Before deploying any type of survey, be clear about what you want to measure. This will drive the makeup of your questions, how you collect the data, and the frequency in which you seek feedback.

Following are the top five benefits of surveys that can help drive new revenue for small and mid-sized business, large enterprises, member organizations, or nonprofits by providing important insights into customer, member or donor wants and needs:

  1. Use feedback as a roadmap for business investments. There is no better way to make sure you will have customer demand. I worked for a Fortune 500 company that developed a new product because it was cool, small, lightweight and the smallest in the industry. But the engineering team never considered the needs of their customers. They had invested in specialized equipment and a production line. They believed it would be the next big thing. But they never verified it with customer feedback. Despite trying for three years, we were never able to sell enough to make the investment worthwhile.
  2. Surveying is a real-time early warning system. If you are getting timely feedback, you are able to react to any dissatisfaction before it goes public. Social media is a game-changer, giving an unhappy customer a platform to air grievances – big or small. Be positively proactive; use surveys to push self-qualified loyal customers to your social media pages for testimonials and endorsements. Preserve your brand with all the positive things you do.
  3. It’s objective. You can speculate why you are losing business and end up addressing the wrong issue. A survey might show that the number one reason for customer dissatisfaction is because you aren’t answering the phones fast enough. And, your team will react better to feedback from customers rather than hearing a manager say, “Customers want us to answer the phone faster.”
  4. It validates your hunches quickly. Customer research is much easier to do with online surveying as opposed to traditional phone calls and mailings. You can validate your hunches in 24 hours versus waiting for the call campaign to gear up or waiting weeks for the mail to be returned to you.
  5. Just asking for feedback shows you care. There’s just is something about a well-planned survey and process, that when delivered properly, shows customers that you value the relationship.