How to survey customers without being a pest
By Cate Schreck - Service Excellence Coach
Businesses understand it's vital to know what their customer's thoughts and feelings are about their products and services. Surveys are both a cost and time effective way to gather that information but unfortunately, poorly conducted surveys are common and can have once happy customers quickly changing their minds about a business. Let me explain.....
It's dinner time, you're just about to sit down with your family and the phone rings. Everyone looks at each other, rolls their eyes and ignores the ringing. Someone might feel guilty and answer the call, but they quickly wished they hadn't. It's the dreaded survey being conducted by someone who is clearly reading off a script.
The same thing can happen via email. You open your email and there they are; surveys from businesses seeking your feedback on their products and services. If there is the promise of a gift or entry into a competition, then you might start the survey but your care factor diminishes when you see there are more than 5 questions and some require you to think and not just choose a response.
It's not the survey that has customers annoyed, it's the way the survey is conducted.
Most customers are happy to give a business feedback IF you make it easy for them to do so AND you respect their time.
Be SMART when seeking to survey your customers;
Specific - What do you want to know and why? Keep your questions short and to the point.
Measurable - Record and track the feedback so you can identify areas where your business could improve.
Achievable - Make sure you have the staff with the expertise to do it properly - a poorly executed survey annoys customers
Reliable - Choose the platform/s that work best for your customers ie: phone, email, flyer, face to face or text messages
Timely - Seek the customers permission and preferred time of day and frequency. Don't assume.
Remember: Customers know why you want their feedback but they are more likely to give it to you if you give them an incentive to take the time ie: discounts, free stuff, improved services, competition, charity support, invitations, special offers, events etc.
Surveys done correctly will not only add value to your business, but will leave your customers feeling valued.
Lightbulb Training Solutions can help you survey your customers both professionally and easily - easy for you and easy for the customer.