Customer satisfaction questionnaires, also known as Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) surveys, keep your customers engaged with your brand, keep them feeling invested in their experience, and keeps them from churning away. But only if you use them correctly.
With a fast-growing business, it’s important to do anything you can to continue to boost growth and customer happiness—and customer satisfaction questionnaires are one of the best ways to do that. They allow you to have a direct line to your customers, engage them to ask questions, and even open up a larger dialogue if deeper issues arise. Beyond that, though, there are several other benefits that customer satisfaction questionnaires lend to your team, even outside of your customer support and experience functions. Let’s break them down.
Benefit 1: identify trends
After you’ve been surveying your customers for a little bit of time, you can start to see trends arise and are more likely to notice it if something shifts in your customer experience—especially if customer satisfaction drops rapidly.
Fast-growing companies are constantly tweaking and shifting their strategies and products—A/B testing, trying new methods of delivery and experience, and even testing out marketing pitches based on the needs of different customers’ marketing personas. Sending customer satisfaction questionnaires is a quick and simple way to keep your thumb on the pulse of how your customers are feeling.
Use your customer satisfaction questionnaire (or CSAT survey) responses to see if, after a change in strategy or product, your customers’ satisfaction rates are going up or down. For example, if your support team decides to implement a new channel for support, such as phone or chat, does it lift CSAT up, or tank it?
It’s expected that a new offering like that would raise CSAT, so if you see it trending downwards, it may be time to investigate your strategy. This goes for any changes within the company, whether that be anything from new marketing copy to a new feature or product release.
Benefit 2: open up communication
Customer satisfaction questionnaires give your customers a direct channel to tell you how they feel about your product and your support offering. According to CMO Magazine customer spend grows alongside trust, after building the relationship. Eventually, loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones. So, while it’s great to hear what customers are saying and feeling for reasons outside of financial benefit, keeping your customers in the loop can generate additional revenue outside of your traditional sales cycle.
Beyond that, customer satisfaction questionnaires allow you to hear perspectives about your product that you otherwise might not get to hear. Statistics show that an average business only hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers, with the other 96% of dissatisfied customers choosing to leave without writing in to complain.
That means that the Detractors whose responses are captured by CSAT or NPS surveys are just a small, but extremely valuable, percentage of the people feeling let down by your product. For every 50 Detractors that you’ve identified, you actually have a whopping 1,200 Detractors who are quietly leaving, without you even knowing. Your customer satisfaction questionnaires give you the opportunity to give those responses the value that they deserve.
Benefit 3: grow in the right places
Without talking to your customers, there’s only so much that you can predict what they actually need. It’s like ordering food for a party without asking if anyone has any allergies or special dietary restrictions. When you give your customers the opportunity to fill out customer satisfaction questionnaires, you give them the opportunity to tell you what they want more or less of, and what they are actually interested in.
While it’s true that most product roadmap creation should be done internally within the company, rather than following the direction of customer whimsy, talking to customers can help support your product team’s suspicions.
For example, keeping track of customer requests within satisfaction surveys responses gives your team data points to use when arguing for a specific product feature to get built. It’s easy for a product team to say that customers want a specific feature, but if the data isn’t there, it won’t mean as much to your customer base. Building something that has little interest from your customers is a waste of time and effort, for the most part.
Benefit 4: increase customer retention
Kolsky reports that 85% of consumers churn because of poor service that could have been prevented and that 11% of customer churn could be avoided if the business simply reached out to the customer. Talking to your customers if they report a poor experience is one of the best ways to prevent them from churning away from you.
If a customer has a poor experience and you don’t give them the opportunity to talk to you about it, you miss the opportunity to make your product better. Similarly, if you get them to offer constructive insights, and then don’t reach back out to thank them or ask for more information, it makes them feel even less important and valued.
Give your customers the opportunity to tell you if something doesn’t feel right and, if they do, take the time to respond to them, assuage their concerns, and rectify the situation. Customer satisfaction questionnaires give you the opportunity to have a do-over on a poor experience and boost customer retention.
Benefit 5: decrease acquisition cost
The average value of a lost customer is $243, and it is 16 times as costly to build a long-term business relationship with a new customer than to take the time to cultivate the loyalty of an existing customer. Customer satisfaction questionnaires give you a regular, straight-forward way to talk to your customers, hear what they are interested in, and potentially rectify any relationship issues prior to them moving to your competitor.
By taking advantage of the relationships that you’re building with existing customers, rather than constantly looking to acquire new customers, you decrease your overall acquisition cost and cultivate lasting loyalty.
Similarly, satisfied customers are more likely to tell their friends, family and social networks about your product. By creating more loyal promoters, you can cut marketing spend and instead rely on the good faith of your customers to generate a flywheel of incoming new customers.
Conclusion on customer satisfaction questionnaires
Customer satisfaction questionnaires at face value, seem like they may only add value to the customer experience and customer support functions of a company. However, when used effectively, CSAT benefits all teams within a company.
Your product team will gain deeper insights into what customers want, your sales and marketing teams will experience better traction with existing customers, thus decreasing acquisition cost and maintaining high retention, and your support team will have a way of spotting issues as they become trends.
These questionnaires, though easy to implement, have a lasting impact across the whole company eco-system and are one of the best implementations for fast-growing business keen on maintaining their growth.
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