Customer Focused Surveys: Six ideas to gain success, eliminate waste and increase customer value (Part One)

Customer focused surveys and other feedback mechanisms are commonly used to assess customer satisfaction and loyalty. In some companies, however, surveys can become entrenched and self-sustaining, generating mountains of data without a corresponding volume of valuable actions.

In other cases, surveys are little more than a mechanism to harness customers in the role of quality audit. (Think of the survey form you were given at the end of a flight, a meal, or a hotel stay. Were you really glad to see it?)

If your company suffers from a legacy of outdated survey techniques, take a fresh look at what a survey could achieve for your customers and your company.

Idea #1: Your purpose is to create value, not to collect data

A customer focused survey must create value for your customers. The primary purpose is to learn where, when and how you can take action to add more value, secure more business and increase loyalty for your company.

Survey results should not leave you confused or uncertain about what to do. They should help you prioritise what is most important to fix a customer’s problems, seize new opportunities, win against competitors and grow your business.

If your survey does not help you efficiently and pragmatically achieve these goals, it is time to review and revise.

Idea #2: Your survey should be a positive customer experience, not a painful procedure

Participation in your survey should be a positive experience for your customers.

Customers should look forward to this activity as a worthwhile investment of their time. If your survey process is perceived by customers as a pain or a time-waster, you may be destroying more value than you create.
In the B2C segment, surveys should not leave customers feeling like the auditors of your product or service. Instead, your survey should feel like an invitation to contribute to an even more satisfying customer experience.

In the B2B segment, an effective survey leads customers to see you as an attentive, carefully listening and quickly responding supplier. Customers who complete the survey process should feel more energized to collaborate and more optimistic about the success they will have with you in the future.

(Read Customer Focused Surveys Ideas #3-4)