In agile software development, feedback plays a central role throughout the entire process. However, the advantages of agility extend beyond the realms of project work to have positive effects on all areas of the company, especially on customer relations. Regular feedback loops ensure stronger customer loyalty, for example.
Even if there is an established relationship with the project partners, it can sometimes be useful to conduct a customer survey. Regular feedback meetings on cooperation often do not offer the necessary anonymity and distance for unadorned or open feedback. In addition, a customer survey also helps to obtain a comprehensive overall picture and supports the identification of one's own strengths and weaknesses. For agile companies in particular, where all project work is based on these principles, an agile way of working promotes the success of the company.
Feedback and its correct handling is an important part of long-term project partnerships. A customer survey not only helps to measure satisfaction and further strengthen loyalty, but can also help to improve products and services and adapt them to future needs.
But feedback needs to be collected first. We recently conducted a customer survey ourselves and were able to draw on our many years of experience with internal and external surveys. In this blog post, our Xperts go through the process of conducting a customer survey step by step.
To find out more about the satisfaction of our customers with regard to our performance and cooperation, we simply asked them. An interdisciplinary team consisting of sales, project management, scrum masters and usability engineers was formed and implemented the customer survey together. As in our projects, we work across disciplines at the company level to achieve the best possible results. The team settled relatively quickly on an online survey. This survey method offers significant advantages for both us and the respondents.
Automation of dispatch and data collection saves time and resources compared to traditional methods. In addition, electronic processing allows for faster evaluation of results, resulting in more timely and accurate insights.
For respondents, the online survey offers convenience and flexibility. The opportunity to complete the questionnaire at any time minimises time barriers. Participants can carefully consider their answers and can respond at their own pace. In addition, digital surveys facilitate anonymous participation, which increases the likelihood of more honest and unbiased responses.
Overall, this survey method creates a win-win situation. While it enables us to collect data efficiently, it offers our respondents a convenient and accessible way of participating. Of course, it is also important to comply with the applicable data protection conditions and, if necessary, to supplement or update the relevant sections on one's own website.
At a first kick-off meeting, the goals and the group of recipients were defined. It was particularly important to clarify what we actually wanted to achieve or find out with the customer survey. In order to receive feedback that was actually relevant to us, we constantly refined our goals and compared them with the stakeholders. The rough concept, including costs, was presented to our management and approved after a thorough evaluation.
After we had a rough idea of our goals, we started to create the questionnaire. It was important for us to use standardised questions as much as possible. These are scientifically proven, validated and easier to replicate. They also have a high discriminatory power. For our survey, we used the NPS and CSAT questionnaires, among others.
However, in order to get as accurate a picture as possible of our customers, it was necessary to develop our own questions as well. Above all, the many years of experience and expertise of our usability engineers were a great help to us in this.
There is almost no questionnaire that is completed in full by all participants. Individual factors such as time restrictions, lack of interest in the questions asked or ambiguities in the instructions can lead to premature drop-out. However, there are ways to minimise the dropout rate. The lower the number of questions, the lower the probability of the questionnaire being abandoned. Constant refinement of our objectives helped us to keep the questionnaire as short as possible. Another factor that has a significant impact on the dropout rate is the design of the questions themselves. The more varied they are, the higher the likelihood that the questionnaire will be filled out completely.
Additionally, when drafting our own questions, we took care not to influence respondents by the way we asked them. For the possible answers we decided to use the Likert scale. It allows us to collect precise and quantifiable data that is comparatively uncomplicated to evaluate. It offers our clients a simple and familiar method to express their views in a differentiated way. Since we cannot assume that all respondents have the same technical knowledge, we also included info boxes and examples in brackets to avoid misunderstandings.
It is important to test the questionnaire repeatedly and to strongly consider the stakeholders in order to adapt it as well as possible to the defined goals. Here, too, it is the iterative procedure that ultimately leads to success. Due to an existing licence and our previous experience, we decided to use LimeSurvey as our survey tool.
LimeSurvey already offers a wide range of powerful survey analysis tools. This includes ready-made reports that present the survey results in descriptive graphs and tables, as well as the ability to filter and segment data as needed. In addition, LimeSurvey allows data to be exported in various formats, supports statistical analysis and conditional logic.
Above all, extracting the information relevant to us is indispensable for further evaluations. In order to be able to compare the values better, we analysed them on a project-by-project basis. With future surveys in mind, we were particularly interested in the average values. This makes it easier to determine over time whether, for example, improvement attempts were successful.
The insights gained from the customer survey are crucial to continuously improving our processes and products. Agile principles help us to quickly gather feedback, respond to it and derive efficient measures for optimisation. We do not consider this customer survey as a single event, but as part of our continuous improvement process. Currently, different departments in the company (sales, management, project management) are already working on further steps to make the best possible use of the valuable feedback from our customers.
The combination of agile software development and an agile approach at company level enables us to respond flexibly to customer needs, drive innovation and build and maintain long-term customer relationships. Agility is more than just a buzzword - it is an essential part of our corporate culture and plays a significant role in developing us as well as our expertise.
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