There is no question that businesses need to listen to and make every effort to obtain customer feedback. It is probably the only effective way of knowing what you are doing well, and perhaps more importantly what you are NOT doing well.
However, if you are only going through the motions with regards to your surveys, you are doing your customers and your business a disservice. Customer feedback needs to be structured and planned appropriately, but “actioning” the problems raised is even more important than the process you use to gain that information.
This is even more relevant for the service industry, which relies on constant service improvement to stay ahead of their competitors. There’s many other reasons why effective customer satisfaction survey questions are so important for the service industry, too.
Increases Repeat Business
Retention of customers is a simple and easy way of growing your business, as it’s significantly costlier to acquire new accounts than it is to retain existing ones. However, ensuring existing customers stay with your business requires that you meet their needs and expectations from your very first interaction with them. You want to make sure that you address their concerns and become even better at what they praise you for, to have them coming back for more.
Positive word of mouth and recommendations are a driver of new business. From a service perspective, it is very rare to receive this as clients generally only contact your business when they have a problem. Often, the best you can hope for is that they will be neutral after the interaction. But if you are able to get positive feedback and recommendations, this shows that you are really doing the right thing for your customers, standing you in good stead for the future. When you get it right, you can be sure of new business generated from word of mouth.
A strategy that service organizations can use when marketing is publishing positive testimonials online. Third party reviews assure potential customers that you are a reliable partner with your services in the fast lane. It is also an indication that you value your clients and the services that you provide to them.
Reduces Lost Business
It’s dangerous to run a service without assessing how it fits the needs of your customers. Over time, customers will start pointing to weaknesses in your service delivery, and before long, most of your market will be leaving you. However, with a perfectly laid out customer feedback plan, you can be sure to spot such weakness at an early stage and make corrections where necessary.
Many customers don’t get the chance to share their views with businesses, as it’s often a lot of effort to do so. By meeting them halfway by providing them with a platform to share their feedback, you improve the chances of keeping these customers, and reduce the risk that they will simply stay silent and go to a competitor.
Builds a Strong Reputation
As mentioned before, making improvements from customer feedback makes customers happier with your service and means they will be more likely recommend your services to their friends and family.
With time, this cumulative goodwill will yield a massive and strong reputation in the service industry. That will mean that you won’t have to focus so much on time and effort of marketing, as your customers and the public will do it for you! A great example of this is L.L. Bean’s return policy. As Steve Fuller (L.L. Bean’s Chief Marketing Officer) comments:
“As a business practice, it’s expensive. As advertising, it’s cheap.”
With your clients happy and acting as your advocate, your standing in the industry is sure to rise too. When bidding on new RFPs and tenders this information is extremely powerful and useful, as many industries have come to realize that products do not differentiate them – rather, the service they provide does!
Sample Questions for Customer Feedback in the Service Industry
The following template includes sample questions that you can use in the service industry to get the right feedback from your clients.