Keeping your customers happy is a vital part of the brand experience that small businesses should focus on from the get-go. A simple marketing tactic that small business owners can use to ensure their customers are happy is customer surveys!
What are the main benefits of customer surveys for businesses?
Customer surveys are a brilliant way to collect consumer feedback. These surveys help you judge expectations, conduct market research, and measure the satisfaction of your customers. With the help of surveys, businesses can find out what inspires customer loyalty, and what factors turn consumers away from the brand.
With the data collected from these surveys, you can improve your product, your brand, and your customer’s overall experience.
They improve customer loyalty
According to HubSpot, ‘About 50% of loyal customers have left a company for a competitor who was able to stay more relevant and better satisfy their needs.’ Additionally, ‘60% of American customers say they’ll consider switching companies following two to three instances of poor service.’
Today’s digital customer has plenty of choices, it’s not surprising that they’ll go elsewhere if their needs aren’t being met. By using customer satisfaction surveys, you can gain valuable insights, and address any issues immediately.
They encourage great customer service, which improves brand image
Customer satisfaction plays a key role in branding. People like to talk about their positive experiences. Think about how many times you’ve told a friend or family member about a product or service you’ve been really happy with. Ensuring a positive experience for your customers will elevate your brand image, especially if people share their experiences online using social media.
When customers are unsatisfied, they’ll often express their views on social media, allowing potentially millions of social media users to read their bad reviews. Unsurprisingly, negative feedback on social channels can tarnish a brand’s reputation.
Brands should take steps to ensure that they get positive comments and reviews online. And once you’ve generated some great feedback using surveys, they can be used as testimonials for further promotion.
How to use customer surveys
Conducting customer surveys have a range of benefits, both for the business and the customer. Some of the main benefits are:
Generate insights to improve your products
Customer feedback will help brands understand the strengths and weaknesses of their products, and how to make improvements.
Use surveys to identify customer values and shape what you offer to your customer.
Identify key trends
With the help of customer surveys, companies will discover consumer preferences, and trends in customer satisfaction levels by collecting and comparing survey data.
Plan your marketing moved based on the trends you find in your customer surveys. Let’s say you run a beauty business and notice people are loving your skincare products. Lean into this trend by sending an email campaign all about good skin with links to your skincare products!
Enhance the customer experience
Brands want to ensure a memorable experience, setting them apart from their competitors. Surveys help companies understand what they can do to enhance the customer experience.
Different types of customer surveys
There are several different types of customer surveys, here are some of the main surveys that brands use for customer feedback.
1. Customer Satisfaction Score Surveys
Customer Satisfaction Surveys are designed to judge how content a customer is, with a certain experience. For example, a CSAT survey might ask a customer how satisfied they were with a chatbot session. A CSAT survey might also ask a customer to rate one aspect of a product. The rating scale is between 1 and 5, with 1 meaning very dissatisfied and 5 meaning very satisfied.
To calculate a CSAT score brand uses the formula of (total satisfied responses/ total number of responses) multiplied by 100. Only customers who choose 4 or 5 are judged as ‘satisfied responses’.
The main purpose of a CSAT is to gather detailed insights into specific interactions. Using CSAT surveys you can get a clear view of how customers feel about certain experiences with your company.
2. Net Promoter Score
A Net Promoter Score is a survey that helps brands to determine customer loyalty and satisfaction. An NPS survey asks consumers just one question, ‘How likely are you to recommend this product to a friend?’ Consumers make a choice based on a scale of 1-10 and are briefly asked to explain their rating.
Any consumers who choose between 1 and 6 are labeled ‘detractors’. Those who choose 7-8 are labeled ‘passives’. Brands want as many people choosing 9-10 as possible, these individuals are your ‘promoters’. Companies can figure out their NPS score by calculating the difference between ‘detractors’ and ‘promoters’.
An NPS survey provides brands with a useful benchmark for success. Brands can contact the ‘detractors’, to ask questions about how they should improve. You can also contact your promoters, to determine your strengths, and ask for positive testimonials.
3. Product Development Survey
Product development surveys are distributed to customers before a company releases a new product or service. These surveys help to determine the demand and profitability for that new product. Product development surveys also help brands make product improvements. Brands provide customers with a product or service sample, and then ask for feedback, to determine its potential for success.
4. Customer Experience Surveys
Customer experience surveys are made up of targeted questions, helping a brand discover more about the customer experience. Often, customer satisfaction surveys are used as a follow-up to Net Promoter Surveys or Customer Satisfaction Score Surveys. These surveys can be used to determine where the customer experience was lacking, and what improvements are needed.
How to get the most out of a customer survey
Customer surveys only work if thoughtfully planned and properly executed. Before you design your surveys, you’ll need a solid understanding of how to get the most out of them.
Creating a successful survey relies on determining your goals, establishing what you hope to achieve from the survey. It’s best to keep surveys short, as shorter surveys tend to get a higher response rate. Focus your survey on a single objective, and keep it simple.
NPS and CSAT surveys are short by nature. Product development or custom surveys are slightly longer, yet it’s best to stick to between 5 and 10 questions.
Ask the right questions
Align your questions with the goals of your survey. Your goal might be gaining insights to improve a product; determining your customer service weaknesses; or establishing the successful elements of your product. A few general ideas for survey questions include:
- What made you choose this product instead of other options?
- How can we improve this web page?
- Do you feel this product is worth the money?
- What almost prevented you from making a purchase?
Time your surveys intentionally
If you’re sending surveys via email, Survey Monkey suggests customer survey response rates are highest when sent out on Monday and lowest when sent on Friday. On average, surveys sent out on Mondays received 10% more responses than average.
Incentivize finished surveys!
To encourage customers to fill out surveys, explain how providing feedback will help them in the long run. Feedback helps make product and service improvements that benefit your customers. If possible, provide an example of how you’ve previously used customer feedback to make positive changes. It’s also helpful to offer an incentive, whether it’s the chance to win a prize or a nice product discount.
Here’s a great example from Swedish sustainability brand A Good Company of offering an incentive to encourage customers to answer their surveys.
Analyze your customer surveys for success
Start by analyzing your main research questions, one might have been ‘How did the respondents rate the product overall?’ Calculate how many respondents are highly satisfied, how many are not, and express this as a percentage.
You should filter your results, using cross-tabulating. With this process, you can show the answers for each of your subgroups. It’s important to segment your data, so you can focus on your target audience. Remember, not all survey respondents will be your ideal customers.
The quantitative data you derive from closed questions should be turned into numeric values that are easier to understand. You should also interrogate your survey data, using questions to gain insights. A few examples might be:
- What was the most frequent response to question X?
- How did the people in group 1 feel about the product?
- Did customers agree that we have solved issue Y?
It’s time to survey your customers
Customer surveys are a valuable tool, supporting brands to improve customer loyalty and enhance brand image. Brands should use surveys to understand their customer’s needs, improve their products, and make the customer experience better.
To get the most of customer surveys brands must clearly define their goals and offer incentives to increase response. With a detailed analysis of survey results, brands will achieve powerful insights, to take their brand to new heights.