Monitoring and measuring the results of an RDC initiative is all too often an over-looked and under-valued part of the implementation process. It is, however, a crucial piece to understanding your program’s current success and determining new or improved ways to ensure the program continues to be successful in the future.

A measurement plan should be in place before the marketing and selling activities even start in order to monitor the program from the very beginning. By determining your goals and objectives at the onset of the program, the measurement piece is really a matter of figuring out which metrics to study and how to measure them so you can determine if you met those goals and objectives. To learn more on getting started and developing goals for an RDC program, refer back to my previous planning post.

Today I’d like to focus on an important tool for measuring the success of your program—surveying your customers/members and staff. What better way to find out if your new product is satisfactory to customers/members or sellable by your staff than asking them directly?

Your customers/members will be able to give your organization valuable feedback about the program, including:

  • Signing up for the service
  • Ease and frequency of use
  • End user support
  • Staff selling and promotions
  • Overall satisfaction and service

Additionally, your in-branch staff can help you determine:

  • Success of the program training
  • Adequacy of materials provided to assist in selling the service
  • Overall quality of the service from their perspective
  • Barriers to service adoption

For a high-level overview of creating effective end user surveys, I recommend this white paper from World App KeySurvey.


Based on my experience surveying clients, some of the most important aspects of surveying to keep in mind are:

  • Survey Length
    • Keep it short, sweet, and to the point
      • People today are ultra-busy, and your customers/members are no exception. Don’t risk respondents dropping off the survey halfway through because the survey was too lengthy or complicated.
      • According to Survey Gismo, internal surveys will receive about a 30-40% response rate, whereas you can expect an average of only 10-15% response rate for external surveys. Research has also shown that surveys on average should take no more than 5-10 minutes to complete—anything longer will likely result in significant abandonment rates.
  • Remember surveying is a process, not a one-time occurrence
    • When surveying your customers, you might be tempted to try to extract every bit of information you possibly can about the customer and their experience. But surveying in its best form is really a process. There will always be the opportunity for follow up surveys in the future to delve into topics that aren’t top priority, but to start, your organization needs to determine what things are most important to know and address right now.
    • Survey Question Structure
      • Write as simply and completely as possible
        • Questions need to be written almost as if you are talking to a child. Use simple language and sentence structure as much as possible to avoid ambiguity and multiple interpretations.
  • Be aware of how your survey pages look
    • Whether you do web or mail surveys, the way each page looks, and the survey in its entirety, matters. Page after page of complex questions with many tiny rows and boxes may scare people away from completing it. Simple questions (e.g. yes or no, single multiple choice) interspersed with your complicated questions (e.g. matrixes where respondents rate their agreement with several statements) are generally less intimidating to respondents.
  • Be careful of leading questions
    • We don’t always mean to do it, but sometimes we can’t help asking questions in a way that supplies the answer to the respondent, or tilting the ratings scale towards a positive response. Try to keep questions general in opinion, such as:
      • Please rate how convenient you found the service.

And stay away from questions like this:

  • We strive to provide the most convenience for our customers. How would you rate the convenience of the service?

Additionally, keep your ratings scales equally balanced with positive and negative options, and try to make those options match, such as this:

  • Please rate how convenient you found the service:
    • 1 Completely Inconvenient
    • 2 Inconvenient
    • 3 Convenient
    • 4 Completely Convenient
    • There is some debate about whether or not to include the “neutral” option, but in my experience, if you offer one, people will often choose it. I prefer to make people take a side-something has to be either convenient or inconvenient; it can’t be neither.
  • For tips on basic question design, I recommend this article from

Remember that creating a valuable survey program takes time, effort, and careful thinking. You’ll likely craft several versions of your survey as you learn what works, what doesn’t, and where you are losing respondents within the survey. But don’t be discouraged or treat surveying as an afterthought—Surveys can be a vital tool for ensuring the ongoing success of your RDC program!