Customer Surveys Provide Multiple Benefits

We all are well aware of a simple fact in marketing – Acquiring new customers is 10 times more difficult and expensive than retaining existing ones. This is one of the fundamental driving forces behind the wide-spread adoption and interest in CRM and related customer retention strategies.

In a research study by Rice University Professor Dr. Paul Dholakia and Dr. Vicki Morwitz, published in Harvard Business Review, the experiment concluded that the simple fact of asking customers how a company was performing by itself proved to be a great customer retention strategy. In the research study, conducted over the course of a year, one set of customers were sent out a satisfaction and opinion survey and the other set was not surveyed. After a year, twice the number of people continued and renewed their loyalty towards the company in the group that took the survey.

Satisfaction Surveys reinforce the customers desire to be coddled and reinforce positive feelings.

This stems from part of the human psychology that wants to "appreciate" a product or service they already like. The survey feedback loop is merely a tool to express this. The survey is a vehicle to "interact" with the company and reinforces the customer’s commitment to the company.

Surveys may increase awareness of other products and services.

Surveys can be considered vehicles of communication – both inbound as well as outbound. Most people consider surveys as a data collection exercise. When conducting consumer surveys, they can also serve as a medium for disseminating information. It is important to note that in most countries including the US and Canada, "selling under the guise of research" is illegal. However, we all know that information is disseminated while collecting information and a survey is a powerful tool to inform.

One of the best thing about surveys is its ability to carry “bi-directional” information. The research conducted by Paul Dholakia and Vicki Morwitz shows that surveys not only get you the information that is critical for your business, but also enhances and builds upon the established relationship you have with your customers.

Recent advances in technology have made it incredibly easy to conduct real-time surveys and opinion polls. Online tools make it easy to frame questions and answers, and create surveys on the Web. Distributing surveys via email, website links or even integration with online CRM tools have made online surveying a quick-win solution.
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