In the age of inbound marketing, we're all a little data crazy. There seems to be a KPI metric for every situation, and we do our best to collect and make sense of all of them. Data is great and necessary in order to make progress as a marketing team, but it's important to spend time collecting the right data so that you don't waste precious time and energy collecting useless information that's just going to sit there.
When it comes to surveying customers, collecting the right data has a lot to do with timing. Surveys are a marketing data goldmine for so many reasons: they allow you to increase customer satisfaction, reduce churn, get new ideas for new content and services, and quantify and qualify your marketing efforts. That being said, it's essential to make sure you are surveying your customers when it matters most so that the data you collect is helpful and relevant. Here are a few tips about when to survey your customers and when to avoid it.
#1 Directly after an interaction with your company - before it's too late
One of the smartest things you can do as a marketer is survey your customers after they have an experience with your company. Ask for feedback right after a service was delivered or a customer called customer support to get help. Why? Because one of the most important aspects of customer feedback is avoiding churn. If your customer has an unpleasant experience with your company, they may very well decide to contribute to the 91% of unhappy customers who leave a company without complaining because they are dissatisfied with the service. Surveying customers right after an interaction is giving them an outlet to express their dissatisfaction so that you can fix it. Fixing a bad experience is an effective way to keep people around: considering an estimated 67% of this customer churn is preventable if a customer issue is resolved at the time it occurs, but you have to be alerted of the problem in order to fix it, and a survey is a great way to ensure that you are.
TIP: A great way to do this is by offering a feedback survey right on your website.
That being said, it goes without saying that the wrong time to survey a customer is too long after an interaction. Don't wait more than a few days to get follow up on the customer's experience: it may be too late.
#2 Before making a big change
We're always looking for innovative ways to change up our company in order to make it the best it can be. However, not all change is welcomed by loyal customers who are comfortable with your product. Sending out a survey before a big change does two things. First of all, it alerts your customer that a change is coming and gives them a perceived feeling of power over the change. Being asked their opinion on the change will make them feel engaged, included, and more likely to accept the change. Second of all, it provides you with useful information on how the change will benefit your customers, as well as gives them a chance to speak up if the change is a problem for them. If you get an overwhelming response that this change is not going to make your customers happy, you'll have time to reverse the change.
TIP: You'll want to be sure to survey your customers again after the change has been implemented for a while to make sure their expectations match up with reality and that the change is as successful in practice as it was in theory.
#3 At the end of a marketing campaign
It is essential to track your results when marketing: not doing so is a waste of time and energy. One of the best ways to do this is by tracking your customer satisfaction. Surveys are one of the main ways that a marketing team can determine if a campaign was successful or not, and should be implemented at the end of every marketing campaign. Simply sending out a survey will give your marketing team a huge boost by allowing customers to give net positive or negative feedback that can shed light on how you're doing as a team. Without surveys, you may struggle to understand your audience and gain a good grasp on whether or not your content is working.
A marketing campaign survey should include questions on how user-friendly the customer found the marketing tools, how likely they are to refer your services to a friend, and whether or not they feel that your brand is accessible and relatable.
#4 After they leave
Yes we mean it! Surveying customers who decided to stop using your service is a great way to learn about the weaknesses of your company and help prevent future churn. GrooveHQ has a great template for an email that asks for this kind of sensitive feedback without appearing pushy or desperate.
Feedback is always helpful, but getting it at the right time can help direct your marketing initiatives, save you from losing customers, and guide you in regards to innovations and changes in your company. Don't miss out on the opportunity to turn your customer feedback into revenue for your company.