Customers are at the core of all types of businesses. Whether you sell products, services, or technical support, you need clients to keep your business running. In many business archetypes, however, many businesses seem to lose sight of that fact. Whether it’s because all of their customers are obtained and managed digitally, or because the client relationship isn’t a traditional one, customer experiences often end up feeling robotic, transactional, and impersonal.
As a business owner, you have to do everything in your power to prevent your customers from feeling this way. When customers don’t get a personalized and human experience with your business, they won’t feel valued. Even if this feeling doesn’t strike them right away, you can’t build brand loyalty without making your customers feel special, valued, and most importantly, understood.
Why You Have to Do Customer Surveys
As has already been discussed, customers are at the core of your business. Whether your clients are individual people or large corporations, there are always people on the other end sending money to your business in exchange for something. You no doubt understand how easy it is for a satisfied customer to become dissatisfied. Maybe you’ve been there yourself. In retrospect, many interactions, even small and meaningless ones, end up turning customers away for life. In these scenarios, customer surveys can help you in a couple of different ways.
First, an online survey can help you to win back these customers. You’ve no doubt had disagreements with personal friends or your family members in the past. Don’t you find that discussing the disagreement helps to resolve matters? Even if nothing changes, coming to an understanding of why your friend or family member said or did whatever it was that upset them can help you to repair the relationship. Your customers are people too, just like you are. Allowing them to express their dissatisfaction gives you an opportunity to help them to feel understood. It’s at this point that you can better understand what’s going wrong in your business. Maybe these are big problems that deserve serious attention, or maybe this customer actually expected something unreasonable. In either case, you can improve matters. One the one hand, you can make improvements so that other customers don’t feel abused in the future. On the other hand, you could make improvements to the process or messaging so that other customers have more proper expectations.
Second, surveys can help you to craft new business experiences, products, or services. You don’t have to use surveys in the same way that many retailers do. If crafted correctly, you can learn a lot about your customers’ needs and wants. Perhaps there’s a product that could fill those gaps. In the end, this will be a benefit, not only to you but also to all of your customers who will have these needs served. In reality, surveys can be used, not just to improve customer interactions, but also to create new sources of revenue, smooth out business practices, and remove inefficiencies across your business.
How to Craft and Deliver a Fantastic Customer Survey
Delivery is a very crucial key to your success when it comes to surveys. Many retailers take the approach of leaving information on the survey at the end of their receipts and leaving matters entirely up to customers. Sure, some of your customers may follow that link and answer a few questions, but most customers will ignore this opportunity. It’s important to again stress the importance of making your customers feel valued, and that they are getting personalized service. Sticking a link at the end of your receipt certainly ensures that many of your customers will receive an opportunity to take the survey, but it also feels impersonal. Have you ever been to a store and received a shopping bag with the words “thank you” printed in big, bold letters? Did this make you feel appreciated? Most people don’t even notice these words. Why? Because it’s impersonal. Your customers will know that your company made no effort to thank them for their business. They will only truly feel appreciated if they are thanked personally. The blanket approach of leaving a link on a receipt is more likely to result in receiving surveys only from individuals who were extremely pleased, or very displeased with their experience. This leaves out the most valuable surveys.
The best way to counteract this is to verbally ask customers for their feedback. If you run a store, ask customers who come in. Explain to them that your business places a lot of value on individual customers, and would love to have their personal and honest feedback.
Next, make sure your surveys are as short as possible. More than ever before, customers are busy. Even though a twenty question survey may only take five minutes to complete, most customers will lose interest before it’s finished. If possible, use less than five questions, and keep the questions and answers simple.
Don’t ask questions that don’t have any value to your business. Questions like “how would you rate your service” may or may not actually help you improve your business. Consider this, if you ask that question on a survey, and all of your customers give you a low score, what will you do with that information? Craft questions that will enable you to take action. Questions like “Did you receive a response quickly enough” will tell you whether you need to make improvements in specific areas.
Make sure that the questions on your survey are consistent. Many surveys will have scales and yes or no answers. If the first question is “Were you satisfied with your service today”, you’ll obviously want to receive a “yes” answer. In this case, your next question should not be “were you dissatisfied with the product”. This is confusing to your customer, and it will make it impossible to know if customers actually were dissatisfied, or if they were just confused with the question. In other words, if “yes” is a positive answer, it should remain that way for the entire survey.
These simple tips should help you to understand why surveys are so important, and help you to craft your own.