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Why are Customer Surveys so Crucial to Business Success?

Last updated February 19, 2013
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Customers always dictate the success or failure of any business and yours will be no different.

But why is it that we rarely ask our customers what they think of us and that is why Customer surveys are so crucial to business success? True, the on-line feedback system is alive and well in several industries but it is generally the B2B sector that must make the effort to ask customers what they think.

Everyone has an opinion, a view, a belief or a perception of their suppliers. I'm sure you have one about every one of your suppliers. Ask yourself, how do you expect your suppliers to do the very best deal for you (not just money, service counts as well) if they don't know what you want from them?

It is no different to you not knowing about your customers and what they think of you. Do they love you? Do you irritate them, making the same mistakes again and again? Do you ignore them? Do you care or not? Do you know what they really want? Do you know when they are about to walk away?

Related Blog: Remember Me

The customer is king we are told, but how can we expect to live by that statement if we constantly ignore them. Have you asked your customer what they think about you? If you did ask them, then you would find out:

  • what you can do to improve their experience with you and so make more sales
  • whether they are being ‘courted’ by your competitors
  • if they are about to jump ship
  • the really good things you do that you can replicate
  • if they have a complaint and you were to solve it they would be pleased
  • what business might be in the pipeline, or not

and you’ll be able to tick your ISO9001 box too!

Related blog: Harvard Business Review – Scaling your UX (user experience) Strategy

We're never going to achieve 100% customer satisfaction but in the words of Jeff Bezos from Amazon…

“We see our clients as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little better.”

Therefore, your task for today is to plan your customer survey.

1. Select a cross section of clients with a bias to those clients in the mid-level section of income for you.

2. Design the questions to either, a

a. focus in detail on one area of your operation or,

b. all areas of your operation

If you only focus on one area of your operations you'll need to re-survey in order to cover all of the other areas and pick up all customer touch points until you get the full picture.

3. Issue the survey, If you warn them that the customers survey is coming and why it’s important for them to complete it you’ll have a much better response rate. There're lots of ways of contacting customers all have their merits and minus points and you might decide to use more than one. You could consider an Internet survey such as Survey Monkey, a focus group, telephone, written surveys, omnibus surveys etc. A great market research agency can also help you if you are a little stuck in designing your questions or analysing the results.

4. Analyse the results, define the problems, prepare the action and do it!

Remember you'll never improve your business or sales from existing customers if you don't know what problems you cause your customers when they buy from you.  Solve your customer service issues and your sales will grow.

Shirley Mansfield
Master Business Problem Solver

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