3 reasons why the best companies in the world survey their customers

How to effectively survey your customers.

Surveying your customers to understand their experience with your product or service can be easy to neglect or not find value in. After all, many of us have been misguided for years by anecdotes like:

“Surveys don’t work”

“Customers don’t want to fill out surveys”

Customer surveys won’t benefit your company if they don’t provide the company and customers value—it must be a mutually beneficial experience for both parties.

If surveys didn’t bring value then why do the most admired companies in the world successfully use them to better understand their customer’s behaviors?

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C organization there are three key ways surveying your customers can bring tremendous value to your company and strengthen the relationships you have with current and prospective customers.

1: Surveys gather concrete evidence on your strengths

Many organizations have a good understanding of their company’s strengths but without evidence can we entirely be sure?

When you formally survey your customers you will have an intimate understanding of your strengths and be able to identify what matters most to your current customers. It’s likely that a large percentage of your customers will mention common themes in regards to what they revere about your product or service.

Once you have identified these themes you will be able to develop a customer acquisition strategy by communicating these strong points in your marketing campaigns. As you can imagine, if your current customers love you for certain reasons, wouldn’t prospective customers be attracted for those same strengths? Rather than anecdotally building marketing campaigns with value propositions you believe are your strengths, go out and survey your customers and remove all doubt.

2: Discover your next great operational strategy

To continuously innovate and avoid being stagnant, a company must build operational strategies that improve the company’s offering. Often, companies will huddle together and suggest ways to advance a product or service. While this might work in the short-term, it’s not always a sustainable way to innovate as employees may experience “innovation fatigue.”

Your customers have an unbiased, deep rooted understanding of your product. This familiar background gives them a great perspective of what your business is missing and what could be your next great service, product or strategy.

Should you create a new strategy every time a customer suggests a new process or offering? No. However, if these recommendations appear within your survey commentary consistently it could be a good indication that this new service offering would be a big hit system-wide.

3: Save “at-risk revenue”

One of my recommended strategies to increase customer retention is to have all customer complaints or negative feedback resolved within one business day. By doing so, you are given the opportunity to retain the potentially lost revenue within your company rather than having your customers spend with your competitors.

According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it is 6 to 7 times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer. In order to save “at-risk revenue” you must ensure someone within your company is constantly monitoring all customer feedback received through your customer satisfaction survey program. This individual should be empowered to resolve complaints and be given the tools (i.e. a modest budget) to retain these customers.

After years of helping companies improve their customer experience, I know that surveying customers comes with it’s fair share of naysayers. What I have also understood is that many organizations don’t properly leverage customer survey programs effectively.

One common theme I hear from companies is,

“Our customers aren’t filling out our surveys.”

In my next post, I will teach you four simple ways to increase your survey response rates without having to provide incentives.

Category: Leadership

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About the Author: Michel Falcon

Michel Falcon is a customer and employee experience consultant who helps organizations build the right strategies to improve their customer and employee experience. Michel has been hired by companies like Verizon Wireless, BlueCross BlueShie…

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