We’re all too familiar with the standard ‘satisfaction style’ customer surveys that clog up our inbox asking us to rate a product, rate an agents performance, tell us how we did” etc etc
……and whilst when these first appeared we may have completed a few – and perhaps still do the odd one now – the majority of us are guilty of not even bothering to open them any more – they just head directly into that little bin icon!
So how can small businesses compete if the big brands are struggling to get responses from their millions of customers?
Well, there sits the key. Millions of customer can never be treated as an individual, as a special customer – this is the unique advantage that small businesses hold over the giants – and why customers feel a connection to a small business in a much greater way than they ever will to a large corporate. On the flip side, they will also feel a greater sense of disappointment if let down.
Now – don’t mess that up! A customer’s feeling towards a business accounts for 70% of their buying decisions – which is why your customer journey and touch points must be clearly mapped and paid attention to (that’s a topic for another day!) Creating a ‘special’ relationship with your customers is what will drive customer loyalty (and thus vocal advocates and increased sales), but it will also enable you to get valuable feedback through customer surveys. As I’d mentioned in a previous post, for small business this will probably need to be done anonymously via a 3rd party, as customers will not want to cause you offence at any ‘improvement’ suggestions for your business – as a business owner we know that this feedback is invaluable and needs to be captured.
- You must carefully structure your questions – don’t ask what you already know, think about capturing valuable information that you can use.
- Keep it short – 60-90 seconds is the maximum time it should take a customer to complete a feedback survey (unless you are offering a prize / reward, then people can be engaged for a little longer!)
- Plan your deployment – how will you distribute / to who / when. Timing is crucial, getting results whilst a customer is mentally engaged with you is considerably easier.
- Method – email / SMS / QR Code / feedback form / in app / face to face – a wide choice of options, make sure you choose the right method for your business and the type of feedback you are after.
What to do with results?
- Effective measuring – don’t just send customer surveys, read the responses and think you know the answers – you won’t. Regular measuring will give you ongoing insights – whether you are measuring the number of vocal advocates, what influences their buying decisions, or maybe why they even choose you over a competitor, regularity will show you trends. There will always be ‘blips’ in data, but if you don’t measure regularly you wont be able to identify a ‘blip’ from a real problem or shift in customer opinion – which could ultimately result in loss of customers.
- Share your findings and improvements. If a customer has given you constructive feedback or recommendations for improvement that you have recognised and adopted – SHARE IT – customers will feel their voice is heard and that creates loyalty – because they feel like a ‘special’ and ‘valuable’ customer all over again.
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