The value of customer satisfaction surveys

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Do you know what your customers think of you? Really? Honestly?

As technology continues to race ahead, we might feel that we’re spoilt for choice as to how we might carry out a customer satisfaction survey. With tools like Survey Monkey at the disposal of many, it’s easy to see why countless businesses opt for a DIY approach where such surveys are required. Furthermore, there are no end of agencies that are poised to carry out large scale online and email surveys for you on your behalf.

So what is my point? Granted, these sorts of mechanisms have their place, but it’s all too easy to get carried away with the process and forget the point of the exercise.

If you want to understand your customers – properly – you need to hear them in their own words – fully. A tick box questionnaire that might not even offer the optimum questions might not be the best answer to comprehensively complete your customer satisfaction survey.

Remember the point

Let’s go back to the beginning. Customer satisfaction surveys are supposed to give you a clear, honest and in depth understanding of how happy your customers are with your products and service. It should help to identify key issues to address whilst also highlight what you are doing well.

Every customer is different and it’s important to hear them carefully and without emotion about your brand. The latter point is noteworthy. Your customers need to feel confident that they can say what they need to say – and be heard.

Let’s get personal

In my experience, small and large companies can truly benefit from a very straight forward method to gain vital customer thought and feedback; a one-to-one telephone call. It’s not especially technological and does not generate lots of charts and scores, but it does allow the customer to have a real voice with a real person and feel that they are being directly heard.

Undertaken outside of your company, there can be that all important lack of emotion when the customer wants to say something rather brutal about your brand. If they want to say it, you need to hear it.

One-to-one customer satisfaction surveys, carried out in manageable batches using this method can offer an important touch-point with your key customers. Whether it’s an impromptu five minute call or a scheduled 30 minute call, they have the opportunity to feel entirely heard. I’m talking about an intelligent conversation around a broad brief by the way – not a questionnaire to undertake on the phone. If you then follow this up with any necessary actions shortly after the call, you’ll add another layer to your customer loyalty: “They heard me AND they did something about it!”

So now, what a powerful tool customer satisfaction surveys can be!

Of course there is a very important place for online surveys and email questionnaires; all I am asking is that you don’t forget the real value of an independent contact undertaking an intelligent and constructive phone call on your behalf, delivering honest customer thought, market intelligence and an opportunity to develop your all-important relationship with your customer still further.

If you would like to learn more about our somewhat refreshing way to carry out customer satisfaction surveys, please get in touch and we’d be happy to have a chat with you and offer examples of successful past projects.