Numbers don’t lie: four reasons why the statistics show you need a Customer Survey Strategy


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Your business may be taking off, but it won’t thrive without you having a deep insight into what your customers think and say about you. You need feedback on your customer’s opinion about the product or service your business offers. You need to understand how they feel about your company or brand. And you need to learn how easy it is for your customers to deal with you and how likely they are to recommend you to others.

You need a Customer Survey Strategy.

Most companies know that a customer experience strategy is vital for their business. But you need to go deeper than that, and ensure you’ve got a strategy for measuring that experience via surveys. But with so many demands on your already stretched time, is it worth implementing? Here are just a few reasons as to why it’s crucial:

It increases customer retention, and there are the numbers to prove it

Customer feedback gives you a direct line of communication with your consumers, so you know if they are happy with you, which means in the event that they’re not, you can you do something before you lose their business. By keeping your finger on the pulse, you can immediately attend to a frustrated customer’s needs before they shift to another supplier.

In a Customer Experience Impact Report backed by Oracle, it was shown that 89 percent of consumers start doing business with another company after a poor customer service experience.

How much do companies lose because of poor customer service? Research firm New Voice Media reported that in 2013, U.S. companies lost $41 billion in sales due to poor customer service. The same report noted that 44 percent of US consumers would buy from another company after getting sub-par service.

It can help build your brand (and yes, there are numbers to prove it!)

Studies have shown that satisfied customers will not only buy more often, they’re also likely to help spread the word and recommend a company or a brand to their friends and family members. This is heavily exploited by those companies using the Net Promoter Score method, developed by Bain & Co, or the Advocacy Index, pioneered by VIRTUATel Ltd.

With the power of social media, sharing negative and positive perceptions are just a click away. A negative comment posted on your Twitter feed or Facebook wall can be seen by many prospective clients.

According to the Harvard Business Review, , 48 percent of people who had a negative experience with a brand will tell 10 or more people about it.

Software development firm Zendesk says that 87 percent of customers will share good experiences with other people. The same firm adds that 69 percent of consumers read positive reviews on social media, and 45 percent of customers share negative reviews online.

And if you have an online-based business, here’s one key statistic that you should be aware of — 88 percent of online buyers are influenced by online customer reviews. So if you have a bad review on Facebook, chances are a prospective buyer will go to your competitor.

Collecting feedback is easy, using today’s technology. For example, one of the most popular survey options is an unobtrusive popup, which displays at the bottom of the web page and asks just a single question quickly and simply.

It is the best way to measure consumer satisfaction (some more numbers…)

A CEI Survey conducted revealed that 86 percent of buyers will pay more as long as they are satisfied with the service or product offered by a company. A slight improvement to the customer experience at a typical $1 billion company can produce an additional $262 million to $272 million in revenues over three years, according to the Temkin Group. Crucially, you have to ask the questions in order to gather the data that will allow you to make these changes.

Given these numbers, it’s surprising to learn the number of companies that don’t have a customer experience plan at all. In fact the Multichannel Customer Experience Report in 2015 showed that only 1 out of 4 companies have a well-developed strategy for improving customer experience and satisfaction.

It delivers tangible data that can then inform business decisions (and yet more numbers…)

You should use the inputs you gather from customer surveys for improving your customer’s experience at every step of their journey with you. Many companies only survey customers that call into the contact centre, usually with a complaint about something. But there are multiple, smaller pain points that these calls won’t uncover – difficulty with the billing process, slow delivery, or a non-intuitive website.

You can also use the data to improve the help section on your website, reducing the amount of calls that your business will get from inquiring customers, saving further money. The Harvard Business Review notes that an improved website help section can reduce calls by as much as 5 percent.

All these statistics point to the obvious—your company needs to have a customer survey strategy in place, so that you can take the pulse of your consumers. By having one, you can ensure the success of your business as you can retain customers, and given the power of a satisfied customer, you can look forward to new customers referred as well!

Alan Weaser
Alan Weaser is the Group Chief Executive of VIRTUATel Limited. He's worked in the IVR, telecommunication and contact centre market for over 25 years. Having started his first business in his 20's, he went on to work in various sales roles, before specialising in cross-platform automated customer satisfaction measurement technology.


  1. This is great. Do you think you need a consultancy to develop a strategy or can vendors supply the necessary skills.

  2. This is a valid list. My only suggestion is to make certain that, beyond using surveys to identify and act on customer experience positives and negatives, the underlying emotions in these value delivery elements take center stage. Emotional drivers, and their impact on experience memory, are rarely considered; but they are absolutely pivotal.

  3. Polly, vendors such as ours are quite capable of helping you formulate and drive your strategy. Key, for any supplier is to ensure they can capture feedback across all you contact channels.

  4. We completely agree Michael. That is why on voice surveys, we encourage the capture of verbatim comments to get the words and emotions of the caller. Online survey comments can also go a long way towards that, albeit that a recording brings you so much closer to the customer’s “voice”.

  5. Agree that open-ends can be useful; however, they represent sentiment rather than emotion, which is far more subconscious in nature.


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