Updated: Nov 21
Author: Reda HADDOU
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. Ignoring this information would mean undertaking a project without knowing the ins and outs. In other words, it means acting in isolation from the realities of the market. Therefore, it is important to gauge the satisfaction of your users and understand your customers. This is where surveys come in as the ultimate marketing weapons.
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 the larger population rather than 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 behaviors of respondents. This data can then lead to important decisions. For example, the manager of an amateur sports team is more likely to succeed if he 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. Indeed, asking the same question repeatedly at different time points, provides a clear view of how things are changing.
For example, the US Census Bureau conducts polls, admittedly, on a huge scale. In particular it is adept at cataloging major demographic changes in the country, such as shifts in ethnic distribution. If the NPS score drops drastically in the second quarter, the Bureau would have its leaders look for explanations and solutions on the issue.
Customer surveys highlight the 'why'
The concept of 'Big Data' is all the rage at the moment. This term largely refers to implicit data. This is data that is derived from observing and analyzing your behavior online and offline. The amount of this kind of data is growing all the time, but it has its flaws, one of which is the lack of explicit data.
Explicit data is needed to complete an algorithm’s reveal. Thus, it serves a specific purpose: to disclose or express information 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 customers’ actions. So, an example question that could be used to collect explicit data from a customer is: "Are you buying this product as a gift?”
Customer surveys to 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 to a cause or brand has an impact on whether people defect or speak up.
Hirschman points out that people and companies usually take too long to identify a problem. Indeed, they often wait until they see defects to start acting. Defection is a lagging indicator, and by encouraging talk rather than defection, companies have a better chance of success. This means that a customer who doesn’t hesitate to speak up feels more involved and is less likely to look or buy elsewhere. Hence, speaking up is the best alarm system a company can have.
So, let's start conducting surveys to gather real numbers, establish benchmarks, find out explicit data, and give our customers a voice.