I was talking with a business peer the other day; let’s call him Sam the Sales Rep. He was really distraught with a comment shared on a survey. The comment was from one of his best clients. It seems that in the comments section at the end of the survey, the client noted that he feels like every time he talks with Sam, that he is trying to sell him something. Sam, on the other hand, felt like he was helping his client by letting him know about everything that his company could do for him. Talk about a communication gap!
When is the last time you surveyed your customer base? A customer survey is a great way to learn what your clients think about every step of doing business with your company. Your client might love you but do they love your accounting department? Customer service? Shipping? You get the idea. The goal here is to get a 360 degree view of their customer experience with you and use that information to get better.
If you work in a B to C environment, you may already be getting lots of great feedback through social sites but in the B to B world, it’s less likely that our clients will Tweet or comment on Yelp about their customer experience with you. A well thought out survey with specific, detailed questions is a great step toward continuous improvement.
So now that you are convinced that you need to survey your clients, what are your options? The first is an e-mail survey, a great way to get in touch with a lot of clients in one shot. There are a number of companies that specialize in that, just ask your friend Google or Bing to find them for you. The other option is a good old fashioned phone survey. Slower yes but it might be worth it.
Bill Clerico, CEO of payment collection service WePay, has used many different types of surveys over the years, but has found he gets the most information through voice-to-voice conversations with his customers. “Last month the CEO, COO, marketing director, marketing coordinator, PR manager, three sales managers, three customer support reps and even some engineers got on the phone with a variety of customers — both pleased and displeased — and simply asked for feedback on the product, support and how they perceived WePay as a company,” he says. “The information was more valuable than any digital survey we’ve ever completed.”
It’s a competitive world out there; make the effort to find out what your clients think of you. You might be in for a surprise but wouldn’t you rather find out?