3 Reasons Why You Need to Survey Customers

3 Reasons Why You Need To Survey Customers

Are you leaving money on the table?

It’s a question that CEOs and CFOs often grapple with.  The increased access to and competition of e-retailers leaves consumers with many options to choose from when looking making their purchases.  In fact, some surveying businesses have claimed that 91% of consumers who have an unpleasant experience with a company will not return – but they also won’t complain about it.  How is a company supposed to resolve these types of challenges if they are not aware of the situation?

It goes without saying that being proactive nets more significant results than being reactive.  After all, the phrase “the early bird gets the worm” had to come from somewhere.  And to be proactive, you need to have data to act upon.  There is a lot of debate surrounding the effectiveness of surveys, but it still stands as the best way to gain an understanding of how your product or service is being received.  We’ve done our research and feel that these are the top reasons why surveying your customer base is vital to the growth of your business.

What are the top 3 reasons to survey your customer base?

Feedback shows you value their opinion: People who feel valued, whether it’s by a friend, spouse, employer or business, will want to maintain that relationship.  And when you are talking a business relationship, customers who have a superior experience, either in a product, support, or customer service is more likely to go out of their way to do even more business with that company.  Management Issues shares a rather startling example of this when talking with someone who lived in a medium-sized town with two hospitals.  One hospital had a poor reputation while for patient care while another provided top-notch care.  The individual stated that if they were in an emergency situation and woke up in the wrong hospital, they would remove the IVs and walk, hospital gown and all, to the other.  That is how serious they were about avoiding the other hospital.  Which one would you rather be?

Feedback helps you improve your product and/or service:  You put a lot of time and effort into the development of your product and/or service, and asking for constructive criticism of it is hard.  But as the famed author, Nicholas Sparks, penned, “Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.”  This benefit of survey feedback can be vital to giving your business the competitive edge and becoming the hospital that patients come to regardless of the effort.

Feedback gives you actionable data you can rely on:  You can assume and theorize all you want about the value and competitive edge of your product or service but without verifiable data from the user of your product, how can you be sure?  Making decisions based on assumptions is like taking a stab in the dark.    You might hit something 1% of the time – and this could cost you a lot of time and money.  Instead, with the verifiable, actionable data you receive directly from the source, you take a lot of the guesswork out of changes in your product or strategy.

Customer Surveys are the way to go, so now what?

Ok, so you get it.  You understand and see the value behind speaking directly to your consumers but don’t know how to make it happen.  First things first: How are you going to go about gathering your feedback?

Omnichannel means every channel – and your customers have varying ways to communicate with you.  From social media to email and phone, you have regular contact with both prospects and customers.  To gather actionable feedback from your base, you need to reach them on their most active channel, whether that is email, phone or social media like Twitter and Facebook.  In an article on the 15 best ways e-commerce gets customer feedback, Optimonk lists among the top strategies outside of the standard pop-up once a transaction is completed, to call your customers regularly, email surveys to new customers and monitor social channels.

Monitor social channels: There are a wide variety of ways you can go about listening to your customers on social sites.  Some of the more known brands include Hootsuite, Klout, Google Alerts and Social Mention.  All of these can help you easily listen through these mediums about what consumers are saying about you.  But all of this requires a lot of time and dedicated resources, especially as complaints on social media spread rapidly.  You need to find them quickly and respond to curtail the negativity.

Email surveys to new customers:  While Optimonk calls out this strategy as the best for new customers, we would go back to our statement above that you need to reach out to your customers in the channel they are most active in.  If you find certain customers are communicating with you more frequently via email as opposed to socially or by phone, then you should also be surveying these customers through that medium.  Obviously, survey fatigue is real, so you need to be careful about not emailing them too frequently, but by carefully targeting the appropriate channel for the customer, you can increase your chances of receiving actionable data.

Call your customers regularly: Of the three strategies Optimonk shared what we have chosen to call out, this one by far is the best solution.  Optimonk seems to agree in part as they listed this option first when going through their list.  There is something about a phone call that gives a personable experience about a brand.  The agent can easily pick up on the tone of voice and nuances of speech while the customer can hear the sincerity of the surveying agent.  Optimonk cautions, however, that the key to this strategy is by making sure the agent comes across as “genuinely wanting to help or benefit the customer.

Outsourcing Post Transaction Surveys Solve Critical Challenges in Execution

If the strategy is key to the success of customer surveys, then the people supporting the efforts are who open the lock.  Except for email, social monitoring and phone surveys involve a lot of staff and time efforts and can put a lot of strain on your current team.  And you may not be in the position to hire on full staff to execute on your survey strategy.  This is where outsourcing can help.

Outsourcing firms put a lot of effort into finding the right people and training them.   When you outsource, you can be assured that you will have the top talent at your disposal, reducing your cost of talent acquisition.   Additionally, it is easier to forecast budgets for future growth and expansion as you look to grow your business as outsourcing involves one predefined number per talent resource.  All of this is targeted to help you find the best talent to grow your business, and in this case, your customer survey execution.

Don’t keep leaving money on the table.  Ensure that your customer service strategy is putting your brand’s best foot forward and showing the world why you are the best at what you do.  Start surveying your customers today.  Contact us now to see how outsourcing can help you execute on an effective customer survey strategy.

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Bruce E Mattare
Principal Member, NCD Financial, LLC