Are you Getting Enough Customer Feedback?
If you’re running a business, you will know how important customer satisfaction is. Social proof – the online evidence of your success, such as reviews and star ratings, is the modern-day word of mouth. As we all know, word of mouth can sink a business quickly if your customers aren’t satisfied. Therefore, keeping your customers happy has never been more important.
If all your financial metrics are being met, it can be easy to ignore customer feedback. We’ve all been there. A complaint here and there, and you just write it off as a difficult customer. This can be easy enough to do when the profits are rolling in, but how long will that last?
Feedback from customers is the best way to get a feel for how you’re doing, what’s working and what could be improved. Rather than letting negative feedback bring you down, it can also be an incredible source of ideas and brainstorming to take your business to the next level.
With any survey project though, it’s crucial that you have well-established goals before starting. So, start with asking why you should survey your customers.
Setting Survey Goals
Before starting any project to find out what your customers are thinking, your survey goals need to be clearly defined. Many businesses make the mistake of going too broad with their surveys. Simple questions about how satisfied a customer is won’t really give you any actionable information. So, determine what you want to find out.
For example, if you’re really honing in on the customer experience from start to finish, you may consider a survey following a purchase – this way you can address each step and find out whether you did well. Alternatively, you may simply want to know how well your brand awareness is going, so you could tailor a survey specifically for that.
Remember, customer surveys are ultimately about improving your service, so without clearly defined goals and targets, it can be difficult to find things to take action on. Below, we’ve provided information on some of the most popular survey types being used in business today.
1. Net Promoter Score® (NPS®)
Finding out your Net Promoter Score® is all about customer loyalty. As we mentioned earlier, social proof and word of mouth are crucial to any company’s success, and that’s exactly what NPS® aims to discover.
It’s also very easy to understand, which is my many businesses love using it. Essentially, you’re given a score based on a series of questions such as “How likely are you to refer this company to a friend?” It’s all about how many people would proudly share their experience with friends (Promoters), and how many would never recommend your services to others (Detractors).
If your survey showed 70% of respondents were Promoters, while 30% were Detractors, your NPS® is 40. For understanding customer loyalty, NPS® is a terrific survey to use.
2. Brand Awareness
Brand awareness surveys are a little broader in nature, but still very targeted to a certain goal. Essentially, you’re trying to analyse your marketing efforts here. A brand awareness survey may ask questions about where a customer found out about you, how they perceive your brand, whether customers find your ads to be effective, and also some questions about the likelihood of referral.
As you can see, this type of survey has an element which allows businesses to obtain their Net Promoter Score®, however it’s mostly about your marketing. Positive responses to these questions will confirm whether or not your marketing efforts are hitting the spot.
It will also give you some specific details about how and where customers are discovering you. Whether it be Facebook, Google, word of mouth, or other forms of advertising, you’ll be able to get tangible information about what marketing channels are giving you the best bang for buck.
3. Event Evaluation
Drilling down into individual customer experiences is a great way to determine if your systems are working as they should. Whether your business is largely automated or uses human interaction, an event evaluation survey allows you to pinpoint where things are going wrong.
A common name for this type of survey is CSAT (Customer Satisfaction), and although a full CSAT survey may look at overall satisfaction, it can also be targeted to events.
These are perfect to use after a sale is made. You’ll be able to ask whether they found the process easy in terms of searching, purchasing and payment. You can also find out if they were satisfied with delivery times/method, and of course their satisfaction with the product itself.
As you can see, you’ll be able to get a feel for what customers love and don’t love about your sales process, and address the areas that need to be improved.
4. Customer Needs
The fourth type of survey you may wish to consider is customer needs-based. By this, we mean asking directly what a customer would need in order to deal with you more, at all, or even recommend your business to friends.
This type of survey is more direct, and may often include more room for free text than others. You can target these surveys towards people who haven’t purchased with you for 12 months, or those who perhaps signed up to a newsletter but never made a purchase.
Here, you can find out why your leads aren’t converting to sales – an integral link in the sales chain. It could be that your website is too difficult, you don’t accept certain payment types, prices are too high, or anything else. Whatever the results, you’ll get a clear image of why you’re not converting leads, and you can then take action.
Taking Action on Survey Results
Finally, the most important part of any survey project is taking action. If you’re not willing to accept some of the negative feedback and use it to move forward, then you’ve wasted your time. Embrace the feedback you receive, good or bad, and take targeted action on the areas that need it most. In the end, you’ll be glad you did – and so will all of your new and returning customers.