The word customer isn’t necessarily someone in a different organization who pays you for your goods or services. A broader definition has evolved whereby anyone whom you provide a service, solution or product and whose perception of you impacts your future success is a customer. To a company, all its employees are also its customers. To a company’s IT department, every computer user is a customer. And then, of course, there is the traditional customer, people who pay you money for a product or service.
The purpose of Customer Surveys is to help you discover how to make yourself more valuable to the people you serve. Successful organizations offer their customer the opportunity to provide feedback at and around every point of interaction. Such customer feedback is the basis of an improvement cycle in place at the most successful organizations.
Customer surveys are best when they are targeted. Targeted surveys explore a well-defined issue. Such focus helps investigate the issue fully while still keeping the survey short and interesting to survey participants. Equally importantly, the organization’s leadership must be committed to taking action based on the findings. Without such focus, surveys can become too broad, lengthy and the multitude of issues may dilute any actionable insight.
Customer surveys can be event-based (around an interaction with customer, e.g. one week after a purchase) or calendar-driven (once every year). Good surveys will enhance customer loyalty and poorly designed surveys can deepen the negative perception customers may have (in addition to not offering any valuable insight). Incentives for participating in survey can boost response rates but the most valuable reward to your customers may be to address the issues they identify in the survey.
If multiple departments in your organization survey your customers, you should worry about survey fatigue and incorporate a Touch Rules Manager. Survey fatigue refers to the situation when one person feels over-surveyed by your organization and as a result stops responding to survey requests. Touch Rules Manager is a technology solution that automatically ensures you’re not surveying any one person too frequently and are able to tap into a diverse set of customers for feedback.