Why Customer Surveys are Critical to a Company’s Success
No matter how many customers you have, if those customers are not satisfied, you won’t have them for long. Despite this fact, many companies don’t invest in one of the most important ways to gage customer satisfaction: customer surveys.
The damage just one unsatisfied customer can wreak on a company is significant. Even if you have hundreds of satisfied customers, just one dissatisfied customer can have far-reaching implications. When it comes to word-of-mouth, for example, hearing that ten people are happy with your services won’t undo the damage of one person saying they were dissatisfied.
The best customer surveys involve more than just a yes or no answer. They delve into the thought process behind how a customer views your company. If you are on the fence about whether or not you should commission such a survey, here are some things to consider:
- Not all customers are equally satisfied – or dissatisfied – with a company. When asked whether or not a customer is pleased with your company’s products or services, a yes or no answer seldom tells the whole story. Instead, your survey needs to delve deeper. For example, why are you satisfied? What would increase your satisfaction?
- People want to know their opinion counts. When a customer feels that a company values their opinion, they are more likely to remain loyal to that company.
- Customer surveys provide the opportunity to improve service for all customers. There is no better way to improve product and services than to hear from actual customers who purchase your products. This type of input is something many companies pay top dollar for in the form of things like focus groups.
All customer surveys are not created equal, however. The best surveys will be long enough to get important information but brief enough to hold a customer’s attention. Remember, people are busy so don’t waste their time. A survey should not take more than a minute or two and you need to let them know that upfront that it won’t take any longer.
It also is important to only ask questions that are impactful and require open-ended answers. Shy away from yes or no questions that do little to help you understand your customer and that are easy for people to answer mindlessly.
Finally, more important than the data you glean from your customer surveys is what you do with that information. If you don’t plan to critically examine the information you have obtained, there is no reason to conduct surveys. Likewise, don’t overact to one response – whether positive or negative. What you are looking for are trends that you can use to improve your products or services across the board, and in ways which will benefit the greatest number of customers.