Customer surveys have for decades been a valuable tool of doing business. Initially, it seemed new technologies that allowed more direct, personalized interaction with clients, such as email, were going to push surveys aside.
It was not long, however, before many businesses realized that surveys still retain a distinct advantage in extracting extensive, standardized information from a large audience. Here is a look at some of the reasons surveys are essential for your company’s success.
1. Provide Improved Products and Services
Now, you can use both online and offline survey software to obtain feedback from your customers, vendors, shareholders, the public or other stakeholders. But the surveys are only a means to an end. Audience opinions will not be of any value unless they are translated into actual action items.
The outcome of a customer survey is to make your products and services better. In order for the time, effort and resources expended towards persuading people to participate to be effective, you have to analyze the feedback and convert it into actionable improvement ideas.
2. Strengthen Customer Relationships
Surveys give you the right foundation needed to establish and strengthen customer trust. Many customers buy a product out of need or curiosity. Often, it is not a decision made after a lot of consideration. If you want to keep them coming back, you have to embark on a rigorous brand awareness campaign.
You need to make sure they understand who you are and what sets your product apart from the competition. Surveys can help strengthen loyalty and increase popularity by engaging your customers. It makes users reflect on how your product has benefited them and ensures your brand is top of mind for their next purchase.
3. Diverse Perspectives
Whereas you may be selling the same product to thousands or millions of customers, they do not all buy the product for the same reason, or even have the same perspective on it. People with near identical interests and demographics will not necessarily respond the same way to the same question. This diversity is why the process of analyzing survey results is so exciting.
You get to see the dozens or hundreds of unique thoughts that people have about your product. With that, you get a broader understanding of your customer’s needs and preferences. Then, you can customize the product accordingly. It may even be necessary to create a new line of products.
4. Honest Feedback
It is inherently human to withhold candid feedback so as not to offend. That is especially true in face-to-face interactions. Surveys give your audience a forum to express their real opinions about your product or business.
It is also helpful if customers can leave their feedback anonymously and do not have to provide their names or other identifying information. This is crucial because you want to focus more on the complaint or comment itself, rather than the person who submitted the feedback. The end goal is to make your business and product better.
5. Show You Care
In a world of statistics where people feel reduced to a number or a transaction, many consumers perceive themselves as an insignificant drop in the ocean. This alone makes it easy for them to leave one brand for another.
The very step of soliciting feedback from your customers is a sign to your customers that you are interested in what they have to say. It is a signal that you want them to be loyal and are ready to make changes in line with their responses. Customers want to feel that their opinion matters. Surveys are not just a set of questions, they should speak to the heart of your business.
6. Evaluate Customer Satisfaction
The failure of business does not happen overnight. A look to the history of corporate giants that fell by the wayside shows that losing the edge is a gradual process that could take years or decades of steady decline. Customer surveys ensure you can arrest negative sentiment early before it causes irreversible damage.
Find out what customers think about your product, then measure whether the level of satisfaction is falling or rising from subsequent surveys. Make sure there is a means for customers to express the reason for any dissatisfaction so you can tackle the pain points.
Stood the Test of Time
Surveys have stood the test of time and that is not by accident. They remain one of the fastest, broadest and most accurate means of obtaining stakeholder feedback. Businesses need them today more than ever.