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Customer Surveys: the key to improving your business

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

Author: Reda HADDOU

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Date of Publication: 24/06/2022

In order to have a successful digital marketing strategy, it is essential to have all the information about the target audience and the market you are entering. So, what we talk about is surveys.

Ignoring this information would mean undertaking a project without knowing the ins and outs. Therefore, this means acting in isolation from the realities of the market. Thus, it is essential to identify the needs and also what its targets expect before applying a specific strategy. Also, it is equally important to gauge the satisfaction of your users or customers. So, this is where the survey comes in as the ultimate marketing weapon.

Polls provide real numbers

In the press, polls are used to make articles about more than just the few people quoted in the article. In particular, an article carries much more weight if it talks about an issue affecting a large proportion of the population rather than just a few people.

Exactly the same applies to customer service surveys. In fact, it is necessary to know whether an angry customer's complaint is an isolated case or whether it is shared by other customers. Similarly, one satisfied customer doesn’t mean that a start-up is on its way to a huge IPO. Hence, surveys can help to assess how representative individual experiences and views are.

Actually, when done well, surveys provide real data on the opinions and behaviours of respondents and data that can lead to important decisions. Just as politicians are certainly more likely to win an election if they understand what the people who vote really want. For example, the manager of an amateur sports team is more likely to succeed if they can quickly identify problems in a coaching programme by surveying educators and parents.

Surveys provide essential benchmarks

Surveys are commonly used to make particular choices, such as whether to launch a certain advertising campaign or build a new service. However, they are considerably more effective when repeated over time. Actually, you often hear the phrase from survey professionals: "The trend is your friend". After all, asking the same question repeatedly at different times provides a clear view of how things are changing.

For example, the US Census Bureau itself conducts polls, admittedly, on a huge scale. In particular it is adept at cataloguing major demographic changes in the country. For instance, shifts in ethnic distribution are a common job for them. The NPS score may not mean much on its own, but a drastic drop in the score in the second quarter would have its leaders looking for explanations and solutions on the issue.

Surveys highlight the 'why'

The concept of 'Big Data' is all the rage at the moment. Because of it also comes 'mega-problems'. This term largely refers to implicit data, or data that is derived from observing and analysing your behaviour online and off.

The amount of this kind of data is growing all the time, but it has its flaws. For example, think of Amazon's recommendation engine. It can't tell you whether Jules Martine, a grandfather, has added the latest FIFA 22 video game in his shopping cart for himself or for his grandson's birthday. So,this pollutes its recommendations with FIFA or NBA video games. Specifically, to know why Jules Martine chose FIFA 22, explicit data is needed to complete what Amazon's algorithms reveal. Thus, explicit data serves just that purpose: it is information that is disclosed or expressed without approximation or ambiguity.

In particular, explicit data is usually obtained directly from people through surveys. It is inherently more reliable for understanding the motivations behind actions. So, Amazon could have collected explicit data by asking this simple question: "Are you buying this product as a gift?

Surveys give voice

The importance of surveys is perhaps best explained by a book that is not about surveys. In his classic "Exit, Voice, and Loyalty", Princeton economist Albert Hirschman examines the reactions of individuals when confronted with a poor company. Specifically, they can either "defect" and go elsewhere, or "speak up" to express their dissatisfaction and try to change things from within. However, loyalty (or infidelity) to a cause or brand has an impact on whether people jump ship or speak out.

Hirschman points out that people and companies usually wait until they see defects to identify a problem. For example, they usually ask themselves whether they have fewer customers than last month. The problem is that it is often too late. Defection is indeed a lagging indicator and by encouraging talk rather than defection, companies have a better chance of success. Therefore, a customer who doesn’t hesitate to speak up feels more involved, and it is less likely to look and buy elsewhere. In other words, speaking up is your best alarm system. So. let's start conducting surveys to gather real numbers, establish benchmarks, find out the "why" and give our participants a voice.


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