The data you collect is always less scary than the data you ignore. Marketing research, focus groups, and client satisfaction surveys are polarizing topics. You have one group that live and die by data and truly believe in it and you have another group that avoids it at all costs. I would argue the benefits far outweigh the negatives when implementing a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey. If you don't agree with me, I plan on using this article to convince you.
Here are 8 positive impacts of a B2B customer satisfaction survey.
Lending an ear
First and foremost, simply giving your customers or clients an avenue to voice their feedback goes a long way. Sure, any major issues or problems be communicated on a daily basis without a survey but an effort like this allows customers and your company to take a step back and think about larger themes and strategies outside of daily minutiae. A good analogy is playing football everyday on the field focusing on one play at a time, versus stepping back and viewing plays from the booth. You need to spend time doing both and we all get so busy worrying about the little things we forget about the big ones.
Will you obtain a lot of feedback from your customers? Yes. (Hopefully.) Will you be able to act on all of it? No. Using simple techniques like asking importance of various factors and comparing those statistics to satisfaction with the same measures. This helps you pull out the major themes that are important to your customers, which your company may not performing well on (high importance, low satisfaction below.) Customers understand you cannot fix everything and that's okay. Focus on fixing the common issues that are important.
Do you wonder how you stack up against your competitors? You have a few options to tackle this in your CSAT survey including net promoter score (NPS). Another option is to ask if your company performs better, the same as, or worse than your competition. This can help you identify where competitors are outperforming your business and vice-versa.
Several questions in the survey can address your company brand. This can include asking the "first word or phrase that comes to mind when you think of Company ABC?" You can also inquire about positive or negative impressions of the brand. This helps you identify "who you are" in the eyes of customers. The most important perspective that matters.
Identify customer needs
Use the survey to understand what your customers needs and expectations are from your business. Do you meet those expectations? Are your customers using other firms to satisfy needs that you offer in-house? Are they even aware you offer those services? Find out here.
What are the hot button topics that keep your customers awake at night? Are they expecting a change in budget during the next cycle? Are they planning on shifting budget from campaign A to campaign B? The CSAT survey vehicle is a great way to stay ahead of upcoming changes in direction from clients. It allows your sales team to be more proactive.
Uncover the "unspoken" feedback
When customers have good relationships and friendships with the sales team, it becomes difficult for them to voice negative feedback. It's human nature. Delivering bad news is not easy. It's the equivalent of a college roommate not telling his roommate he is messy but rather telling everyone else in the dorm. Sometimes customers needs a confidential and objective platform like a survey to voice honest concerns that would otherwise go unspoken.
In addition the NPS benchmarks available by industry, you can also use the CSAT for internal benchmarking and goal setting year-over-year. Aim to improve your CSAT or NPS score YOY by creating a baseline of results, identifying improvement areas, making changes, and measuring change. How has the dial moved?
Once fieldwork is complete, your marketing research team in-house or the 3rd party vendor you use can help compile the results for your business. This includes closed-ended tallies and open-ended questions can be categorized so tables can be drawn as well. Focus as much time on strategic ideas and recommendations for your management team. Reporting on the data is only the beginning of the CSAT journey.
Drive Research is a B2B Customer Satisfaction and B2B Client Satisfaction Survey Company. Questions about how our firm can assist with you next CSAT survey? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 315-303-2040.