Who tells you that you’re doing it wrong? You may have those few customers that aren’t afraid to let you have it, but what about those that give you a try and then never return without ever knowing why not?
Feedback is a powerful tool and many companies have embraced that fact. It is now a major part of their business. Think about how many companies have offered you a little gift, or even a chance to win a big prize just for filling out a very simple survey. There are even some that call you shortly after they’ve provided a service to you. The employee you’ve dealt with will typically ask if you’ve been satisfied with the service they provided. If you say yes, they follow up with telling you that you will receive a phone survey usually within a couple days and that they would appreciate high marks on it. Should you say no, they will attempt to fix your issue until you say yes.
Employee wages and bonuses are often tied to these customer service metrics. These companies want to know that their boots on the ground are offering you the best service possible. They want to ensure that you are happy and haven’t been given any reason to shop the competition. As you may or may not know, it is much more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to focus on keeping your existing ones.
Surveys are also given to evaluate the service or product in an effort to improve it. For instance: On products they want to know how you use it, how easy it is to use, are you using all the features, and what features you’d like to see added. They offer you thoughts and suggestions only for the cost of doing the survey and you decide how you can improve your process or product. This is social research & design at work.
Surveys can be given through the use of robust expensive systems that offer complex analytical tools, but an e-mail survey or a Survey Monkey can be done for minimal cost. This is also a good way to introduce new products. Getting the product into your target customer’s hands and capturing their thoughts on the product can help you to develop an MVP. (Minimum Viable Product) This is extremely useful in preventing you from wasting resources on unnecessary extra features and making the improvements that add value. In reality, the definition of your product or service has increasingly become market driven.
As you can see, feedback can be a powerful tool. Keep in mind, however, that a customer is more likely to be less forthright to your face than an anonymous questionnaire. Start getting feedback from your customers and see where it gets you! And as always, “Stop Doing the Mundane, and Start Getting Weird!”