The value of market research will be constantly scrutinized. Much like most marketing strategies in an age where there is no shortage of data to evaluate efforts. This is especially true among small businesses that have never dipped into the customer experience (CX) ocean.
The premise of market research inherently makes sense: ask questions, receive answers, analyze feedback, make improvements. Yet, for a variety of reasons, some upper management teams believe their budget is better spent elsewhere. The success of market research and the future of the industry lies in improving the value and return of market research beyond simply analysis and data.
Since much of the ROI in market research sits in higher-level strategic improvements, elimination of risk, and process improvements, it's often difficult to pin down an exact ROI dollar amount. Whereas money spent on more advertising, particularly digital marketing, yields an exact number of clicks and conversions. In this scenario, ROI becomes simple math.
However, what's often not realized is that even a small investment in market research could increase those clicks and conversions 7-fold. Here is a case study where a small investment in user experience (UX) on a website resulted in a 665% ROI.
Find ways to add value to your customer surveys.
Drive Research recommends thinking bigger with your customer satisfaction survey. Instead of killing just one bird with one stone and addressing customer satisfaction alone, more opportunity and value exists if you know what questions to ask. Here are other proverbial birds to kill with your survey.
Ask Customers to Join a Panel
Obtain More Timely and In-Depth Feedback in the Future
Customer panels, advisory boards, and member groups are popping up all over the place. Regardless of industry, businesses are seeing the value in having a recruited and active audience ready to provide feedback on whatever is needed.
Need feedback on some potential billboard visuals? Send a quick survey to your panel. Need to understand how customer service has been performing in the past 6 months since significant operational changes were made? Make a few phone calls to panel members. The options are endless.
Panel members are typically rewarded for their time and effort on each request through either sweepstakes rewards or individual stipends if the commitment is large enough. The side benefit of building a panel is the panel members prove to be more engaged and more loyal in your brand because they feel their voice is being heard.
Use one of the last questions in your customer satisfaction survey to ask respondents if they'd like to join. This way you can gauge interest and you'll have some initial sign-ups.
Ask Customers for a Testimonial
Collect Plenty of Testimonials for Marketing Purposes With One Reach-Out
Word of mouth and referrals are a big part of growing a business. Decision-makers don't want to blindsided by a poor product or poor service so they want to know others who have used a company were satisfied. Testimonials can prove to be a very powerful marketing tool.
Yet, many companies have no formal process in place to collect testimonials. Some collect them on the fly. Others periodically send an email or make a phone call to request one. Others do nothing at all.
Your customer satisfaction survey is a great opportunity to collect this data. One of your last questions in your survey should ask customers if they'd be willing to provide a testimonial for marketing purposes. This can be a simple "yes" or "no" with a follow-up open-ended comment box if they select yes.
Mind blown right? A basic customer satisfaction survey with hundreds if not thousands of responses can produce an endless pool of customer testimonials to work into your website, proposals, and marketing materials. Outside of a mass reach-out to collect these, it might take your sales reps months if not years to receive the same volume of testimonials. You're welcome.
Ask Customers if They Would Like a Follow-up
Capitalize on New Lead Generation or Problem Resolution
One of the hidden values in customer satisfaction surveys is the ability to use the data for sales and lead generation. This is very true in surveys done for manufacturers as part of the ISO 9001 process. Much of the focus on the ISO 9001 process is on performance and quality standards, not how the same exact data can be leveraged to grow revenue and sales.
Emailed customer satisfaction surveys offer the ability to seed data so you can tie responses to geographies, product categories, spending levels, and sales reps.
Use a question at the end of the survey to ask your customers if they'd like a follow-up for any reason. These contacts can be passed directly to the appropriate sales rep for a follow-up email or phone call.
Perhaps they have a question about their order, a question about ordering new products, or a complaint about the quality of a recent order. Either way, it provides your representative an opportunity to discuss this with your customer whereas it may have otherwise gone unknown.
Those flagged negative cases may have meant a switch to a competitor without you knowing why. Now, you have a chance to follow-up before this takes place and you know exactly what went wrong before it's too late.
Drive Research is a customer satisfaction survey company in Syracuse, NY. How do we approach these projects? Our company offers a variety of methodologies including online surveys, phone surveys, and mail surveys. Questions about an upcoming customer satisfaction project? We can help. Call us at 315-303-2040 or email us at [email protected].