Surveys Can Save Your Business


Businesses can suffer a severe lack of insight when it comes to perception of their brand. You may have great buyer personas and a knockout marketing plan, but if you're not surveying effectively, you could be missing out on crucial data. Three types of customer satisfaction surveys will each provide you with insight you can use to build stronger customer relationships.

Types of Customer Satisfaction Surveys

  • Net Promoter Score (NPS): Customers use a simple scale to rate how likely they are to recommend your business. They may also be given the chance to offer free form feedback. The score is calculated by subtracting negative ratings from positive ones, essentially showing you how positive your brand looks to customers.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): Probably the most direct means of capturing customer satisfaction, this score is gathered from the response to a simple survey question, too. Unlike NPS, the scale is typically graphic rather than numeric.
  • Customer Effort Score (CES): You can assess how happy your customers are by asking them how much work it took them to get a resolution to their problem or make a successful purchase. The idea here is to make doing business with you easy and thus, likely to be repeated.

Why Survey

If you're asking yourself, "Why bother with surveys?" What you're really wondering is, "What will I get from knowing whether my customers are satisfied?" The answers might surprise you.

Address issues more quickly. When a customer makes a purchase, then takes your follow-up satisfaction survey and indicates they had some issues with your checkout, you can rectify it immediately. If you hadn't sent the survey, how many customers would abandon their cart due to difficulties you didn't know they were having?Track changes. When you introduce a new product or service or make changes to existing ones, it can be tough to get actionable feedback. If you're using a survey system, track fluctuations in your score from prior to the change to see if your customers are happy with the changes.

Increase customer satisfaction. Naturally, the goal is to make changes which improve the customer experience and relationship. It's not about making your score higher, but addressing your customer's needs better.

Improve customer service. These surveys can help you identify when customer service isn't providing your customers with the best possible experience. Whether via social channels, call center, or in-person, survey feedback will let you know when things aren't going well.

Create brand ambassadors. You have the opportunity to reach out directly to your survey respondents, so do it. Offer loyalty perks to happy customers. Thank detractors for their feedback and show them the changes you implemented to address their concerns. Ask them to give you another chance and incentivize it. Invite lukewarm respondents to fun social media campaigns that get them interacting with you. You'll have customers bragging about you in no time.

Understand your customers. You'll gain a deeper understanding of what drives your customers to respond the way they do to your brand by asking them. Survey feedback is the first piece of the puzzle, but reaching out afterward fills in the rest of the picture.

Most importantly, you must act upon the feedback you receive, quickly and effectively. Be sure to let your customers know when you've made changes, regardless of how they rated your business.

When to Survey

So how do you best implement a survey to get great feedback without annoying your customers? You can add a sidebar or popup in-app, offer after service or purchase, via email, pop-ups in videos, or attached to marketing images, such as in Instagram posts. What works best for you will vary depending on your business and where your customers are most active. However, it is generally good policy to survey on a regular basis so you can compare your score over time. Avoid surveying more often than you can sufficiently analyze the data you collect or so frequently your customers stop responding.

Lengthy customer surveys tend to be tedious for your customers and sometimes the questions are too leading, giving you data that's barely useful. Yet you must get your customer's critical opinions to keep them happy and coming back to you. Customer satisfaction surveys that give you a snapshot of your customers' overall opinion and their feedback can mean the difference between offering an "okay" experience and creating excited brand ambassadors every day.

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About the Author

Diana Doherty
Diana Doherty is a writer specializing in a range of topics including: technology, gadgets, business applications, social media, military family life, and literature. She earned her bachelor's degree in English from SUNY Oswego.
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