New resolutions usually come in with the New Year. And one of your resolutions might be to survey your customers. Surveying your customers on a regular basis—and in a variety of ways—helps you run a successful business and generate profits. Surveys measure your customer’s satisfaction with your goods and services, providing critical feedback for the development of new revenue streams as well as keeping your existing services appealing to the majority of your customer base.
Five Things To Keep An Eye On When Surveying…
- Focus on the narrative, not the number. The “gold” in your survey lies in open-ended questions that let your customer expound on what they like and don’t like about your company and the services you offer. It’s easy to obsess about how high or how low your customer “scores” your company, but remember if you don’t know why you received such a high or low number, it’s meaningless.
- Don’t stack the deck. Make sure you’re asking for objective feedback not only good feedback. So the structure of your survey and the distribution method will promote truly candid answers. The point of a survey is to get the most honest answer possible. Well-designed survey structures help you create a customer-centric culture in your company.
- Choose a survey method that gets you real information in real time. These days, most small businesses use online survey methods (i.e. Survey Monkey) to distribute their surveys. Plus, online surveys, when done often enough, will give you the chance to follow up on particularly “thorny” or complicated issues within your company, digging deeper to get to the real problem which will lead you to the solution.
- Reach out and follow up. Once you have the information gathered from a survey, you need to take action to solve the problem. Use the results of your survey to make concrete changes in your organization and meet your customer’s needs. Reach out to the individual customer when possible. There’s nothing like a call from a company who is trying to make it right!
- Steep yourself in the results. You need to immerse yourself in the customer feedback if you truly want to be a customer-centric company. Share the results, including comments, and what these results can teach your entire staff. Review the survey responses and consider their implications both long-term and short-term. If the results aren’t what you want, embrace the feedback—then do something to change it!