The Chicken or the Pig?
At salesEQUITY we’re in the business of helping other businesses conduct their business – successfully. After all, we are a B2B customer experience management tool. Personally speaking, I talk to sales, marketing, operations and customer experience professionals every day, and quite often – actually, most often, I hear the same thing: when it comes to customer satisfaction and surveying clients, most organizations are checking the box.
Now, understand, I’m not judging. Nooooo... I get it. Surveying your customers, asking the right questions and generally knowing what questions to ask, analyzing feedback and communicating this information out to stakeholders, can be a lot of work. Resources are tight and everyone is doing more with less – less money, less headcount, less resources – across the board.
So what do I mean when I say, checking the box? What I mean is most companies are surveying their customers. There is a genuine desire to improve customer engagement and satisfaction and rise about the noise of their competition. Become, what we call, a Trusted Advisor to their customers. Someone your clients go to not just when they need more products and services, but when they need advice on how to move forward in the area to which you’re perceived as an expert (after all, perception is reality). Unfortunately, while most companies execute customer satisfaction surveys (i.e., check the box) more often than not, the feedback data is never looked at. In my world, it’s akin to doing laundry. I can get the clothes in the washing machine and in then the dryer, but folded and put away? Now that’s another story.
Quite frankly, there is nothing worse than asking someone for their opinion and then ignoring it! Case in point, I belong to a gym, and without naming names (ok @GoldsGym) they sent me an email months ago asking me to complete a customer satisfaction survey. Granted this example is B2C, but the message applies – they want to hear from me. In fact, the subject as much as said so, “We Want to Hear from You”. And upon opening the email, “my Voice” apparently mattered to! Truth be told, now that I’m in the business of customer success and engagement, I not only take the surveys, but take them seriously. So I answered it. Low and behold, a week later I received another email from said gym (@GoldsGym) and again, they wanted to hear from me because apparently, "my Voice" matters.
And yet again, three days later, I get another email and this time they’re doing me a favor by reminding me they’d like to hear from me because - again, they'd like to hear from me because "my Voice" matters.
I’m not even sure where to start with the messages I’m receiving now that’s I’ve completed the survey and they’re asking me - repeatedly - to complete it. The first message, however, is they really should invest in a new survey provider, a service that de-dupes the names of those who’ve already completed the survey. Most importantly, though, my perception is they’re not doing anything with my feedback (and perception is reality because after all, I am the customer). If I could, I would tell the person responsible for executing their surveying that this could be done so much easier and effectively if they actually employed a service to manage, analyze and communicate the feedback data out to those who oversee my particular location. Not hard to do.
We have a saying around here, don’t survey your customers if you’re not prepared to take action with your feedback data. Go beyond surveying your customers and measure their experience. Keep in mind, if you’re going to ask 25 questions, be prepared to implement actionable solutions with the information you’re receiving, otherwise, your customers just get frustrated, the interactions transactional, and they will start looking elsewhere for the product and/or service your providing. If they’re not important enough to your business for you to implement the changes – good, bad or otherwise, they've recommended and keep them as loyal customers, then they will leave. There is just too much competition and businesses cannot compete on price alone; it’s a slippery slope and before you know it, you’re giving away your product and service in order to compete on price. Businesses should measure their customer's experience in order to get the full picture of their perception and the touch points impacting their overall experience with you and the people they interact with. The value you bring to the table must go above and beyond the price. And, please, don’t initiate a customer satisfaction survey if you’re not going to take action with the responses.
Register for our upcoming webinar:
Compliant or Committed? How to Make the Most of Your
ISO 9001 Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. ET