I love a good survey. When given a chance, I’ll provide honest feedback about my recent dining experience or about a service call by my plumber. A successful business strategy will meet customers’ needs; and the way to know how well those needs are being met is to ask. However, simply asking the question is not enough…customer feedback should prompt action that improves the customer experience moving forward.
I’ve had experience with a wide variety of marketing research tools over the years while working with business clients and community projects. My favorite tool for collecting customer feedback is a thoughtful and targeted survey – paper or online, doesn’t matter. What matters is the quality, timeliness, and actionable feedback gleaned from the survey.
When creating a survey, I am guided by these questions:
· What do we want to know? (goal)
· How should the questions be asked to give us the most valuable data/feedback? (approach)
· How will the results of the survey be used? (application)
· To whom should the survey be administered and when or how often? (respondents/timing)
· If applicable, how much demographic data about the survey respondent is relevant? (respondents)
Using these guiding questions, here is a concise description of one of my recent survey projects.
Client Satisfaction Survey: This online survey measures client satisfaction with provided consulting services at multiple defined points during a consulting project/contract. Scaled questions measure 1) client satisfaction overall and with various aspects of the consulting partnership, and 2) perceived progress toward shared goals. Additionally, open-ended text forms guide consultant-partner(s) with specific feedback to identify potential areas for improvement and whether project goals need to be modified. The survey link will be sent to the primary contact(s) for the client account on a pre-determined schedule (example: 30-day/6-month/annually), and client feedback will be received and reviewed by the assigned consultant and his/her supervisor to determine necessary action that addresses clients’ feedback.
A strategically designed and administered survey provides a direct line of communication with customers that must be respected as a call to action. I feel valued when given the opportunity to share my opinion, and I respect a company that wants to hear what I have to say. The company can continue to develop my loyalty as a customer and is able to use the insight to improve its products or services. Win-win.
BluePrint Strategy prioritizes meaningful client engagement in its own service delivery to clients and within strategic consulting for growing companies that strive to always meet customers’ needs.