Thinking about using a customer feedback survey at your small business? You’re on the right track.
Studies show that it costs four to ten times more to find a new customer versus keep an old one. Keeping your current customers happy so they refer others to your business is key to a solid growth strategy. By acting on customer feedback, you can improve business operations and implement necessary changes.
But now you have a choice: Will you use an in-person survey tool or an online one? Web-based surveys have some serious drawbacks, particularly for small business owners.
Read below for four advantages to using an in-person survey tool versus an online one.
1. Higher response rate
Response rates to online surveys are notoriously low, and even when customers take the time to fill out online surveys, they often leave the surveys incomplete. Online surveys need to be administered through email or put on your company website, which is a rather passive approach to getting customers to give you feedback and likely explains the low response rate. Furthermore, unless you have a database full of your customers’ email addresses, you’ll need to start collecting them.
2. Customers remember more details on-site
You are more likely to get honest and accurate feedback in a survey when the customer is on-site and remembers details of their experience. Online surveys run the risk of being completed when the customer can’t recall what they liked and didn’t like. Was the receptionist actually frowning or was she just scratching her nose? Did the stylist actually ignore the customer’s specific request or did he simply not hear the customer over the loud music? An inaccurate customer complaint may cause a manager to discuss poor behaviour with an employee when it is not warranted.
3. Diffuse negative online reviews
Websites like Yelp and Facebook have become the default place for customers to vent about lousy service or a bad pedicure. But if you can get a disgruntled customer to express their frustration through an in-person survey before they leave your establishment, they may be less likely to blast you publicly online when they get home. An in-person survey allows the customer to feel as though they voiced their concerns in a manner that is taken seriously and receives immediate follow-up. Your in-person survey tool should have a built-in mechanism that notifies management when a customer leaves negative feedback.
4. Access to a different demographic
Research shows that in-person surveys collect feedback from a wider demographic of customers. They capture responses from customers who are unlikely to participate in online surveys — such as the elderly, non-English speakers and low-income respondents. For whatever reason, these people may not have internet access or participate in online surveys.
Can you think of other advantages to using in-person customer satisfaction surveys? Share them in the comments below.
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