Customer surveys have been around for decades, but recently questions have arisen if they’re still a viable way to learn about your customers. In an age of instant gratification and the widespread use of social media, there are been more and more ways for customers to get in touch with businesses.
“Yelp gives me customer feedback already!”
“I just look at social media to see what my customers think.”
The problem with all of these other methods of gathering customer feedback is you’re not getting the full picture! Surveys are still the only way to get exactly what customers think in quantifiable data that you can actually make decisions from.
Here’s a list of reasons to keep using customer feedback surveys:
- Gain the information you want
The problem with feedback sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Foursquare, is the feedback varies from customer to customer. This doesn’t necessarily line up with the information you want to gather.
For example, a Yelp reviewer might comment for the hundredth time how the pretzels in your movie theater are amazing, but you already know that. What you really want to know is what customers think about your newly introduced craft beer selection.
Customer's value each aspect of a business differently. Some care about the ambiance or customers service at your restaurant, but others may find the food itself the reason they keep coming back. These aspects will reflect in a customer’s yelp reviews.
With a survey, you have complete control over the feedback you receive. This can help you target the areas where YOU feel the most pain as a business owner.
- Offer your customers a chance to help
Despite what you sometimes may feel, most customers often want a chance to improve your business. When customers have the option to give their opinion on a service or product, they feel like they have had a hand in helping you.
Giving customers a voice can increase customer loyalty dramatically, which is far more valuable than getting new customers through the door. Customers enjoy having their voices heard. You can make changes based on their feedback to keep the customers you already have instead of chasing down the ones you want.
- Create discussion
An often overlooked result of surveys is the discussion it can cause among customers. Surveys can shine a light on lesser known products or services that may not be getting the attention they deserve.
You can think of it as free advertising.
Pearl Theaters ran a survey using SurveyMe in their own theater and asked what customers thought about the theater’s decision to start selling alcohol. A lot of customers weren't even aware they could buy alcoholic beverages at the theater and as a result, the bar saw a 10% increase in foot traffic.
- Easily compare results
Surveys allow customer feedback to be put into easily readable charts and graphs to track over time. Rating scale questions, which take the least effort for customers to answer, are also the easiest to quantify as data.
Sure you may get lots of responses from Yelp and social media, but how hard is it to track all of those opinions down and draw meaningful conclusions from them? Not as easily as surveys, that’s for sure.
Despite technology allowing customers tons of ways to connect with a business, surveys are by far the best way to get inside your customer's head. Reward customers for their time and you’ll find they will happily help you out.