When it comes to learning about a companys client base, there is rarely
anything more effective than a customer satisfaction survey. For decades, these
surveys have given customers a chance to voice their concerns and sing the praises
of the industries with which they deal. Very few argue against the efficacy of
these mini-quizzes, acknowledging the surveys as a landmark tool toward open communication
with the consumer. What has come into question, however, is the best way to get
solid responses to the quizzes and questions put forth.
commonly used methods of surveying clients involve contacting the customer via
letter, phone, or e-mail. Other methods that are used at a considerably
larger expense include face-to-face interviews and focus groups. Each of
these methods has advantages and disadvantages that deserve discussion before
embarking on a program of customer evaluation.
Focus groups and face-to-face
interviews can be incredibly cost-prohibitive, not to mention the amount of time
necessary to gather the information from those surveyed.
Phone surveys offer
the advantages of face-to-face interviews and focus groups without the added cost
of sending those doing the surveying out to the premises. It is not, however,
the most cost-effective method available, and it doesnt gather any more
responses than face-to-face interviewing.
Mailing surveys out in letter
formats, or handing them to customers as they leave the premises, offers a myriad
of advantages over the more time-consuming face-to-face and phone surveys. One
of the chief benefits to paper surveys is allowing those being surveyed the chance
to think about their answers in their own time.
In direct contrast to the
earlier methods, paper surveys allow for vast numbers of surveys to be sent out
at once, and though the percentage of those surveys coming back may be smaller
than in face-to-face interviews, because of the large number going out, the actual
responses coming back in can be significantly higher.
In other words, verbal
interviews can be completed at a rate of a few dozen per day, which pales in comparison
to the thousands of surveys that can be sent out every day in the mail. If only
5% respond out of 10,000 sent out, thats 500 returned per day! When looking
for large numbers, there is no question as to which method mentioned so far works
best. However, when looking for a large volume of surveys being sent out with
a much higher response rate, e-mail takes the cake.
Sending e-mails to customers
is the quickest, most successful method of gaining insight into what the client
wants. Its also the least intrusive, something many people appreciate. A
quick scan over the survey, a few typed responses, and a click of a button sends
the survey back from whence it came. Viola! No fuss, no mess. The response times
and percentages outstrip any other form of surveying available, and customers
appreciate the ease and convenience.
Knowing what the customer wants is
a necessity of business. Getting that information is required in order to fully
anticipate where a business should focus its energy. With so many options available,
it makes sense to know which methods will give you the best results.
feedback and ideas for improving your customer feedback - trial an Australian-built
customer satisfaction survey tool:
is an Australian-built online survey tool that is currently used by over 200 Australian
and New Zealand based organisations of all sizes to conduct online customer surveys.
The tool can be used to conduct cost effective satisfaction surveys, regular 'post-service'
feedback surveys, new product feedback, website feedback ... to name a few popular
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