1 Survey Tips Recap

Tips for Effective Customer Surveys & Powerful Customer Insights

by Jenny on August 27, 2021 Comments Off on Tips for Effective Customer Surveys & Powerful Customer Insights

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been posting videos that share tips for effective customer feedback surveys. The ultimate goal of gathering customer insights is to guide decision making and support brand development processes. So, understanding the different survey types will help in determining which is the right option based on your current objectives.

Here’s a quick recap of the videos I’ve been posting, along with video links for more detail:


Getting to Know You Surveys – Watch Video

In our personal lives, relationship building is all about getting to know the other person and learning who they are. So, why not approach customer relationship building the same way?

After spending so much time and energy acquiring new customers, getting to know them on a personal level is a great next step. Not only does it show the individual how much they are valued beyond the money they spend, but it also equips your brand with insights for experience personalization, targeted marketing, and – of course – relationship building.


Tracking Awareness and Perception – Watch Video

Too often we see brand awareness and brand perception set aside to a “we already know that stuff” mentality. But chances are, things have changed since you last checked.

While seemingly basic and straight-forward concepts compared to other topics in the world of brand development, awareness and perception studies yield incredibly valuable insights that have wide-ranging strategic applications. From sales and marketing to identity and culture, complacency in this area risks missing out on some pivotal growth opportunities.

A great example is the brand which launched a new product last year and committed a lot of resources to promotional campaigns. After conducting a brand awareness study, it was learned that despite those marketing efforts, most consumers were still unaware of their new product. And among those consumers who were aware, they had an inaccurate perception of the new product. These insights enabled the brand to revisit, reimagine, and relaunch their new product promotional campaign in ways that reached a wider audience and addressed the most relevant perception issues.


Measuring Customer Satisfaction – Watch Video

Before launching a Customer Experience & Satisfaction survey, there’s one important question that needs to be answered; What do YOU want the customer’s experience to be?

Without defining the intended customer experience upfront, any survey results will be missing the context needed to produce actionable insights. Instead, there will be “interesting observations” which spark meaningful discussions but miss the mark in terms of providing actionable insights to guide decision making.

Furthermore, asking the question of intended customer experience will identify any misalignment or confusion that exists internally. If there are inter-departmental differences in opinions or objectives, those areas need to be addressed before customer feedback is collected. Often, we find there are a few steps and actions brands need to take within their own world before the full benefits of customer insights are realized.


Addressing Lost Customers – Watch Video

Losing customers is an inevitable part of business. So, we can either cut the loss and move on, or we can dig in looking for ways to learn and grow our brand. We prefer the latter.

First and foremost, we must recognize that customers are lost for a reason. Whether that reason is related to a brand experience, the result of an emerging competitor, or something different altogether, something drove the customer’s decision to leave. Unless we explicitly ask, we will never know the specific reason. If left unaddressed, that reason could impact current and future customers in the same way leading to the same result.

While it may be uncomfortable to hear and hard to stomach, listening to why customers don’t plan on returning is one of the best ways to grow.


The Best Incentive for Survey Takers – Watch Video

A common question I get is, what’s the best incentive to boost survey response rates? My answer is, follow up with respondents. Yes, it’s counter-intuitive to think of an incentive happening after the survey is already taken. But customer insights are a marathon, not a sprint.

The most common approach to survey incentives is buying participation with a gift card or a chance to win prizes. Not only is this very expensive, but it also lowers confidence in the survey results because some people will click through just to get the reward – not putting much thought into the questions being asked. A much more efficient and cost-effective way to motivate participation in your survey is to show customers how much their feedback matters with follow up communication. Go beyond thanking them for their participation to reiterate the purpose and importance of conducting that survey. Share a few high-level details about how the results will be used and why their input is so important to the brand development process.

When respondents hear back from a brand after completing a survey, they know their feedback has been received. When they understand how their feedback will be used and how their voice fits into the brand’s long-term plans, they will likely continue providing feedback when requested in the future.


Assessing Overall Brand Health – Watch Video

Stepping back for a holistic view of your brand’s awareness levels, perception, customer satisfaction, and other feedback survey results is how we monitor Brand Health.

It’s common, and easy, to keep survey results in siloes or fragmented data files. But the big-picture realities become clear when bringing all of our customer insights together. This is an important aspect of maximizing the impact of customer insights because more detailed and complex storylines emerge when we gain a holistic view. Dots can be connected, and opportunities can be identified that otherwise may have gone overlooked when data is kept on its own.

As new data, feedback, and insights come in, we revisit our Brand Health assessment to ensure things are trending in the right direction. If they’re not, we have established a data-driven foundation that will help pinpoint areas in need of attention, and we have the customer insights needed to make corrective decisions.


Final Thoughts

The keys to a successful customer feedback project are having a clearly defined purpose and set plans for action once the survey results have been analyzed. If either of these aspects are missing, or even underdeveloped, the insights gained are likely to be more observational than they are actionable.

Stay tuned for more videos and discussions regarding customer feedback strategies. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or to review projects you’re currently working on.


Jenny Dinnen is President of Sales and Marketing at MacKenzie Corporation. Driven to maximize customer's value and exceed expectations, Jenny carries a can-do attitude wherever she goes. She maintains open communication channels with both her clients and her staff to ensure all goals and objectives are being met in an expeditious manner. Jenny is a big-picture thinker who leads MacKenzie in developing strategies for growth while maintaining a focus on the core services that have made the company a success. Basically, when something needs to get done, go see Jenny. Before joining MacKenzie, Jenny worked at HD Supply as a Marketing Manager and Household Auto Finance in their marketing department. Jenny received her undergrad degree in Marketing from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and her MBA from the University of Redlands.

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