Gain Insight Into Your Customers With Consumer Surveys
Consumer surveys are an invaluable tool in getting to know your customers and target audience. The better you know your customers, the better you can serve them! Find out what consumer surveys are, how they work, and what they can do for your brand.
What Are Consumer Surveys?
A consumer survey is a study undertaken to find out more about your customers and their needs and requirements. It collects crucial information and feedback from your specific target audience.
A consumer survey will tell you whether your customers are satisfied with your products and services. The survey can also generate valuable pointers regarding additional services or products that your customers may like to buy. In short, an effective consumer survey contains vital information from your consumers that can significantly impact the overall performance of your business.
Why Are Customer Surveys Important?
With more and more businesses adopting customer-centric approaches, feedback from customers has never been more relevant. This makes a consumer strategy more important than ever. Here are some of the reasons why we believe consumer surveys are crucial:
- Even loyal customers need to be encouraged to remain loyal
Customer loyalty has to be earned. The best way to do so is by keeping your finger on the pulse of your customers and remaining fully informed about them. Any issues that develop can be dealt with speedily, and policies and procedures can be tailored to consumer needs.
- Customers have higher expectations than ever before
Online customers have a huge variety of options these days. They are well aware of this! Unless your brand makes them happy by giving them a good experience, they will take their business elsewhere. Regular customer surveys that keep you up to date with customers’ needs and expectations will ensure that you find out in good time if problems are developing.
- Consumer surveys help make your customers’ experience more personal and rewarding
In customer service, nothing is more important than checking whether your customers are happy. Ensuring customer satisfaction creates a body of loyal customers that bring you lucrative repeat business.
Unhappy customers always need to be contacted individually. Strategies like offering discounts or vouchers to a dissatisfied customer are a quick way of repairing damage done and fixing a problem. However, for a customer-centric organization, regular and effective consumer surveys are an absolute must. You have to know how your customers feel in order to meet their needs.
- Consumer surveys keep you informed about fast-changing technologies and consumer tastes
The only certain thing online is change and very rapid change at that! Technologies and platforms come and go almost on a daily basis. And consumers’ tastes, preferences, and expectations change right along with them. Consumer surveys will keep you in touch with this rapidly evolving arena. They will ensure your products and marketing strategies are still relevant and in sync with your online market.
- Ensuring an excellent customer experience has never been more crucial
Nowadays, most businesses know that they need to ensure a positive customer experience, or CX, for their consumers. Most have upped their game. Forrester research shows that up to 75% of businesses are now rated as either ‘OK’ or ‘Good’ in terms of their customer experiences. In contrast, the figures were much lower ten years ago.
However, and this is a very important point, just being ‘OK’ is simply no longer good enough! Businesses need to provide excellent customer experiences, or their competitors will gain an advantage over them. IDC points out that customers who have the best experiences spend up to one-and-a-half times more than customers who have poor customer service!
- Consumer surveys help you keep the human touch in your CX
Many businesses, especially large organizations, run the risk of becoming distanced from their customers. Frequent customer surveys will help them achieve a closer and more personal connection with their customers. With brand loyalty waning it is crucial that businesses keep their customers at the very heart of their policies and strategies. Consumer surveys will give them the ammunition to do so.
- Like it or not, customers will express their opinions, good or bad, online
If your customers have negative experiences, they’ll talk about them online. This can be extremely damaging to your business. Proactively encouraging them to give you feedback and sharing their preferences and concerns can pre-empt this. It also enables you to deal with issues in good time before they become more significant problems.
Different Types Surveys
A consumer survey typically focuses on three areas: making the customer’s experience as easy, personalized, and as valuable as it can. There are several types of consumer surveys:
- CSAT, or customer satisfaction score. This measures the customer’s contentment with a specific interaction or situation. A CSAT survey has two parts, a question, and an open-ended response. Customers are asked to rate their level of satisfaction on a 1 – 5 scale.
- NPS, or net promoter score, sets out to understand customer loyalty and satisfaction. It asks customers how likely they are to recommend the product/service to anybody else.
- CES, or customer effort score, measures the degree of effort the customer has to expend. Does the end result justify the effort?
- Visual rating asks customers to indicate their rating either with a star, a smiley face, or a thumbs up or down emoji.
- Custom surveys ask the customer targeted questions to get more specific information.
Best Practices for Creating Consumer Surveys
Always bear the following best practices in mind for your consumer survey:
- Ensure that your survey has a clear goal. What do you want to find out?
- Explain why you are asking certain questions if they may seem intrusive. (For example, asking a customer’s age)
- Avoid leading and biased questions – they’ll invalidate your findings.
- Closed-ended questions with predetermined multiple choice answers work well.
- Images and videos are effective at clarifying the information you wish to get.
- Your language, choice of words, and phrasing must be simple, clear, and concise to avoid confusion and misunderstanding.
- Test your survey on a small sample group to make sure it works before sending it out.
- Response scales that ask customers to rate something (such as with a score out of 10) show how strongly your customers feel about something.
Consumer surveys are powerful tools to help you know your customers. They will tell you what your customers’ needs and expectations are. They will tell you how they feel about your products and their interaction with you. Give your customers an excellent customer service and they’ll be back. Disappoint them, and they’ll be off to your competitors.
The effective use of consumer surveys will give you an edge over your competitors – and a loyal body of customers that will sing your praises online!
CustomersFirst Academy offers comprehensive customer service training designed to help you grow your skills and advance your career.
To keep learning and developing your knowledge of customer service, we highly recommend the additional resources below:
Customer Interaction Strategies That Will Boost Your Business
Using Customer Data to Improve Your Business
The Importance of a Customer Life Cycle in Business Growth
Customer Insights and What They Can Do for Your Business