey, make a point of responding to every customer:

o    If you get a positive response, make sure that you (or a key employee) call those clients to thank them for the opportunity to work with them.

o    If you didn’t get a score of 8 or above, make sure that you call those clients because it’s clear you didn’t meet their expectations. You now have the opportunity to fix or respond to your client’s complaint.

Key benefit: In every follow-up call, thank your customers for the opportunity to work with them. If they had a good experience, you have the opportunity to ask if they know a friend or neighbor who would benefit from your services. The survey gives you the opportunity to ask this question. Three out of four customers will say “No,” but you have generated an opening to get positive responses from the other 25 percent. Additional work will come from this approach. 

If there are any concerns you need to address, the survey allows you to learn that you have an unhappy customer. This will give you another opening. A 2012 Remodeling magazine survey showed customers who had project issues that were resolved actually gave the company better satisfaction scores than customers who experienced no issues whatsoever. A positive response to a customer complaint can actually raise your customer ratings! How does it get better than that?

One-Question Survey Example

We appreciate you taking a moment to give us your feedback on the job we just completed for you. Please give us a numerical rating below and then click “reply.” It’s that simple! This helps us to monitor the quality of our work and also lets you tell us what we could do better.

Question # 1: How likely are you to refer us to a friend or a colleague? (Circle the appropriate number below)

1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10

(0 = highly unlikely, 10 = very likely)

Question # 2: Comments (positive or negative). If you didn’t give us a 10, what do we need to do better?


Conclusion: Use my template above. Put your letterhead at the top of each survey so that you customize it for your company. Is there any reason not to start doing this with every job you complete? It works!


David Lupberger is author of the book, "Managing the Emotional Homeowner." To receive your free copy, contact David at David@RemodelForce.com.
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