There’s no doubt about it – competition in the business world is stiff and while a lot is being said and written about successful business strategies to win and satisfy customers, actually knowing customers’ hot buttons has fallen by the wayside.
When it comes to knowing customers’ true feelings about your product or service, nothing can beat the reach and efficiency of a customer survey.
If conducted well, with diligent planning and appropriate follow-up, you can leverage the power of customer surveys to boost your sales figures and enhance your repeat business. If you are one of those small business owners who have tried conducting customer surveys but didn’t get the kind of feedback that you needed to make evaluations and plan future strategies, consider the following:
Why Do You Need Customer Surveys?
In order to determine the right way to conduct surveys, you must first understand why you need surveys in the first place. Customers don’t like to be tied down to one vendor unless they get products and services of unsurpassed quality from that particular vendor. That’s why it is necessary to understand exactly what clicks with your customers and what their expectations are from your company and your products and services.
Surveys enable you to understand any issues customers may have regarding your company and the products/services you offer (no matter how trivial they may seem to be). Dealing with these issues in a timely manner can stop them from becoming major problems that can erode your relationship with your customers forever.
Surveys also give you an opportunity to weigh your strengths and weaknesses as compared to other competitors – and help you to figure out why customers may choose them over you. Customer surveys are also by far the most cost-effective and efficient means of marketing.
You need to do a bit of homework here, and you should first gauge how often your customers use your products and services. You may have noticed the comment cards that are included with the bills in number of restaurants. These cards are both convenient for customers to complete, and enable restaurants to improve the quality of their food and services, and to know how often customers visit.
However, if you have a seasonal or sporadic business, such as event management, then chances are that customers need your services only once or twice a year. In this case, monthly surveys make no sense at all – and asking for immediate feedback after the event would be the right way to go.
Ask Relevant Questions
It is pointless to make your survey look too cumbersome or intimidating. These days, everyone is in a hurry, and customers may not want to go through this painful ordeal – so make sure your questions are precise and to the point.
For meaningful surveys, include open-ended questions that can help you identify the things that a customer values about your business.
Don’t Overlook the Importance of Following-Up
Don’t forget to thank your customers for their prompt feedback and tell them how much you appreciate their time and effort through a well-written email or a simple phone call. The right follow-up strategy can do wonders for your business, so take every opportunity to let your customers know that you appreciate their time.
Some small business owners simply don’t relish the idea of conducting surveys because they fear negative feedback. But don’t forget that negative feedback can be transformed into a positive experience with the right business strategies in place.
When it comes to knowing your customers and connecting with them, surveys are a winning tool!