Should You Use Customer Feedback Surveys? | 4 Things to Consider

Customer feedback surveys. It is something a lot of companies swear by and cannot do without. Those who do not do it typically want to do it but just have not had the time, budget, or expertise to apply it.

Customer feedback surveys come in many shapes in sizes. The important part is instituting something to collect and review comments from your customers. Here are some examples of forms of customer feedback surveys:

  1. Comment cards at your retail store or restaurant
  2. Email surveys sent after the customer places an order
  3. Consumer ratings using Google or Yelp
  4. Mailed surveys to customer households
  5. Quick telephone calls after a store visit

No matter what option you choose, the important thing is to chose at least one. Although many businesses choose to embark on the customer survey train by themselves without an expert, using a third-party does offer value.

Value in terms of what are the right questions to ask, what is the right length, what is the best way to survey, and the ability to offer an independent third-party to collect honest and unbiased data.

Should You Use Customer Feedback Surveys? | 4 Things to Consider

Without customer feedback surveys your business is not getting the full picture. Here are 4 things you are missing out on if you do not conduct regular customer surveys. All 4 of these items are critical to the immediate and long-term success of a business.

You are not hearing issues to be corrected

As they say with market research, you are likely hearing only the extremes at your business. You hear from the customers who are very happy. You also hear from the customers who are really upset. Typically nothing in-between.

But those people in-between constitute your largest customer segment. What they have to say (both good and bad) is what is going to drive success or failure of your business. The only way to uncover feedback and insights from this audience is through a formal proactive customer feedback survey.


You are not understanding what drives customer loyalty

Similar to the prior point, you may be getting the highs and lows. Let's say you have a Google ratings system set up so people can rate your business. Unfortunately most of the ratings you receive are just simple star ratings without any detail.

For example, Jim rates your business a 4. Do you know what it would take to get Jim's rating to a 5? Did you know that Jim was planning on rating your business a 2 until the cashier made a friendly comment on his way out? Is Jim likely to mention this on his consumer review?

Likely not, but he would through a more formal customer feedback survey. These are the types of questions you can ask and the insights you can uncover with a survey.


You are not fully understanding the impact of your marketing

One of the most difficult pieces of running a business is understanding the ROI of your marketing. This has become somewhat easier in the digital age in which ads can be tracked back to website visits and even conversions. Some of these digital sources do an excellent job at tracking the "what?"

However, several other key performance indicators (KPIs) exist which need to be tracked regularly. These cannot be tracked through Google Analytics, Facebook, or AdWords. These are metrics like perception, net promoter score (NPS), and source(s) of awareness.

How valuable would it be if you knew where each and every customer saw or heard about you in the past 30 days. For example, your billboard on the highway, that television news sponsorship you ran on the weather program, etc. Understanding the impact and sources of awareness of your marketing helps you budget dollars more appropriately.

You are not benchmarking yourself to measure future success

Continually tracking customer feedback metrics helps your business evaluate yourself over time. Once you get started you can develop a baseline of metrics which becomes your goal.

For example, you tell your employees each month we want to achieve a 4.5 mean satisfaction rating out of 5. Therefore each month you can measure and monitor this which may dictate bonuses, rewards, etc.

Even more important, as you run your customer feedback surveys you will understand what drives good and bad scores.

Let's say you find out through analysis that those who mentioned long wait times were significantly more likely to rate their overall satisfaction low. Based on this you make a staffing decision to hire another cashier during lunch time to accommodate the increased traffic.

How did this change impact customer satisfaction?

It's easy when you have historical data to compare it against.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a customer feedback survey company in New York. Our offices are located in Syracuse, NY but our team works with clients across the country. We specialize in a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

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