Listen Up: How Companies Can Tune In with Customer Surveys

Listen Up: How Companies Can Tune In with Customer Surveys

In this post, we’ll discuss how customer surveys differ from other feedback channels—and how companies can use the feedback they collect to create positive change. Good or bad, every customer has an opinion about your products and services. And while every customer has an opinion, not everyone voices it to the company. It’s great that customers can voice their opinions publicly and help inform prospective buyers, but reviews often do little to help the company improve. Customer surveys make feedback actionable. Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys: It’s fairly simple to measure customer satisfaction with specific interactions, but one-off surveys don’t necessarily capture the quality of your customer experience holistically. The NPS survey approaches it a bit differently, using one primary question (How likely are you to recommend our business?) Maybe someone at the company is reading every online review and monitoring CSAT ratings daily, but if that doesn’t translate into visible action, it’s meaningless from the customer’s perspective. To put customer feedback to good use, it needs to be highly accessible to your team. The Campaign Monitor product team uses feedback from their NPS survey to plan and prioritize future product updates and feature releases.

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At the core of every successful company is a strong understanding of its customer base. When companies recognize their customers’ wants and needs, they can make sound decisions on product and service offerings, which ultimately drive revenue.

Most businesses rely on customer feedback to understand their customers. They read Yelp reviews, monitor brand mentions on the web, and measure customer satisfaction.

But once they collect all that feedback, what do they do with it? There’s a big difference between monitoring and listening. If customers feel like they’re screaming into the void each time they share feedback, they’ll be less likely to speak up in the future.

Companies have to prove that customer feedback breeds real results. In this post, we’ll discuss how customer surveys differ from other feedback channels—and how companies can use the feedback they collect to create positive change.

Everyone has an opinion—but not everyone voices it.

Good or bad, every customer has an opinion about your products and services. They judge every experience, from a store’s layout to a customer service agent’s tone of voice. These experiences affect their brand perception, which they share online and offline with friends and coworkers, many of whom might be potential customers.

And while every customer has an opinion, not everyone voices it to the company. For every one customer that complains, another 26 remain silent—and take their business elsewhere.

This is an important stat to consider. Many businesses wrongly assume that silence is a sign of satisfaction, and they’re left wondering why their customer churn rate is so high. That’s why proactively seeking feedback and giving customers convenient channels to voice their issues can make such a difference.

It’s easier than ever to share feedback publicly.

In the age of the connected customer, it’s easy to share feedback publicly. Customers can post their opinions of brands on review boards, Facebook pages, and forums with little to no moderation. And they do it. Research shows that 45% of customers turn to social media to share negative reviews.

Leaving a quick message on social media is easy, and it offers some level of anonymity. There’s no face-to-face interaction. A customer can berate your business or sing its praises without speaking to a manager or submitting a formal complaint.

As a result, companies need to keep up with social feeds and review sites constantly to maintain their online reputation. Every comment, good or bad, deserves a response.

And while social media plays an important role in business today, company social feeds don’t offer a complete picture of customer sentiment. The same is true for online review sites, like Yelp and G2Crowd.

It’s great that customers can voice their opinions publicly and help inform prospective buyers, but reviews often do little to help the company improve. A 2-star rating and a generic message don’t provide measurable or actionable feedback.

That’s why asking for feedback is crucial. Paired with insights from online reviews, customer surveys can deliver a 360-degree view of your customer base.

Customer surveys make feedback actionable.

Customer experience surveys give you the flexibility to personalize questions and dig deeper into feedback. For example, you can use survey logic to customize the question flow based on how customers respond. If someone gives you a low CSAT rating, your next question might ask them to explain why their experience was poor.

With a purposeful approach to feedback collection, you can get a lot more from your data. Customers are more likely to offer useful suggestions when they have a bit of guidance.

Here’s a look at some standard customer surveys:

  • Product satisfaction surveys: Product adoption is a big component of the customer experience. If setup goes smoothly, customer satisfaction starts strong. If your products are confusing or frustrating to use, the customer experience quickly sours. Measuring product satisfaction after purchase can reveal flaws (and benefits) you’d otherwise never hear about.
  • Customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys: You’re probably familiar with this common survey type. CSAT surveys have long been used to measure customer interactions and pinpoint issues…

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