Measuring, analyzing, and tracking customer satisfaction is essential to sustained business growth.
Small business growth demands that you keep a finger on the pulse of your customer relationships. There are several ways of doing this. Monitoring brand building and customer satisfaction using social media has become a popular way to understand and listen to customers, strengthen relationships, and expand your brand.
Social media monitoring is a component of learning what your customers think about your business, but it isn't sufficient for developing an actionable customer satisfaction process. Here's how to use customer satisfaction surveys to facilitate small business growth.
Customer Satisfaction Surveys Are Only the First Step
Measuring data is only valuable if you learn from it and take action based upon what you learn. Your customer relationship surveys may confirm what you believe to be true - that you do a terrific job keeping customers happy with your products and services. But the point of these surveys is to tell you the truth, even if it is harsh sometimes.
Fortunately, many survey options are available to you. Whether you run a brick-and-mortar business or an online business, you can choose multiple solutions that make the most sense for your industry. Survey providers should include valuable analytics and reports, so the numbers make sense and so you can derive a narrative from them, whatever that may be (such as, "We should stay open later on Wednesdays.")
A Single Survey Won't Give You What You Need
Just as a single map point won't tell you what direction you are going, a single customer satisfaction survey isn't sufficient to take care of your fact-finding once and for all. An initial survey can be used to establish a baseline, but then you should perform additional surveys at intervals to ensure the numbers are trending in the right direction.
Consider committing to quarterly customer satisfaction surveys. Your first one offers you an important starting point, and after a couple of years of doing this, you may discover trends that can help you plan better and satisfy customers more thoroughly. You could, for instance, discover a pronounced bump in sales during the "back to school" shopping season even though your business doesn't provide products specifically for students. Such information is priceless.
How Survey Results Help Your Employees
Customer satisfaction survey results are meaningless unless stakeholders know about them. Employees who work in customer-facing positions in particular can benefit from seeing and understanding the results of your surveys. They can often add important insights to the conversation about the results. This can prompt improved employee engagement and equip your employees with insights that can help them offer better service or additional product offerings.
Surveys Can Help You Understand Your Competitors Better
Keeping an eye on the competition is an indirect benefit of regularly surveying customer sentiment. If customers hold other brands or providers in higher esteem, surveys can help you understand why. This understanding can help you make necessary adjustments that can reduce the chances that customers will patronize your competitors. Learning what combination of product range, price, and quality matters most to your core customers positions you to improve your competitive advantage.
Using Survey Results to Develop New Products and Services
Don't simply look at survey results as a "grade" for how well your business performed. That's important, but survey results can also open up insights about developing new products and services with confidence they will address your customer's pain points. Some businesses connect directly with selected individual customers to gain more significant understanding of what they like and why they like it, or what's missing from their customer experience. You could find, for example, that extending your size range or shifting your open hours makes your business easier for customers to support.
If you're interested in joining the conversation on small business growth. Join #smallbizchat on Twitter on Wednesdays 8-9pm ET. I'll have live interviews with small business experts, and we'll provide answers for your small business questions. The goal of every #Smallbizchat is end small business failure.
This article was originally published on www.succeedasyourownboss.com under the title How To Grow Your Business Using Customer Surveys