Feedback goes a long way toward helping a business get better. But before you put together a focus group, post a few questions on social media or create one of those cutesy ‘tell us what you think’ cards – stop! The information you need is literally a phone call away.
If you really want to improve all areas of your business – from marketing to operations – put a system in place to get continuous feedback (aka research). Surveys are a great tool for business growth. Here’s why.
What Customer Surveys Help You Accomplish
- Stay in contact with your customers. A phone call asking for feedback demonstrates you care and value your customers. You get information, they feel appreciated. It’s a win-win.
- Learn from your mistakes. No matter how good you are, mistakes will happen. But most customers won’t bother to tell you – unless you ask. We can only learn and fix mistakes we know about!
- Identify possible problems. Many big problems, the kind that cost you customers and profits, start off as smaller issues that were unidentified or ignored along the way. Flagging problems early saves you time, money and your reputation.
- Get testimonials, online reviews and referrals. The best time to ask for these is when customers are singing your praises. You may even uncover some gems you didn’t expect to find. Sometimes these are little things we take for granted – but customers don’t and they notice.
- Quantify your quality. If you build scoring within your surveys, you now have the ability to track improvements and support claims – in your marketing and sales. Others may claim great service, on-time delivery or quality – you can back yours up with metrics that matter.
While written surveys are certainly better than doing nothing, oral or phone surveys work best for three reasons. First, since they are conversational, people tend to open up and reveal more information. Second, they leave less to interpretation. Not sure what they mean? Ask another question for clarification. Third, the tone of the message is often more telling than the words. It’s not what you say, but how you say it. This is lost on written and online surveys.
Over the years, I have done surveys and tracking with plenty of clients in all different industries. They work. Put them on your priority list and you too will see performance improvements in all areas of your business.
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