The market is a competitive place. Your target customers are scattered and spoiled for choice. Their attention span is short and divided among innumerable avenues. It is no wonder that marketers are constantly and increasingly feeling the strain of retaining their customers, leave alone growing revenues in the present day economy.
Of course, there are the tried and tested marketing strategies, tools and techniques, and these are effective to a great extent. However, in the pressures and pulls of marketing, one tactic that often gets overlooked is customer satisfaction surveys. It is a potent technique specifically focused on your customer base.
Customer satisfaction surveys provide more than a mere insight into what your customers feel. They can provide an effective picture of the perception your customer base has about your products, services, sales staff, customer service executives, business practices, brand image and a number of other aspects of your business.
Customer satisfaction surveys are commonly used by large corporations selling consumer products and services. A little known secret is that customer satisfaction surveys are just as effective in business to business (B2B) environments. For B2B firms it can be a basic ingredient of the market strategy.
How can you benefit from surveys?
1. Understand your wrong from your right.
Snapshots of your business operation unearthed through surveys can provide insights into areas that need improvement. The information you gather can indicate the overall strengths and limitations of your business and help you make changes for the better.
2. Get to know the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.
Are your customers even getting your message? How many notice your ads? How many visit your website? How many even bother to read your brochures? What publications do your customers read? What do your customers think of your website. When you have a marketing strategy, make sure it reaches your audience and creates an impact. The only way to make this happen is through timely and effective research into your customers.
3. Understand competitor strengths and weaknesses.
Do your customers think your competitor is a better brand resulting in a loss of business? Do customers see your competitors' discount as value and yours as being cheap? Do they think you are aggressive while your competitor is effective? No one can tell you as much about your competitors as your customer base. They can tell you why they have the perception they have about your competitors and this can provide priceless market intelligence while forming a marketing strategy.
4. Find the need for new products and services ahead of time.
Customers can tell you best what they need. Most marketing gurus say that you need to give your customers what they need, rather than trying to find customers for what you have. How do you know what your customers' expressed and implied needs are? A survey can unearth these for you. Done in time, the information gathered can help you develop products and services ahead of time and benefit from the first mover advantage. You can effectively steal a march on your competition by knowing your customers better.
5. Long term direction.
There is more to the findings of a survey than merely the impression customers have about your company. It can either help you restructure or refine strategies. It can set your business on a direction or help you make long term course corrections.
When planning your business marketing strategy, do not ignore the power of customer satisfaction surveys. Since they are often ignored by B2B businesses, you could be stealing a march and giving yourself the edge over your competition.