Customer satisfaction surveys play a crucial role in running a healthy business. Surveys help measure satisfaction – and dissatisfaction – with products and services, build customer trust, and provide a business with opportunities to evaluate its overall performance.
Of course, sales and profits are crucial to a business’s success, but so is customer perception. And, for this reason, businesses need customer satisfaction surveys to truly understand how well they are performing in the marketplace.
Here are a few key ways in which well-executed customer surveys will benefit any business.
1. They will reduce customer churn
Accenture reports in a 2008 study that price is not the top reason for customer churn. The number one reason is poor quality customer service.
On average, companies lose about 10% of their customer base each year. And acquiring new customers is difficult. Companies with high retention rate do better in the long run.
Emmet and Mark Murphy report that acquiring new customers could cost upwards of five times more than keeping existing customers. And even just a two percent increase in customer retention will have the same effect on profits as cutting costs by ten percent.
Customers will generally tell a business when they are happy but rarely say anything when they are about to defect to a competitor. Smart businesses will reduce churn by using surveys to identify “at-risk” customers. Insights gleaned from surveys enable them to make immediate and necessary improvements to products and services.
2. They will increase a customer’s lifetime value
When a company creates the groundwork for a repeatable customer-centric marketing initiative, it creates a process for turning customers into brand loyalists.
Surveys enable a business to build into its operating system a map of each customer’s journey, key to maintaining loyalty. Better understanding of the customer will improve overall customer interactions and customer experience.
In this way, customer-centric businesses can use surveys to check in with customers, improving operations and overall customer experience.
3. They will reduce negative word of mouth
In study after study, customers rank superior customer service as their number one priority when doing business with a company. Dimensional research reports that 62% of B2B and 42% of B2C customers purchased more as a result of positive customer service experiences. At the same time, 66% of B2B and 52% of B2C customers walked away from a company when they were dissatisfied with the customer service they received.
In this study of 1,046 participants, a whopping 88% claimed online service reviews influenced their buying decisions. This was true of both positive reviews (90%) and negative (86%).
Surveys signal to the customer that a business genuinely cares about their feedback and wants to know how they can provide improved service. And even better is when a representative follows up the survey by directly contacting a customer, particularly one who is disgruntled, for an individual conversation. Nothing demonstrates a customer’s value to a company that a phone call.
Satisfaction surveys are key to a healthy business
This evidence suggests that business shouldn’t stop seeking opportunities to strengthen customer relations, deepen loyalty and deliver superior customer service experiences. But, in addition, they must be cognizant of improving performance which undermines loyalty and leads to unsatisfying experiences. With regards to both, customer satisfaction surveys provide a clear solution, offering companies a smart and efficient method for building and maintaining solid business.