In a world where it costs 5-7 times more to acquire new customers than retain them, and where it costs companies an average of $234 every time they lose a customer… it’s becoming more and more important to measure customer satisfaction and retain more customers.
I recently spent the last week talking with some of our customers here at Client Heartbeat, asking them how they integrate customer satisfaction surveys into their businesses.
Every business owner has the fear of losing a BIG customer, but unfortunately for a lot… they don’t realize there are actionable strategies and tools available to help monitor customer satisfaction and identify ‘at risk’ customers early, before they start walking out the door.
If you’re not convinced that you should be using surveys to monitor satisfaction, have a read of these 10 mind-blowing reasons why customer service is the new marketing.
So, with that in mind… here are five of the best ways you can integrate customer surveys into your business:
1. Introduce customer satisfaction surveys into your sales process
This is one of the easiest ways to get your customers on board. I recommend showing customers your customer surveys and explaining why you do it quite early on in the customer cycle – during the sales process.
By doing this, it shows that you really care about customer service and making sure your customers are always satisfied. As a customer, there’s no better feeling like a business that cares and would go out their way to help if a problem arises.
Lots of our Client Heartbeat customers like to use this strategy as a point of differentiation.
How many of your competitor’s do something like this?
I dare say not many at all.
2. Make reviewing customer satisfaction surveys a part of your own company meetings
Reviewing customer surveys at your own monthly company meeting can help you involve all your employees and create a very customer-focused culture.
I’ve seen this done first hand and the results are amazing. By collaborating with account managers and staff, you can quickly identify why specific customers have given you the ratings or scores they have.
For instance, if a customer gave you a rating of 6/10 for accuracy, you can quickly chat to your staff member who deals with that customer and try to find out why that was the case. Often times, your staff member will be able to tell you that there was a specific instance where something might have gone wrong… that probably has been reflected in the poor rating.
By involving your employees in the process, remember not to make them feel bad or use it as a way to discipline – take an open approach that is customer-driven. At the end of the day, you want to quickly determine why the customer is unhappy (or given you poor ratings), and come up with a solution to help resolve it ASAP.
3. Use customer satisfaction surveys in your client business reviews
I recommend all our customers should be doing business reviews with their customers – whether it be quarterly or semi-annually.
Business reviews give you a chance to connect with your customer, strengthen your relationship and become a necessity in their business. Use these meetings to go over their customer surveys. Go through each of the questions and try to dig a little deeper to get some more actionable customer feedback.
Often times you will be able to identify some underlining problems. It’s important to note these down and try to put together some solutions on the spot. Once the meeting wraps up, make sure you follow up on the solutions and introduce a customer retention program (if you feel they may have a foot out the door).
There’s no feeling worse in the world than knowing a customer is about to leave. By integrating customer satisfaction surveys into your business reviews, you can quickly identify at risk customers before it’s too late.
See also: 18 ways to build customer loyalty
4. Make customer satisfaction surveys a part of your employee KPI’s
A quick way to get employee buy-in is to make customer surveys a part of their KPI’s. I’ve talked to a couple of company’s who are doing this right now with a lot of success.
Make sure the questions you ask are related to the level of service your company and your employees are delivering.
Here are some example questions our customers use:
- How happy are you with the speed and efficiency at which we are able to respond to your requests?
- How happy are you with our attention to detail and thoroughness?
These questions are asked on a rating scale of 1-10, so your customer can quickly give you a good indication of how satisfied they are.
The key here is focus on using this metric in your employee performance reviews.
For example, if an employee gets ratings of below 7 across all their customers, when the average is 8.5, that would be a good indication that he/she is not delivering a service up to the same high standard that is being delivered across the entire company.
But remember, before you get to trigger happy, talk to your employee. Like any customer feedback, dig a little deeper and determine the real underlining problems.
It may actually not have anything to do with what your employee is doing, and possible something to do with the business processes that are being enforced by your company.
5. Use the feedback from customer satisfaction surveys and post it around the office
The last recommendation I have for you is to post customer feedback around the office. Put up some posters of the scores that you have received, recognize the top performers or departments that are doing an outstanding job.
This all helps to build a customer-focused culture and helps to get employee buy-in so you can continue to make use of customer surveys inside your business to monitor satisfaction levels and identify unhappy customers.
How many unhappy customers do you have?
Every company has unhappy customers, no one is immune. I’ve talked to a lot of our customers right from before they even started using customer satisfaction surveys, to now where they are relying on them to identify ‘at risk’ customers.
And guess what, there’s a common trend.
Everyone has ‘at risk’ customers, even the companies that think they’ve got the best customer service in their industry.
The thing is, there are always mistakes and problems that pop up. Now I’m not saying that every company’s ‘at risk’ customers are going to cancel, but what I am saying is you need to follow up with them.
It could just be a small little issue, but by touching base with them early, you can ensure the small issue does not spiral out of control and result in a lost customer.
On average, Client Heartbeat customers identify three to four at risk customers when they send out their first customer satisfaction survey.
Can you afford to lose a customer?
Can you afford $234 every time a customer decides to cancel?
I know I can’t.
- The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Customer Feedback Questionnaire
- 12 customer retention mistakes that are hurting your business
Photo credit: DiensTalk Integration