Are your customers happy with you? How do you know? Many small businesses make the mistake of assuming that their customers are satisfied, without ever making sure. If you’re not already doing so, it’s important to add customer surveys to your list of marketing tactics. Regularly conducting customer satisfaction surveys by phone will help you keep a finger on the pulse of your customers’ problems and address issues before they arise.
Here are a few reasons why you should make customer satisfaction surveys part of your sales and marketing plans:
– Gives you another occasion to check in with customers: Staying in touch with your current customers is a great way to boost customer retention, but sales people and business owners often struggle to find “new reasons to call.” You don’t want to contact your customers too often or annoy them with phone calls or contacts that aren’t really adding value for them. Contacting your customers with a customer satisfaction survey is a good occasion to call them, and it adds value for the customer by showing them that you’re trying to deliver better service.
– Create open-ended conversations: It’s important to do your customer satisfaction surveys by phone – not automated, not email, not check-the-box. A phone conversation is much more useful to generate specific feedback, because it gives you the chance to open up the conversation, listen to what the customers are saying, and listen for the unstated needs that the customer might not be openly saying. People act differently during phone conversations than they do when responding to a simple email or web survey form; people might not tell you the truth if your customer survey is too brief and perfunctory. Instead of mindlessly clicking through a list of questions, having a phone call to survey your customers is a better way to go deep and find out what’s really going on in your customers’ lives.
– Fend off your competitors: If you are not regularly checking in with your customers, guess who is? Your competitors! Conducting customer satisfaction surveys is a good way to stay top of mind for your customers and remind them that you’re focused on providing solutions to their needs.
– Identify problems earlier: Customer satisfaction surveys will often help you uncover problems at your customers’ businesses during the early stages. If the first time that you hear about an issue is when your customer calls you to complain, you are already losing that customer – they might already be frustrated beyond the point of wanting to keep doing business with you, and they might even have already asked your competitors for a price quote. It’s so much better for you if you can find out about problems and uncover your customers’ pain points before it becomes a big crisis.
– Develop follow-up sales opportunities: Customer satisfaction surveys are not just a good way to keep in touch with customers and retain customers; they are also a great opportunity to make repeat sales. Talking with your customers about their level of satisfaction might lead to new insights about their business – which parts of their processes are not working well, where are the areas that are causing them pain, how can your solution help? Look at the results of customer surveys for opportunities to cross-sell other products, or upsell more sophisticated solutions that are a better fit for what the customer needs.
Don’t assume that everything is fine with your customer relationships; don’t wait for them to call you, because if a customer is calling you with a problem, it might already be too late to solve. Part of managing customer relationships means being proactive in reaching out to customers. Doing customer satisfaction surveys – by phone – on a regular basis is one of the best methods to build stronger business relationships, improve your customer retention rates, and boost your sales results.