Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Customer Satisfaction Surveys In Your Business

Satisfaction surveys in your business do you take the time and effort required to find out what your customers thought about their experience with with you business?

If you don't, you're missing out on huge opportunities to improve your services and increase your profits.

What kind of questions should your survey ask?

Your business is unique and your survey should be, too. There are a couple of standard questions that you should ask on every survey, though.

  • The friendliness of your staff or support personnel
  • Ease of interaction with your company 
  • Willingness to recommend your company to friends and family members
  • Areas in which you can improve 
If your survey only asked these four questions it would prove incredibly valuable. It would provide data that you could analyze and act on in order to improve your business. If you improve the way your customers view their experience with you then you can expect more repeat business and referrals.

Take the time to think about your business and come up with some specific questions that might be extremely relevant. Your may also want to ask questions about interest in new products or services you are thinking about selling.

Open ended questions can be hit or miss

Studies on customer satisfaction surveys have shown mixed results when it comes to asking open ended questions. These are questions that require the customer to share their thoughts as opposed to choosing from a list of multiple choices.

Many people don't feel comfortable writing, and simply won't share their thoughts. Many individuals, though, won't hesitate to give you a piece of their mind. The real challenge isn't getting the information that shows you where you can improve it's getting feedback about what you're doing well.

If you want to encourage people to actually put thought and effort into the open ended questions on your surveys you should formulate them carefully. Ask this question to learn about positive feedback:

"what have we done to improve your experience that other companies you have used in the past failed to do?"

If you want to find out why your customer decided to go with your product or service instead of a competitor you can ask directly. it's a two part question:

Did you consider any of our competitors before deciding on us? List your biggest competitors why did you pick us instead of the other options?

You might be surprised that most people chose you because you were the first business they encountered. Others might tell you about the terrible experiences they had with your competitors in the past. No matter the information they provide it will be extremely helpful when it comes time to growing your business.

Unexpected bonuses from surveying your customers

You may know that testimonials are a great way to help convince new prospect to go with your business instead of other options. Performing regular customer satisfaction surveys shows you who is willing to provide a good testimonial.

If someone sends in a good survey and takes the time to write a few sentences proclaiming how excellent your company is you have a good lead for a solid testimonial. Contact this customer and ask him or her if they would be willing in providing a testimonial. The best are video testimonials, but many people will be hesitant to do this. Consider offering an incentive or discount on future services for anyone willing to provide a written testimonial, a voice recording, or a video. It will be well worth the investment.

Survey software to use instead of mailers

There are tons of choices out there when it comes to performing these types of surveys. Survey monkey provides a free tool that allows you to track the results. It provides data analysis tools that help you identify trends that might otherwise remain hidden. All you have to do is remember to send your customer an email with a link to the survey after they have completed their transaction. If you mail your surveys it will be expensive and many people won't take the time to responds.

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