Customer surveys play an important role in helping to identify the areas of a business in need of improvement, as well as highlighting successful areas which can then be leveraged in order to help expand business growth.
There are several ways in which surveys can benefit all types of business, from small firms to multinational corporations.
Surveys for small businesses:
Smaller firms can extrapolate all sorts of useful information from surveys. As an example, the proprietor of an independent clothing boutique could conduct a survey in order to understand the tastes of shoppers and to find out about the latest trends. The owner of a small cafeteria or restaurant might use surveys to ascertain how customers found out about the business, what they liked about it and whether they will return.
Surveys for medium-large businesses:
Managers of larger firms generally don’t have a lot of direct contact with customers. Surveys are therefore useful in order to provide customer feedback and assess the performance of employees with regard to fulfilling service-related objectives and goals. Surveys on this level can be used to target specific customer groups by demographics – age, gender, geography and so on.
Surveys from a consumer perspective:
Most customers like to engage with their favourite brands, and surveys give them a platform to voice their opinions on products and suggest the changes they would like to see implemented. Customers like to feel valued, and giving them an opportunity to express their opinion achieves this.
The risk of not conducting customer surveys:
It is the belief of some business managers that surveys only attract unsatisfied customers. Not conducting surveys can be a risky strategy, and can mean missing out on qualitative information sourced directly from customers.
Different survey types:
There are many ways in which to conduct surveys – via post, email, phone calls and ratings cards at shop checkouts, as well as holding focus groups organised by professional market research analysts. There are also opportunities to incorporate surveys into company websites, and incentives such as vouchers or free gifts are often used in order to gain a satisfactory response.
Timing your survey:
It’s important to know when to conduct a survey. Many businesses choose to gain insights from customers following the launch of a new product or after overhauling the business in one way or another. Surveys should be conducted when business is good and when business is bad, as the difference in feedback can provide valuable information on what’s going right – as well as what’s going wrong.
The impact of surveys:
The results of a survey can affect multiple facets of a business, and provide a useful insight into levels of customer service, employee efficiency, pricing, and how customers rate your company in comparison to competitors. Surveys are essentially tools used to gain information to aid business success.