In today’s economy retaining and growing your existing customer base is more important than ever. One key to retaining customers is to measure customer satisfaction.
Although most marketers would agree that conducting a customer satisfaction survey is beneficial to the company, many do not do it.
Some of the typical reasons companies do not conduct a satisfaction survey are:
- Lack of in-house research expertise
- No money for research
- No time to put it together
- We already talk to our customers all the time through sales and customer support
- I already know what our performance is on many key quality areas like delivery, product quality, order processing
- What we don’t know won’t hurt us – or afraid of what it might uncover
Let me offer some suggestions on how to overcome these objections:
Not Enough Resources – people, time, money
There are several ways to lesson the resource burden for executing a survey. First is that there are hundreds of online survey tools that are very inexpensive (we are talking less than $100). You can create a survey in minutes and these tools will perform basic analytics on the responses collected. If you have email addresses for your customers this is the fastest and least costly method to measure customer satisfaction.
Some online survey tools and resources:
Ideally you may find that mailing a survey is the way to go (doing both will increase your response rate). You can still use the online tool to print out a version of the survey to send the old-fashioned way.
Another time saving route, one that you may want to use if you feel less comfortable with your research skills, is to tap local college talent. Any college offering a marketing research course is a good target. Many professors will be happy to have a “real life” survey project for their students. You will get free help and the professor will make sure its done right. Only down side is it may take a semester to get the results.
Already Know What Customers Think
You might be dead on with what your strengths and weaknesses are and how customer’s perceive you. Even so, what a quantitative survey does is validate your perceptions. It makes it easier to provide support internally for improvement initiatives with objective quantitative data.
Also people have a tendency to share things on a survey that they might not share with a representative of the company especially with anonymity of a survey. And the obvious flaw with this objection is what if you are wrong? What if there is something you don’t know about how customers view your company?
What We Don’t Know Won’t Hurt Us
Underlying this objection is often a fear that something is wrong and you won’t be able to correct it, change it or know how to fix it. Get over your fear and take the leap. It is far better to know what your customers think than have your head in the sand. Knowledge will allow you to better control your destiny and retain customers.
Click here to read part I of this article post.