Good customer service Is essential to the success of your business. Statistics show that there is a 60 to 70% probability of selling to an existing customer versus a five to 20% probability of making a sale to a new customer (Marketing Metrics) and gaining new customers is seven times as expensive to the business as retaining existing ones (Parature). Over half of consumers are willing to pay more for better customer service (Defaqto Research).
What Is the Impact of Poor Customer Service?
- According to a 2011 American Express Survey, 78% of consumers have not proceeded with a purchase because of poor customer service.
- It takes 12 positive customer service experiences to make up for one negative one (Parature).
- After a poor customer experience, 89% of dissatisfied customers make their next purchase from a competitor (Harris Interactive).
- U.S. businesses lose an estimated $83 billion annually due to poor customer service (Genesys, NewVoice Media).
- Customers are twice as likely to talk to friends and family about poor customer service experiences than they are to discuss positive ones (American Express).
Customer Feedback Is Important
One way to get regular feedback about customer satisfaction with your business is to use customer surveys.
A survey can give you an appropriate measure of the customer satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with your business products or services.
The results of a survey can identify ways in which you can improve the customer experience. It can pinpoint areas that need improvement (such as staff interaction with customers), or ways that you can more effectively meet the customers' needs adding additional products or services.
There are a variety of software tools available for customer relationship management (CRM) (see What to Look For in a CRM System for Small Business and 5 Inexpensive Online CRM Solutions for Small Businesses).
Customer surveys do not have to be expensive. Adding a survey to your website or business Facebook page is a simple, inexpensive process. Surveys can also be by phone, email or collected on slips of paper in your place of business.
Customer Service Survey Best Practices
Most people don't care to fill out customer surveys, so making the survey process as painless as possible improves the likelihood that the customer will take the time to complete one:
- Keep the survey short and simple
- Ask only what you need to know
- Offer incentives to fill out the survey, such as future discounts or prize draws
Businesses that use satisfaction surveys are generally looked upon more favorably by customers - especially if you take the time to respond to those who have expressed dissatisfaction.
Sample Customer Service Survey
This short customer service survey questionnaire is designed to provide insight into the transaction between your business's staff and your customers.
It's a general customer service survey example that you can use to get feedback about face-to-face customer service interactions, adapt it to your needs by adding other questions specific to your company as needed.
Customer Service Survey
Our goal is to provide our customers with the best service possible. Please take a few minutes to complete the following customer service questionnaire. Your comments will enable us to see how we're doing overall and find out how we can improve.
|Staff available in a timely manner.|
|Staff greeted you and offered to help you.|
|Staff was friendly and cheerful throughout.|
|Staff answered your questions.|
|Staff showed knowledge of the products or services.|
|Staff offered pertinent advice.|
|Staff was courteous throughout.|
|Overall, how would you rate our customer service?|
|What did you like best about our customer service?|
|How could we improve our customer service?|
|Is there a staff person you would like to commend?|
|Thank you for taking the time to complete our customer service survey.|
Survey Follow Up Is Important
Negative survey responses should be addressed as soon as possible. Your chances of retaining a disgruntled customer are much higher if you respond immediately to their concerns. Keep in mind that some individual customers may be prone to leaving unreasonably negative feedback and will be dissatisfied no matter how you respond, so know when to move on. It is more important to identify common complaints and address the underlying issues accordingly.
If possible, contact disgruntled responders directly and discuss the survey responses. Listen carefully, apologize as needed and accept any criticism without become defensive or angry. Tell the respondents that you will work to address the issues and will contact them again at a later date to see if the changes have met their expectations. Responding to customer complaints shows that you care about their concerns and want to keep their business.