Measuring and monitoring the Voice of the Customer is as crucial to B2B companies as it is in the B2C world.
Capturing critical customer feedback not only gives insights into issues your customers may have with your products or services, it also helps inform you about their perception of your overall performance and understand where to focus your efforts.
Rapid recognition and resolution of problems is an easy way to build customer trust, improve retention and generate loyal customers.
"Customers don't expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong"
Donald Porter, V.P. British Airways
Optimising customer feedback is not always easy. At one extreme, you may ask too many questions too frequently, and at the other you may not contact your customers enough, at the right time, and find you have resentful customers who feel that they are tied into an unfair contract.
Choosing the right survey method
Gathering the right information using a Voice of the Customer survey provides the flexibility to generate deep customer insight. An event triggered survey - a one-off when a customer takes an action such as a product purchase or a visit to a technology showcase - generates feedback into the performance of the people involved and the customer's view of and satisfaction with the product or service.
Continual customer sentiment tracking provides deeper and richer data on how customers feel about your product or service, your company and your employees.
It's easier in the B2C world where numbers are bigger, but a well set up B2B survey with the appropriate data gathering mechanism (phone or online) can gather a wide range of in-depth customer opinions.
Start with the end in mind. A Voice of the Customer initiative should start by looking at the outcomes required.
Many surveys are too long because they fail to distinguish the interesting from relevant. Concise questions are best and should be as direct as possible. Be open in your approach and upfront as to why you want your customer to complete the survey.
Crucially, a survey must make the respondent feel that it addresses their concerns and isn’t solely there from the business perspective to increase business profits.
The survey question set
For each question you should be able to answer.
- What will I do when I have the answer?
- How will it add insight and understanding? Only ask things which you don't know the answer to and which will result in action
Don't ask what you already know, what has already been decided or what you have no control over.
Open ended questions requiring the customer to give an opinion are vital for good insight, but be warned, in general, 60% of respondents don't answer open-ended questions and of the 40% who do, 90% of those give differing answers.
Our advice for the most effective survey: keep it simple, straightforward and succinct.