If you are in business, your clients are, without doubt, your most valuable asset and we know it is important to find out what they think of your business; the staff they speak to, the products they receive and everything you do for them, good and bad.
In theory a customer survey is quick and easy, but most are dangerously worse than useless, (you can read more about why surveys don’t work here). So, if most customers will ‘cross the road’ to avoid the interview, how do you get at the truth?
Well the answer is simple, but whilst chat bots are allegedly going to take over the World, that is some time off, so for now we need to think about human nature and how we as Brits behave when giving or receiving feedback.
1. We don’t like to give offence. So, when asked, most people will be less than truthful in their responses. Don’t believe it? How often have you been asked ‘is everything OK with your meal?’ and wondered why you didn’t point out the things that were not right?
2. We don’t want an ‘awkward’ moment. Most of us would prefer not to risk an awkward moment, so we simply say nothing and then quietly take our business elsewhere.
3. We basically can’t be bothered. If there is no relationship in place, no bond or loyalty, we don’t feel obliged to make the effort required to provide feedback, a feeling reinforced by points 1 and 2.
4. …but we find it very hard to ignore a direct question. If asked in an appropriate way and at the right time we find it very hard to be rude and refuse to answer a direct question. Provided we can avoid upselling anyone, most people are very happy to talk about their experience.
This analysis is hardly likely to win any psychology awards, but by understanding these simple facts, the answer is obvious: Get Enquir3 (as a third party) to ask the questions, they won’t get offended and they will give your customer the option of providing feedback anonymously.
The difference between a conventional survey, one involving emails, SMS or feedback forms, and a conversation is dramatic. Enquir3 will ask the right questions at the right time and will achieve two things conventional surveys cannot:
- Nearly everyone asked agrees to provide feedback, frequently with a 100% success rate.
- The responses are far more considered and much more detailed, covering both the good points and the areas where there is scope for improvement.
- A constructive discussion of the positive aspects of your supplier / client relationship can only strengthen that relationship regardless of the feedback, (provided you address issues in an appropriate fashion).
Enquir3 will share the secret of asking the right questions and how to get the timing right in our next news item, in the meantime, start thinking about which of your clients you would really like to know better.