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Data-Driven Marketing: Decision Making Through Surveys

Christopher Jan Benitez

NewVoiceMedia estimates that $41 billion is lost by United States companies alone each year due to poor customer service

Additionally, 97 percent of global consumers say that customer service is very important or somewhat important in their choice of and loyalty to a brand.

Of course, this shows that that as a business, you cannot mess with customer loyalty especially when you understand that an existing customer has 60 to 70 percent chance of buying.

In fact, you cannot ignore the power of repeat customers after the White House Office Of Consumer Affairs showed that loyal customers are worth up to 10 times their first purchase.

We should also not ignore the value of new prospects, who have a five to 20 percent chance of buying from you. So, how do you ensure that you keep your customers satisfied, resultantly increasing your conversions and profits?

Related Article: Customer Reviews on Ecommerce: Do We Really Need them?

Very simple: Invest in customer surveys. In this post, we will look at the power of surveys, teaching you the need to harness it by using customer insights to launch better campaigns in future and also improve your site and business.

To help you navigate through, please use this table of contents:

  1. What is a customer survey?
  2. Why you need to conduct customer surveys
  3. Customer survey tools you can use
  4. Customer survey tips

What Is a Customer Survey

Businesses conduct surveys to get answers to specific unanswered questions, which give them insight into what their clients and prospects think of them. As a result, these businesses incorporate these changes in their strategy getting happy customers, higher conversion rates and increased sales.

Why You Need to Conduct Customer Surveys

Did you know that customer survey and testing helps increase conversions by 21.6 percent? In real sense, customer surveys help businesses in a number of ways, thereby increasing conversions as described below:

They Are A Measure Of Customer Loyalty

When doing a customer loyalty survey, you need to check three things: Customer retention or defection rates, new customer growth and average revenue per user. To rate this, you need to ask respondents to state their likelihood to engage in certain activities. The screenshot below shows us a few questions you can ask to test customer loyalty.

Survey screen shot

The result: An improved site and business that will bolster loyalty and increase conversions.

Related Article: From Zero to Five Stars: Online Reputation Management 101

They Help Build Your Brand

Did you know that news of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for good service experience?

Survey of good customer service vs. bad customer service and the word of mouth exposure

Failure to conduct a survey would mean that you do not give your unsatisfied clients a chance to complain to you, resulting in damaged reputation.

Customer Survey Tips

We have established that surveys are your way of hearing the voice of your customer and getting insights. To help you do this, we have discussed designs tools that you can use. What you need to know however is that these design tools are just templates that you use to create great surveys. The big question therefore is, how do you use the surveys to your advantage? Here are three customer survey tips that you need to know.

Focus On The Narrative Instead Of The Numbers

While some businesses are reporting high survey response rates, you might be misguided in your thinking, assuming that the success of surveys is measured by the numbers. Truth is, we conduct surveys to get insight. Don’t get me wrong though. It is impressive when you have an overwhelming response rate but it is also foolish to only take pride in the numbers. The catch is on what your respondents say.

Formulating closed-ended questions also cause us to focus on the numbers and not the narrative. After all, they are easier to analyze and give results. Take for example, this question: Do you think that our services offer value for your money?

Of course you will have only two answers to this question, yes and no. Your analysis will only give you the percentage of people who think your services are good or not. In my opinion, this is not very helpful. While you do your survey analysis, it is important that you focus on the narrative. What are your customer sentiments and what tone are they using? This means that you should give them an opportunity to state the reasons why they gave you a particular rating.

Related Article: Don't Let It Happen to You: 5 Mistakes That Will Ruin Your E-commerce Site

To get this information, make sure that you include open-ended questions, allowing your respondents to speak their minds. This is their chance to relay the insights you need.

Do Not Lead Your Respondents

For you to get the genuine voice of your customers, you need to avoid bias. This means setting questions that will not lead them on.

For example: Why do you think our competitors’ rates are better? This question already implies that your competitors’ rates are better, which is not necessarily your respondent’s sentiments. This actually gives you a false positive response because you will assume that anyone who answers this question thinks that your competitors’ rates are better.

Analyze And Share Your Results

As you strive to build a strong business, you need to make data-driven decisions by running surveys. Additionally, you should analyze your data and share this information with your audience. After all, people individually respond to surveys and a public report on the results would help them see the value of their time in providing feedback. In my opinion, this feedback for example, will help a client understand why his recommendation was not implemented as he will see there was a better one.

Final Thoughts

The power of surveys cannot be undermined because as discussed, they give you direct access into how your clients and prospects perceive your business. This information is precious in the sense that it helps you make informed decisions, improving the quality of goods and services offered.

While you enjoy the benefits of surveys, remember to share your results with the public as a show of accountability and to also spark a debate that could be insightful. How have surveys enhanced your business? We would love to hear this from you. 

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
Christopher Jan Benitez Member
Christopher Jan Benitez is a professional content marketer and writer. He has helped small businesses achieve their goals by implementing a strong content strategy that emphasizes their unique selling points and promoting created content using effective online channels and methods, in particular social media marketing and search engine optimization techniques.