Surveys: Tried & True

Jon Moore on September 2, 2021


According to  Forbes, there are 5 main reasons why the majority of businesses fail. The top three reasons being:

  1. Not communicating with customers through deep dialogue
  2. A lack of unique value propositions
  3. Failure to communicate value clearly and compellingly
If a product is unable to solve a customers' need, if they are unaware of the product’s purpose, or if the company is unable to form a relationship with customers, the success rate of a company severely diminishes. 

So, what is the key? How can companies resolve all these flaws that Forbes has pointed out?

With information. 

One of the most versatile and diverse methods of collecting information is through surveys. Traditionally, when we think of surveys, we think of a checklist of yes or no questions; but the truth is that this method of data collection varies depending on its purpose and can target more than just customers reviewing a service. Furthermore, with the use of surveys the user is able to cover a variety of topics in addition to it being cheap and convenient. It is no wonder that surveys have lasted the test of time in the business industry. The types of surveys that are used within companies can be divided into two distinct groups:

  • The first being surveys that are used internally and that are aimed at employees
  • The second being surveys that are used externally and targeted at either existing or potential customers
While both provide keen insights, the information collected is vastly different, yet indispensable to growing companies. 


The Benefits of Surveying Your Team 

Customers are not the only people in a business process that can provide valuable feedback. Reviews and opinions from existing employees can help companies recognize their overall strengths and weaknesses. Two important internal surveys to conduct are employee satisfaction surveys and training evaluations. 

A happy team equates to a motivated and ambitious team. Employee and job satisfaction surveys are used to measure employee’s’ overall contentedness with their role and with the company. Questions about employee satisfaction can indicate the quality of the company’s workspace environment, identify stress points within the employee’s role, provide deeper insights into unseen conflicts, and easily identify areas of improvement. A great solution to implement is eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score). This survey method utilizes all the benefits of Net Promoter Score but within your company. Scoring is broken down into three areas, promoters, indicating employees who are willing to actively promote your company, passives, and detractors who are the employees who would not recommend the company and have issues that need to be addressed. This method is also great for tracking trends against benchmarks and ensuring that the company is taking steps to resolve issues. 

Additionally, training evaluations help cover three specific areas:

  • They ensure employees better understand the company’s efforts
  • Provides feedback to the company in terms of evaluating the trainer’s knowledge
  • Can increase productivity
If employees do not fully understand the goals of the company or continue to learn as the company grows and matures, how can they expect customers to understand the vision? Training evaluations provide companies the opportunity to ensure that there is cohesive understanding throughout the internal structure prior to reaching out to the external environment. 


Survey Methods to Use for Customers 

Collecting information from customers is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways for companies to improve their products, test the market, and improve their relationships with clientele. Furthermore, because of how concise and user-friendly surveys have become, they have a much larger completion rate when compared to other collection methods. Three key surveys that yield the most benefits to companies are market research surveys, customer feedback surveys, and customer contact surveys. 

Every business that exists does so that it can solve a problem that exists in its customer's lives. Whether it be car manufacturers trying to help us get from point A to B, or fast-food restaurants provide quick and convenient meals for people on the go, these industries have been and continue to be successful because they were able to see a need and fill it. Market research surveys are an excellent way to determine what type of products are in demand, where customers are most likely to buy them from, and gauge potential competition within that market segment. Starbucks has been able to dominate the globe because of its market research. According to an article written by Gigi Devault, Starbucks stands out from the rest because of its unique research methods, which include in-store product testing, research into social media trends, and tracking cultural trends. By acting on the information they have been able to gather, Starbucks has successfully raised their brand awareness, appealed to a large audience by offering diverse beverages, and truly demonstrated the power of market research. 

Understanding your consumer base and customer experiences is arguably one of the most important areas when it comes to running a business. By providing product users with the opportunity to elaborate on their experiences, companies can see their business from an alternate perspective. From learning about buying patterns, to areas in which they can improve upon, the data collected from customer satisfaction surveys is indispensable. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) has been a leading metric in the industry for years. The scores are calculated on how likely customers would be to recommend the companies products, thus offering a simple to understand metric. More information regarding the versatility of NPS and the importance of customer satisfaction and understanding can be found in this article from Customer Think

Lastly, customer contact surveys simplify the process of reaching out to new clientele, which is often one of the hardest objectives of a growing business. Furthermore, not only do these surveys help collect information, but they can also be used for potential customers to give consent to opt-in and other promotional services that may be offered. And as holds true with all these surveying methods, they do not have to be the old-fashioned paper and pen method. Through the development of technology, online surveys can have their data analyzed for trends instantly, stored in the cloud, and have the information collected directly integrated into a company's systems.   

Knowledge is a powerful tool, and surveys can help you access it. From understanding buyer behavior to analyzing the internal work environment, surveys offer benefits that far exceed the low cost needed to create them, there are a large number of advantages to surveys. Companies can grow past their expectations, foster stronger relations with their customers, and continue to attract new consumers by adapting to their needs. All of which can be achieved by integrating surveys into their business practices and reaping the plethora of rewards. 


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