By David Crary
We’re knee-deep in our annual customer satisfaction survey. It’s a lot of work – putting together the survey, sending out emails, analyzing the results – but I believe strongly that it’s one of the most important projects we do as a business. Why? Because it helps us understand what we’re doing well, what we’re not doing well and guides our business decisions in the future. And it gives a voice to our customers.
We’re a field service software business, so we’re much different than your field service business. So should you conduct customer satisfaction surveys? Here’s five reasons we think you should:
Learn from your customers – The most obvious reason to conduct a customer satisfaction survey is so that you can learn from your customers. You can learn what they think about your service, about your office staff, about the unique values your business offers. You can also learn what they value in a field service provider – do they want someone who is punctual, do they want someone that’s communicative, are they concerned about your professionalism? All of these things can help you improve your business.
But that’s not the only reason you want to get to know your customers. Strange as it sounds, getting to know your customers can also help you sell. By asking demographic questions, you can better understand who your best customers are, and work to tailor your marketing messages and approach so that you attract more of them.
Build better customer relationships – We recently released a new service business marketing add-on called HindSite Connect. I’ve been amazed at how easy that product is to sell. Why? Because it helps contractors connect with their customers, delivering tailored messages about their services and their business. And contractors get excited aboiut being able to quickly communicate with their customers. As a service contractor, they’re only as good as their customer relationships.
Satisfaction surveys can help you build better customer relationships, too. You’ll get to know why your customers love – and hate – your company so you can do more of the things they love and less of the things they hate. And, if you track who completes each survey, you can begin to put together a plan to win over your dissatisfied customers.
Improve operational efficiency - One of the core reasons people buy HindSite is because it makes their operations more efficient. They can take their paper processes and turn them into electronic ones, saving time and money in the process. That’s one way to make your operations more efficient, but customer satisfaction surveys can help you better understand where your customers think you’re inefficient. Simple questions like “Rate how easy it is to schedule an appointment.” Or “Do we return your calls in a timely manner?” can help you see if your customers think you’re operating efficiently, and then make changes accordingly.
New product development – Thinking about adding a new service to your business? A great way to see if it will be successful is to ask your customers on your customer satisfaction survey. It could be as simple as asking them to select which of 5 proposed new services they would buy from you. Or, say you want to consider selling drainage solutions. You can ask your customers about their drainage problems to see how widespread the issue is and, if it is widespread, start to market and promote that new service or product.
Asking for feedback shows that you care – Our 2014 Green Industry Benchmark Report showed that green service businesses are very concerned about the competition. In fact, when I surf industry message boards, a common complaint is about fly-by-night contractors undercutting experienced professionals.
And you want to know something? Those fly by night undercutters aren’t sending out surveys. They don’t care about customer satisfaction. They only care about getting customers on board and doing a half-assed job. But the professional contractors care about their customers. They conduct surveys and take action based on the feedback of those surveys. They’re constantly improving. Sure, they may cost a little more, but they also deliver more value. Surveys can help you prove to your customers that you care.
Interested in learning how to conduct a customer satisfaction survey and then what actions to take as a result of that survey? Then download our new eBook, Measuring Customer Satisfaction: The Ultimate Guide for Service Businesses, today!