Are you thinking about conducting a customer survey for your manufacturing company? As a customer survey company, we know a thing or 100 about the Voice of Customer (VoC) process. In this post you'll learn more about the benefits of pursuing a customer survey and how the results create insight, action, and change. It will also teach you about the basic steps involved to get your manufacturing company started with the customer survey process.
What more could you ask for?
What is the Value in a Customer Survey for a Manufacturer?
There is a lot of value. Insights. Recommendations. Perspective. Measurements. Understanding. ROI. These are just a few top of mind. Using a third-party customer survey company ensures the feedback you receive is unbiased, reliable, and statistically accurate. You can try to manage this process on your own but it has often taken our manufacturing clients more time and necessary expertise than what was assumed at the start.
VoC data creates action and change for the better at a manufacturing company. Changes are aligned with what your customers need and want ensuring your vision for marketing and strategy mesh with your verticals.
Wondering how the customer survey process works with a manufacturing market research company? Here are the basic steps involved.
Step 1: Proposal
Before you get started with customer survey, you will first want to request a market research proposal or quote from a customer survey company who works with manufacturers. We always recommend asking for a proposal instead of a quote. A quote is a high-level estimate with little information on process, timeline, or deliverables. So it becomes difficult to differentiate firms on anything outside of price.
A market research proposal is an in-depth look at your customer survey approach taken by the market research firm. It will discuss objectives, a step-by-step process (outlined below), a timeline, more exact cost, and list all of the deliverables.
A full proposal will help you make a more educated decision on a customer survey company.
Step 2: Kickoff
Once you decide which firm is the best fit for your manufacturing company, the VoC consultant will set up a time to meet with your team to officially launch the process. This is often a 30 to 60-minute conference call or screen share. The customer survey company shares a kickoff meeting agenda prior to the meeting to guide discussion. The kickoff covers core objectives such as:
- What do you want to learn from the market research?
- What are your expectations from the customer survey?
- What would you like to do with the results from the customer survey?
Following the kickoff meeting, the company will send a project workplan to your team which highlights key tasks, dates, and responsible parties. One of the items your manufacturing company will need to begin working on is a customer list (Excel, CSV, etc.)
Step 3: Design
After the kickoff meeting, the next step is to design a survey draft. This is completed in a Microsoft Word document and shared with your manufacturing team to make edits, changes, and comments. The survey draft can go through 1 revision or 10 revisions and the next step will not be taken until you are 100% satisfied with the flow, wording, and structure.
The manufacturing customer survey company will recommend several questions based on past experience in the field but also listen to your custom needs to develop unique questions.
After the design is complete in Word, then the survey is programmed if it is being conducted via email. Email VoC surveys offer the best ROI for you (quick turnaround, low cost, high quality data). If completed by mail or phone, different steps will be taken for formatting or programming via CATI. If online is chosen, you will receive a test link as if you were a potential customer participating.
Here is your ultimate guide to VoC surveys.
A customer survey completed through email offers the best ROI for manufacturers.
Step 4: Fieldwork
After the survey link is finalized and tested, the next step is a test drive or soft-launch. About 100 customers or 1% of the sample is pulled to test invitations. This ensures customers are comprehending questions correctly, there are no errors, and it also provides insight for response rates. Once complete, the survey is opened for a full launch. Several reminders may be sent to boost response rates or even personal phone call follow-ups from the customer survey company targeted to non-responders.
Step 5: Reporting
The final step after fieldwork is closed is analysis and reporting. This is the best part of the process because the customer survey company takes all of the feedback and translates it into insights and actionable takeaways. They make the hundreds and thousands of data points digestible.
The final report should include an executive summary of themes, recommendations, action items, an infographic, customer persona(s), and an appendix of question-by-question results. The full appendix will break down responses by things like age, vertical, order volume, sales, region, product line, etc. The number of cross-tabs are endless.
Contact Our Manufacturing Market Research Company
Drive Research is a manufacturing customer survey company who works with organizations all across the U.S. Our VoC services have helped numerous manufacturing companies improve levels of service and the customer experience (CX) at their organization.
Want to learn more? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 315-303-2040.