3 Reasons to Cash in on Customer Surveys

You'll never know if you don't ask. What are your customers saying behind your back? And why aren't you asking?
3 Reasons to Cash in on Customer Surveys
What kind of kudos have you received from customers? We want to know!

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In the hectic day-to-day operations of a business it’s not always top-of-mind to step back and really check in with customers as to how satisfied they are with your service. It’s tempting to just assume everything’s fine if you don’t hear otherwise. 

And while it’s true that some people are only too quick to complain, not all clients — particularly new ones — are going to let you know they’re unhappy about something, and the next thing you know they’ve gone with a competitor and you’re not sure why. 

Customer satisfaction should always be in the back of your mind, and one element of that is a customer survey. This can be done formally or informally; once a year or ongoing; in writing, face-to-face, on the phone, by email, over the Web. It shouldn’t take a lot of your time, and it certainly shouldn’t take a lot of theirs. It’s just a way to check in. 

Surveys can be broken down into two broad categories: 

Passive - Customer-Initiated. The easiest way to solicit customer feedback is to have a built-in mechanism for it in the form of an open invitation. This could be a comments section on every invoice, or letting customers know they can always leave comments on your website or Facebook page.

Active - Company-Initiated. Sometimes you may want to take a more proactive approach and actively solicit feedback. For example, you might find it useful to conduct post-mortems after events — anything from a quick phone call to a face-to-face meeting. 

Another example would be written surveys mailed to all or a selection of your customers asking specific questions. Such surveys should be brief and to the point. Keep in mind your customers are busy and the shorter it is the more responses you’ll get. Basically you want to know if they have any complaints, what you can do better, and what else they need. 

Regardless of how you conduct a survey, all parties stand to benefit. 

1. It’s good for business. Surveys enable you to handle problems early on before they escalate. You find out if there’s a disconnect between what you’re offering and what a client wants. 

2. It’s good for customer relations. A survey sends a message to your customers that you want to know what they think, you care about offering great service, and you’re open to their suggestions and comments. 

3. It’s good for planning and growing your business. It’s not unusual for a chance remark to lead a company into whole new service lines. But why wait for chance? Surveys can speed up that process and increase the odds of service expansion. If three people tell you they wish you offered septic pumping services, perhaps it’s worth looking into. 

And, of course, if you do get feedback, be sure to follow up on it. You can’t always do what a customer asks, of course, but at least acknowledge the request. Always keep those lines of communication open. 

What kind of kudos have you received from customers? We want to know!


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