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Contributed by Janitorial Manager

The better your business is, the more customers you will attract, and the more you can expand. When determining what areas to improve on, there are a lot of ways you can look for information, but one of the best ways to gain valuable insight is through commercial cleaning surveys sent to your customers.

Done well, cleaning surveys give you the chance to see your business through your customers’ eyes. You can discover new areas in need of improvement and find out why your customers do or don’t want to continue doing business with you. 

With that being said, there can be a downside to surveys as there’s always the chance of a customer submitting faulty information. With two sides to the coin, here are some tips to try in order to get the most out of your surveys and avoid any misinformation.

10 Tips to Creating Helpful Commercial Cleaning Surveys 

1. Make it enticing. 

This has to do with your email subject line. When sending your surveys through email, try to make your subject line something that people want to open. For example, instead of a subject line that just reads, “Survey,” try something like, “Your Feedback Can Make a Difference Today.” The goal is to keep the subject line short, around 7 words or less, truthful to the content within, and compelling enough to drive interest.

2. Make it anonymous. 

There are pros and cons to this, but it’s more likely you’ll get honest answers if the survey recipients don’t need to identify themselves. The downside is, if you receive negative feedback without a name, you won’t be able to personally follow up with that customer. In most situations, however, the pros of anonymous surveys will outweigh the bad. SmartSurvey includes some helpful information when it comes to using anonymous surveys, including a reminder to be clear and upfront in the beginning of your survey that the recipient’s identity will remain anonymous. This will allow you to receive the most truthful answers you possibly can.

3. Keep it short.

 According to studies, shorter surveys have greater engagement and produce higher quality data. If you’ve ever completed a survey that seemed to go on page after page, you understand why short surveys are so important. It’s crucial to keep your cleaning surveys under 10 questions or 5 minutes, otherwise, you risk people giving up on it before they’re through. 

4. Tell your customers how long the survey is.

 Along with keeping it short, when you send your survey out, be clear on how many questions there will be. If you spread out your questions one per page, be sure to note at the beginning of the survey how many questions and pages there are to complete. Knowing the number of questions ahead of time makes it much easier for recipients to follow through till the end.

5. Standardize the answers. 

This is where many cleaning surveys can run into trouble. However, when done correctly, standardizing the responses makes it less confusing for your respondents and easier for you to understand the results. For example, if you use a number scale of 1-5, where 1 is most important, and 5 is least important, keep that system in place throughout the entire survey. 

6. Make the questions answerable on a scale. 

For instance, the question “Is it important to you that we use eco-friendly cleaning products?” doesn’t quite fit with a number scale. It’s more of a yes or no question. However, with a question such as, “On a scale of 1-5, how important is it to you that we use eco-friendly cleaning products?” your customer can easily make their selection based on importance.

7. Avoid leading questions. 

A leading question is one that tries to influence a certain response. For example, if a cleaning survey asked, “Our best customers use eco-friendly cleaning products- How important are these products to you?” the recipient will most likely say they are important. After all, they want to see themselves as a good customer. A better way to phrase the question would be, “How important are eco-friendly products to you?”

8. Keep the questions clear. 

For your customers to answer your questions accurately, they need to know what you’re asking. For example, if you want to know about safety, you can’t just ask customers how vital safety is to them. Of course, safety is important to everyone, so this won’t give you much information. Instead, you need to narrow it down. A more specific question could be, “How important is it to you that our team members are trained in CPR?”  

9. Ask one question at a time. 

Here’s another place where cleaning surveys can trip up your recipient and give you faulty information. If you ask questions that clients can only answer on a 1-5 scale or with a yes or no answer, then you need to limit your questions so they are only asking one thing. A question such as, “How important is it that our team is trained in CPR and self-defense?” is actually two questions. You’re asking about CPR and self-defense; one may be important to your clients while the other isn’t which makes it hard to get an accurate answer.

10. Include space for comments. 

Some customers may be content to just check off the boxes as they move through a survey, while others may have additional thoughts they want to share. While you don’t need to have a comment box after every question, you could simply add a space for comments at the end of the survey to accommodate those who do want to share more.

Bonus Tip: Have you ever taken a survey where you can’t move on to the next question until you answer the question you’re currently on? This can be frustrating and deter the participant from completing the survey. Be sure to make the process as simple as possible for your customers and avoid “mandatory” questions. 

Lastly, there are numerous options for sending out surveys. SurveyMonkey is one of the better known platforms, but there are several other options available, such as Google Forms, to choose from.

Once you get your survey results, don’t ignore the wealth of information that you’ve received. Remember, surveys give you a relatively unbiased look at your business through valuable customer feedback that can help you become a stronger, more successful cleaning organization.