Strategy

Bridging the gap: Why regular customer surveys are key to good business

Sonia Majkic AND Tamara Alavera /

business growth

Sonia and Tamara are the co-founders and managing directors at 3 Phase Marketing. Source: Supplied.

Often businesses will be chugging along, convinced they know why their customers continue to choose them over their competitors. But more often than not, when they dig into their customer data, they’ll find the answer is something completely different than what they originally thought.

This is where customer surveys come in: a source to obtain information about what your audience thinks about your brand – their opinions, expectations and consumer satisfaction levels. They are the bridge between what you think of your business and what your customers think of your business.

Sending out a survey to existing and past clients can become the fundamentals for a really strong marketing campaign. Often, the answer to your marketing needs lies within the experience that your customer has had. This is for two reasons: firstly it affirms what you stand for and your brand promise, and secondly, it creates a new brand promise.

For example, you may think that your brand is known for its amazing flavoured popcorn – as far as you’re concerned, it’s all about the flavour for your customers. But in reality, people may actually purchase your product because you don’t include a certain type of chemical or ingredient that perhaps children with allergies need to avoid.

Often, your competitive advantage, the reason why people are choosing your brand and your business, is something under the surface. To uncover this, you need to allow your customers to give you this information confidentially.

These surveys should be carried out at a minimum of once every year. The data that’s collected will help you structure the next twelve months of business both in product and service and in communication. With the insights gathered, you can adapt your tone to attract future clients and adapt your offering to increase customer satisfaction and in turn, their loyalty.

What you discover should form the content pillars of all your businesses content creation, including creative and copy. For example, if you find out your customers are visiting your café because of the sustainability of the coffee beans and local produce used in meals then this should form the foundation of your marketing messages.

The information uncovered in the surveys should also form the basis for reviewing the progress of your business, including internal services and offering. If you discover your customers enjoy the chocolate but not the raisins in your ice-cream then you should review this flavour to better suit what your customers want.

We can never assume information about our customers. This only ends up with money wasted and resources exhausted without much return. Instead, we need to know exactly what our customers want and how we can give it to them.

We need to be providing customers with a forum to receive this feedback. We need to be facilitating regular customer surveys.

So, when was the last time you did a customer survey?

NOW READ: Why did Shoes of Prey fail? Because it listened to customers

NOW READ: Why businesses should focus on customers, not competitors

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Sonia Majkic

Sonia is the co-founder and managing director of digital marketing agency 3 Phase Marketing. Sonia has more than 15 years' experience working in media, sales and marketing.

Tamara Alavera

Tamara is the co-founder and managing director of digital marketing agency 3 Phase Marketing. Tamara has worked in marketing roles for more than a decade, including at Victorian government agencies and in corporate teams.