Customer Satisfaction Surveys: Before You Start
Do you ever wonder exactly what your customer’s think of you – what they think you do well, what you do poorly, where they want you to improve, how they compare you to competitors, etc? Well if you do, getting the answers doesn’t have to be too difficult… just ask and listen!
Most customers are eager and happy to give you feedback; you just have to give them a way to do it. Unless you’re Megamind, there’s really no need to be a mind reader.
A great way to gather feedback is to conduct customer satisfaction surveys. They can provide tremendous insights into which products and services are making your customers happy, which ones are hurting your bottom line, and which ones you should look into developing further. They’re also a great way to show customers that you value their opinion and want to do everything possible to improve their experience. In that sense, conducting customer satisfaction surveys can actually increase customer satisfaction. After all, every person appreciates being listened to.
However, before embarking on your customer satisfaction survey spree, there are a few key points to remember…
1. Go In With a Plan
Carrying out a customer survey isn’t something that should be done on a limb – you need to establish well defined goals. What is it that you’re trying to learn? Do you want to know if customers are happy with your product? With your after sales service? Maybe you want to know why they’re not buying your latest release. Regardless, it’s important to know what you’re trying to find out before writing the survey, otherwise you risk being unfocused and finding out nothing at all. Furthermore, what will you do with the results? Are you going to act on what you hear? Before putting pen to paper on a customer feedback survey, you have to determine your feedback goals.
2. Grow Thick Skin
It’s always great to receive positive feedback. It re-affirms that what you’ve been doing is right, and you’ll definitely receive some of these well appreciated responses. However, you’re also bound to get some more negative views, ones that may completely surprise and upset you. These are just as valuable as any other responses. If you want to improve your business, you have to place as much importance on the negative as on the positive. You simply can’t hide, and you have to be prepared to deal with any amount of criticism. The end goal is to transform these negatives into positives.
3. Be Prepared To Act
Once the feedback has been received, it’s important to get the organization to act on what’s been learned. Gathering feedback only to ignore the results not only wastes time and money, but also alienates and discourages customers.
It might not be feasible to act on every single issue at once, however, it’s important to prioritize the changes and implement adjustments as quickly as possible. If customer’s see that you’re taking their input to heart and doing everything you can to improve their experience, they’re much more likely to stay happy and loyal.
4. Stay in Touch
Whether you plan on carrying out your customer satisfaction survey once, twice or three times a year, you still have to maintain a constant conversation with your customer base. Survey’s can be extremely valuable tools to gather quantitative data, but the human connection between your business and your clientele cannot be replaced or forgotten.
Be prepared to accept feedback in any situation, be it through your face to face customer representatives, through your customer support line, through social media channels, etc. Making sure that customers are satisfied is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week process. You can never stop listening.
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