Your customers are your most valuable source of information. Not only are most of them happy to tell you if there's something they really love about your product or service, they will also let you know if they're unhappy or believe there is something that you're missing. That's why surveying your customers is so important, as it gives you the perfect opportunity to collect feedback, act on it and deliver an even better customer experience as a result.
With competition between brands increasing all the time, the more frequently you survey your customers and the more touchpoints in their journey that you can cover off, the better placed you will be to maintain a competitive advantage. And given the ease and flexibility with which it can be created and distributed, an online customer survey is the best way for you to achieve this.
10 Clear Benefits That Can Be Gained When You Survey Your Customers
1) Measure and improve customer satisfaction levels:
A Net Promoter Score® survey is a fast and effective way of measuring customer satisfaction, with respondents only required to answer a single question namely: "How likely are you to recommend [our company's] products/services/brand to your friend/colleagues/clients?"
Respondents are encouraged to select their answers from a 10-point continuum ranging from "Not at All Likely" to "Very Likely".
These answers are then split up into three groups consisting of:
"Detractors" who answer on the "Not Likely" end of the spectrum with a score of between (0-6)
"Passives" who answer in the 7 to 8 range
"Promoters" who answer in the "Very Likely" range with a score of either (9 or 10)
To calculate your organisation's official NPS, all you need to do is take the total percentage of Promoters and subtract the percentage of Detractors.
The great thing about NPS, is because it's used by many firms, especially larger brands, you can measure how your customer advocacy levels compare with theirs. And once you know your NPS value, you'll know just how much you need to do to improve your own customer satisfaction levels.
For more information about this, why not take a look at our Net Promoter Score (NPS) page.
2) Discover and improve the way you market your most valuable customers:
The findings from a survey can reveal where your most valuable customers are coming from and the distribution channels that are gaining the greatest traction with them. This can help to inform where you need to tailor and refine your future marketing efforts, and ultimately improve your customer acquisition success.
3) Better understand how your customers prefer to buy:
Surveying your customers can give you a better idea of their buying patterns. By asking them how they purchased your product or service and finding out how they most like to buy, whether that's in-store, from a website or a catalogue; you can make this process simpler and more enjoyable for them.
Individuals are more likely to purchase a brand again and again when their customer experience is enjoyable, straightforward and free from problems. Often referred to as habitual buying behaviour, many companies aspire to making their customers purchasing behaviour more instinctive and automatic.
4) Understand what customers most want from you:
To be able to give customers what they truly want, you need to know, see, hear, understand, feel, and think what they think.
To reach this goal, while big brands with large budgets typically spend vast amounts on market research to better understand their buyer market, a customer survey with the right questions can deliver equally valuable results. And once you have a better understanding of your customer needs, you can start refocusing your efforts in the areas of greatest importance for them.
5) Find out why prospects didn't buy from you:
Identifying why prospects haven't brought from you is equally as valuable as knowing what they want, as it can help you to identify and resolve any friction points in your customers' buying cycle.
From their experience of your website or impression of your marketing materials, to the quality of their interaction with your sales team. Asking the right survey questions can highlight what prevented prospects from buying from you. You could even ask them what would make them come back and buy, to help make you an even more attractive buying proposition going forward.
6) Strengthen your post sale relationships with customers:
Having done everything possible to get prospects to buy from you, once they have made their purchase you need to be nurturing these relationships to ensure they return.
By sending them a customer satisfaction survey, you're able to see how happy they are with their new purchase, while also identifying any issues they may need you to resolve. Customers appreciate it when a brand takes the time to reach out to them, which will also help to strengthen your relationship with customers post sale.
7) Use customer feedback to deliver better products:
Ongoing business success is determined by the ability to grow and evolve, with the introduction of new products and services pivotal to this process.
However, prior research and testing are essential if you're to maximise the success of a new product or service line, with your existing customer base offering an effective and ready-made audience to get this feedback. From quality and performance, to whether your product needs any extra features, your customers' views can be invaluable during the testing stage, helping you to improve and fine tune your offering and maximise its success on launch.
While your customers are always your best starting point, there may be times, particularly when you're looking to move in a fresh direction, when you don't have enough of the right profiles to survey within your existing contacts. In such a scenario, the ability to buy responses from a Live Consumer Audience Service, to meet your exact demographic requirements can be really effective.
For more information about buying responses, why not take a look at our consumer panels page.
8) Help segment your customers into easier to target audiences:
Emails are still one of the best ways to reach out to a business audience, so you'll want to do as much as you can to engage these individuals and turn them into your most loyal customers.
Surveying your email subscribers and offering them specific options where they can express their preferences can help you to segment a larger group into smaller, easier-to-target audiences. This can allow you to personalise your email communications and your user's experience with content of greatest interest to them, helping you to build stronger and more valuable relationships.
9) Create more brand advocates:
Regularly surveying your customers can help you to identify brand advocates.
From their willingness to provide you with a testimonial, to the favourable feedback they may leave on your social media platforms or in the comments fields of your blog posts. As your most treasured customers, brand advocates are extremely valuable in terms of the extra noise and positivity they can create around your brand. They can even be open to joining any user groups you might want to create to discuss product improvements or address any user concerns, which all helps contribute to the further development and success of your brand.
10) Develop closer, longer-lasting customer relationships:
From face to face or over the telephone, to online, email or social media platforms, whatever channel you're using to interact with your customers, you need to ensure your brand-to-customer communications are consistent and effective across all your touchpoints.
When combined with surveys that offer a number of open-ended questions, that invite your customers to provide details about any issues or requests they may have, you're able to build solid and longer lasting relationships and develop customer loyalty that lasts.
Survey Your Customers to Develop Deeper, More Meaningful Relationships
Understanding, nurturing and strengthening the relationships you have with customers is a fine art, that takes time. But with the right survey and questions, your customers can provide the invaluable feedback you need to make improvements and give them a better customer experience. Ultimately, if you're delivering what they need, you'll be able to develop stronger relationships with your customers, which should translate into more sales and a healthier and more resilient future for your business.
NPS®, Net Promoter® & Net Promoter Score® are registered trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld.