As a company, it’s vital to know what your customers think about you. How else would you understand their needs and desires in order to cater to them? And what better way to find out what your customers want than to simply ask them? With this in mind, one of the best tools to help you understand your customers’ perspectives is conducting customer feedback surveys.
What is a customer survey and why do businesses benefit from using them?
A customer survey is designed to gain valuable feedback pertaining to the customer experience (CX). Interactions with customers are far from over following a transaction. Customer experience is one of the cornerstones for your brand’s reputation, especially in today’s digital world. After all, bad reviews can quickly ruin a reputation. Customer surveys exist to help you ask your customer directly for feedback rather than receiving unsolicited and perhaps unhelpful posts online.
Customer surveys not only help you avoid losing customers due to bad experiences, but they also help you to gain new ones. Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your business, and even if there was a hiccup along the way, actively collecting feedback shows you care about your customers and want to improve things. Very often, customers don’t mind if small problems occur— what matters is if they are fixed.
Customer surveys therefore help your business to:
- identify flaws
- improve customer satisfaction
- boost customer loyalty
- increase sales
- monitor your process over time
Different types of customer surveys
In today’s digital landscape, the right survey tool allows you to collect feedback quickly and easily. A good VoC software and customer survey software will allow you to not only measure, but analyse and act on the data you gathered. You also have a number of different survey types and metrics at your disposal to help you measure and improve your performance. Depending on your goals, you can build comprehensive questionnaires or use shorter, more targeted surveys to gather more specific feedback.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
The CSAT metric measures customers’ overall satisfaction with your company. It makes sense to use a CSAT survey tool to collect such feedback after purchases, transactions, and different milestones to assess the overall happiness of your customers with your work.
Customer service surveys ask the customer to evaluate their interactions with the customer service to identify gaps and flaws in the process of problem-solving.
Churn management surveys help you to evaluate why customers leave your company—i.e. ‘churn’—to help you identify areas for improvement.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Customer Effort Score (CES)
The Customer Effort Score (CES) also helps assess customer loyalty. Instead of taking the route of likelihood of recommendation, however, it measures the effort customers have to put into interacting with your company. It thus helps to identify flaws in your customer service processes and communication channels.
Choosing the right survey at the right time
The different models describe do not mean you can only do one and one type exclusively. Rather, you can view the different metrics as building blocks for you to construct your individual survey system. For instance, you could conduct post-purchase NPS surveys, use a quick CES after customers deal with your customer service, and have annual CSAT evaluation to assess the overall satisfaction. You could also ask several churn-based questions when a customer decides to discontinue the service, for instance. It’s up to you how and when you want to have a customer feedback survey!
What are transactional and relationship customer surveys?
Another useful differentiation of customer surveys is that between a transactional and a relationship survey. Transactional customer surveys, as the name suggests, are tied to a certain transaction between a customer and your company. This could be any sort of interaction, from a purchase to a call with your service centre. In that sense, you could include the CES under this label, for instance.
Relationship customer surveys, on the other hand, give you an impression of the overall relationship the customer has to your brand. Therefore, the NPS survey could be counted among those, as it asks how and why a customer would recommend the brand.
How to get started with customer surveys
Getting started with customer surveys can be daunting and overwhelming, but as long as you are clear on the important things, it can be quite simple. Ask yourself:
What do I want to gain from the survey? Which areas / processes do I want feedback on? Who is my target group? What is the right timing?
1. Setting customer survey goals and targets
Unsurprisingly, making a plan should be your first step. You need to figure out which feedback you want to collect as this dictates which questions you want to ask and how you want to ask them. A clear plan also helps you to think about the goals and target relevant to your feedback. Obviously, you want to learn from the insights you gained, so you need to be able to measure your own and your customers’ expectations to compare them. Setting goals and targets also helps to measure your progress over time. For instance, your could set the goal to increase performance by 10% from one quarter to another. It also helps chart which improvements have actually make a difference and where there is still potential for change.
2. Establishing internal feedback processes
Collecting external feedback can only work properly if you have internal feedback processes in place. Internal feedback processes help feed the insights into the responsive departments to facilitate change. Collecting data on customers’ experience does not help if it is not distributed to the different sectors of your company. Once you have made certain that everyone is familiar with the data that was collected you can start analysing it, so actual change can happen.
3. Collecting your customer survey data
As detailed in the paragraphs before, there are different building blocks for you to create your individual survey solution. In combining the blocks and spreading surveys out over different time frames, you can adapt your feedback solution to the specific processes of your company.
4. Analysing your customer survey data
Analysing your data has become easier and faster with the help of modern technology. You need to compare your results from the customer feedback survey with your expectations, your goals, and your targets. This way, you can figure out the specific processes and areas which need improvement. It also helps you figure out what’s important to your customers: their values, desires, needs, interests, as well as their pain-points and deal-breakers.
5. Taking action
Feedback goes only so far on its own. It’s putting it to practice where your company can actually grow. Now that analysing your data has pointed you in the right direction, it is of the utmost importance to develop strategies to keep customer satisfaction levels high. If you have great feedback, for instance, your. marketing team can take the feedback to create more of what your customers love and play to their interests and wishes. Where negative feedback was collected, you need to think of ways to reduce time or effort.
Perhaps customers have already offered their ideas on what would make them more satisfied in the survey. Take inspiration there. This will help you figure out where to invest into so you actually increase revenue in turn. Satisfied customers are more reliable consumers willing to recommend you further. This is also where your internal feedback processes come in, as you need to feed down the strategies and changes across sectors.
VI. Evaluating your progress
With the targets and goals you have set, you will be able to measure how well you have implemented the feedback received. It will also help you monitor your overall progress. It makes sense to therefore set a time rhythm, in which to collect feedback so that you can continuously keep track of which strategies work out and which don’t.
Get started with your Netigate Customer Feedback Survey solution today! You can contact us any time using this contact form or start you free trial today.