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The Importance of Customer Feedback Surveys

By Brandon Carter | Updated on Jun 9, 2015 8:40:00 AM

With two kids, and school being out for the summer, the milk budget in my house just doubled. This means frequent trips to the store, often unexpected, usually late at night.

Gotta make sure those cereal bowls are full in the morning, after all.  

This past weekend I found myself in that situation. A 10 pm glance into the fridge revealed that the milk had somehow reached an alarmingly low level. A few minutes later I’m at the store, two gallons in hand, checking out.

Using the self checkout station, I paid. Then I watched my receipt print out.

I kept watching. It kept coming. It continued printing for what felt like 30 seconds.

The final result was a strip of paper on which could fit the entirety of Moby Dick. My two gallons had wrought me a proclamation of sorts, with my actual receipt, then my loyalty points statement, a notification about a contest, and a plea for me to call their 800 number and take a feedback survey.

All of that is valid information, though not necessarily critical. I wasn’t annoyed; amused might be the better word for it.

My primary critique? The survey call should’ve been higher.

Every Opinion on Every Transaction Counts

The importance of customer feedback can’t be understated. With customer influence now being as important as any other factor in success, every opinion counts.

Every opinion counts, and every transaction should also come with an opportunity to solicit those opinions.

It’s been said that 26 complaints go unheard for every one that’s brought to a brand’s attention. Research shows that 70% of customers cite poor customer service as a reason for not buying from a brand.

Conversely, 94% of customers who have a low-effort service experience will buy from that same company again.

Businesses have to know what their own customers’ opinions about them are, positive or especially negative. Then, the smart businesses will build to their strengths and shore up weaknesses.

The end result is a better operation, increased customer engagement, and most likely a lot more revenue.New Call-to-action

Let’s Start Talking

It adds up. Get your customers talking. Whether that’s post-transaction surveys, a cashier asking if everything was to the customer’s liking, getting rid of the dreaded “do-not-reply” email address, or any other tactic you might have, you need to get them talking.

If you let them, they will hold your hand all the way to their own loyalty.

(If you’re looking for some ideas to receive more customer feedback, we’ve got you covered.)

If just one percent of customers actually call in and take the survey, it’s worth the effort.

“But customers probably only do those surveys when they’re pissed,” is one complaint I’ve heard. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but if it is, then good.

Those are grievances that would otherwise have never reached daylight. The customer most likely would’ve taken their bad experience home and never returned to the merchant.

Instead, the company has a chance to fix a problem.

In Appreciation of Huge Receipts

I love the little survey invitation. It shows me a business is taking some measure to hear me out. I don’t always follow through on them, but I always try to be honest when I do because (hopefully) it’s going to result in a continually-improving experience for me.

Listen, this isn’t just about surveys - it’s about customer touchpoints. You need as many of them as you can get, and every one of them needs to encourage a two-way dialog.

It’s worth the effort, whether the target is a customer with a basket full of groceries or just an exhausted dad stopping in late at night for a couple gallons of milk.

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Topics: Customer Engagement, soliciting customer feedback

Written by: Brandon Carter

Brandon is a former writer and marketer for Access Development. He's a frequent blogger on customer and employee engagement & loyalty, consumer trends, and branding. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter at @bscarter

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