With customer experience becoming a top priority for companies of all sizes, in all industries, marketers and business leaders are striving to find fresh ways to learn more about the wants and needs of their target customers. Understanding the customer is the key to providing an outstanding Customer Experience (CX), but gathering adequate information to learn what customers like about your brand, products, and services and what they don’t can often be time-consuming and difficult.
Social media engagement is one method for learning more about your target market, and, of course, it’s also a great way to improve upon CX. But to truly gather a wealth of significant data and information compactly and in a short time span, you need to present your target market with a customer survey.
The Importance of the Customer Survey
For quite some time, customer surveys have had a certain stigma attached to them—customers just didn’t want to waste their time taking them. And so many companies stopped using them and sought other means to gather critical data. But the truth is the customer survey, when done right, can deliver a substantial amount of critical information that serves multiple purposes.
They tell you:
- How the customer perceives your brand.
- What customers like or don’t like about your products or services.
- What the customer is seeking to purchase in the future, if anything at all.
- How your business compares to your competitors.
- What areas of your business need improvement.
Essentially, surveys give you the data you need to break the internal echo chamber that can blind a company from how their customers truly perceive them. With that information in hand, you have the knowledge you need to solve customer pain points better, improve the customer journey map, increase customer retention and profitability, and deliver excellent customer service.
But, simply asking a customer to fill out a survey will not fare very well. You need to regularly find fun and creative ways to survey customers so they will be more inclined to not only complete your survey but also provide strongly detailed answers.
Three Types of Customer Surveys
There are three types of customer surveys you may present to your target market:
- Telephone surveys; often provided at the end of a customer service call
- Paper surveys; typically handed to customers in a brick- and-mortar location or mailed
- Online surveys; usually given after an online purchase or by inviting a customer via email to participate in the survey
Bonus tip—customer surveys can be directly incorporated within interactions you regularly have with your clients. Zoe, our resident chatbot, can already direct your customers to the information and products they're looking for, take payment, and enable video chat, but she can also serve as a powerful platform to conduct surveys through. Connect with one of our CX Advisors and see how Zoe can enable transformative experiences for your customers that feel fun and natural while being informative.
Regardless of which type of survey you wish to use, you must also find a way to entice the customer to complete the survey. One way you can do this is by showing them how much you actually value their feedback. Letting your customers know that you carefully read and consider each of their responses to survey questions lets them know that they have a voice and that their input matters.
Another way is to offer them the opportunity to take the survey at a time of their choosing while providing an incentive such as the chance to win a gift card, a discount on a future purchase, or a free e-book download.
What other ways can you think of to get a customer to complete a survey? What would get you to complete a survey? Remember, it’s all about the customer experience—delivering the survey and improving your organization based upon the results are both a part of providing good CX.