Posted by: Heather Toll on November 2, 2018 at 8:00 am
Sometimes it seems that everything we buy — clothing, groceries, fast food, online transaction — comes with a survey request. After all, every business that cares about improving wants to know what its clients and customers think.
All these survey requests have drawbacks, however. They are easy to ignore and run the risk of inducing “survey fatigue.” After all, if every receipt has a survey, the customer can just catch up next time, right?
If your business model relies on recurring or ongoing business relationships, you definitely want the feedback needed to keep that relationship going. Here are a few methods we’ve found effective:
Email the buyer directly or provide a pop-up on your transaction end page. Make surveys easy for your customers, and they’ll be more likely to answer. Also, consider limiting survey frequency to help avoid “survey fatigue.” We limit our ticket surveys to every 30 days per contact.
What do you do with this information? Set a benchmark score that you want to hit, and coach your team on ways to meet that goal. If your scores are pretty good, set a threshold that they need to stay above. Ours is 4.3/5, and our current score is always on display in the office. Currently, we’re at 4.91, although we hit a high of 4.98 earlier this year!
Keep in mind that you want honest answers on these surveys. Sometimes actively requesting surveys results in low scores. We’ve been dinged on items we had no control over, and gotten hit with low scores from people who later admitted they were annoyed about something else. If the majority of your other surveys are positive, you should be able to absorb the occasional, “I’m ticked off but not at you; here’s a 1-star review anyway.”
And, yes, sometimes we deserved a low score. You need to be ready to accept that feedback, examine it for accuracy, and make corrections.
Ask via email
We just sent emails to several of our client business owners and managers, asking what they enjoy about working with us. Twenty percent answered, with several responses that made us happy to read.
Set up a meeting
Another way to ask is set up a meeting to check in with key contacts at your clients to be sure their needs are being met. While this is ideally done occasionally just as a “check-in” even when the relationship has no known issues, meeting with clients is almost critical if you know they have problems with your work or your services.
Overall, make it easy for your clients and customers to contact you. They should know their account manager and be able to contact that person. Just being easy to reach generally makes clients happier. After all, everyone wants to feel that their vendors and consultants are listening.