How to Leverage Satisfaction Surveys to Craft a Better Customer Experience

You likely already know that the customer experience is paramount to the growth of your financial services company. Not only do happy customers become, well, repeat customers, but happy customers can’t outweigh the unhappy ones. In fact, according to HubSpot, customers share their good purchasing experiences with nine people on average, while they share their negative experiences with 16.

That’s a lot of bad press.

Keeping customers happy and excited about your financial brand can be tricky since consumers often perceive little difference between providers. If delighted customers play a large role in company growth (and they do, according to HubSpot’s flywheel), then an important question becomes: How do we delight them? How can we be sure we’re making customers as happy as possible and meeting their needs consistently? The easiest – and perhaps most direct way – is to just ask them.

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It might sound too simple, but it’s easy enough to do through the use of customer surveys. Surveys can target general, overall customer satisfaction, or they can drill down to specific suggestions for improvements or reactions to different parts of the buying cycle. The impact of customer surveys seems to be measurable, too – businesses who use them are 33 percent more likely to describe themselves as successful.

Of course, not all customer satisfaction surveys are created equal. To make use of customer feedback, you need to know what you’re asking for – and you need to know how to ask for it clearly.

What questions make up a customer satisfaction survey

There are many ways to frame your customer surveys. You could be trying to get a gauge on customer demographics to create more detailed buyer personas. You could be assessing how customers react to the prices of your services. You could be seeing how likely your customers are to recommend you to their friends and family. Surveys can be used to find out virtually any information you find salient for your business growth.

Ultimately, the customer survey will tell you where you can make improvements so that your services more directly meet your customers’ needs. Some other ideas for purposeful customer satisfaction surveys include:

  • The general customer experience: This is a broader survey that seeks more global feedback about customers’ thoughts and feelings.
  • Why customers did – or did not – decide to do business with you. This can be particularly helpful with customers who inquired about your services but ultimately decided not to follow through.
  • Feedback about design and functionality of the user interface. Was signing up for and using your products and services easy, or was it frustrating?
  • Employee performance, particularly right after a customer (or potential customer) speaks with someone in customer service to fix an issue. Are your customers able to get the help they need when they need it, or are there too many obstacles in place?
  • Ideas or needs you’re not already offering. Do customers have any of their own ideas for services you could create or tweak?

An important part of devising customer surveys is choosing which question formats you want to use. Most surveys use a combination of survey scale questions and open-ended questions. This allows customers to move through most questions quickly, while giving them a space to offer unbridled feedback and ideas. The combination of the two makes it more likely for customers to both share their insights and make it all the way through the survey.

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When it comes to how many questions to use in survey, be wary of going overboard. Customers’ response rates go down when answering surveys is going to take a substantial amount of time. The ideal survey length? Ten to twenty minutes tops. Customers don’t inherently have a lot of incentive to fill out surveys for brands unless they feel they will benefit in some way, especially if the surveys will be long.

When to send a customer satisfaction survey out

Choosing a time to send customer surveys out can be tricky. Take customer service surveys, for example – those are most effective when administered immediately after a customer interacts with a customer service representative. Then there’s the survey that goes out after a customer’s initial purchase – that one will need to go out some time after a customer has been able to gauge satisfaction while using the product or service.

The big things to remember when deciding when to send out your survey is to send whichever kind you choose when you’re still able to intervene in the customer’s journey. Being able to course correct on a global level with your product development is important, but so is being able to course correct with individual customers. This will give them an overall happier experience with your brand, and it also increases their incentive to offer you feedback.

One other way to increase the likelihood that customers will complete surveys and offer feedback is to offer incentives. Some companies will enter customers who finish surveys into a raffle for money, prizes, or free services. Others will take a fee off of a product or service in exchange for survey completion.

Using survey feedback to improve services

Of course, the more feedback that you’re able to integrate into your product or service, the better. In that way, a brand’s relationship with its customers is like any other relationship – people feel much more loyal to and bonded with people who consider their feedback, make necessary changes, and care how they feel.

An often-overlooked action brands can take after surveys have been completed is by closing the feedback loop. If customers are unsatisfied at the time of taking a survey, it’s important to follow up with them later. Were their concerns adequately addressed and rectified? Do they feel differently about the brand now? Is there anything else they need to feel better about their purchasing experience?

More than anything, customer surveys offer both brands and consumers the opportunity to enter a dialogue that can improve both party’s experiences. By being able to offer feedback directly to brands, customers are able to receive the products and service they really need and really solve problems in their lives. Brands, on the other hand, can create much more finely tuned products and services that garner significantly more profit and business growth.

Need some assistance working surveys into your current marketing strategy? Contact us and let’s discuss the possibilities.

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