Business to Business Customer Satisfaction Surveys

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The basic concept of business-to-business CRM is usually referred to as allowing the more expensive business to be as responsive to the requirements of its customer as a tiny business. In early days of CRM this became translated from “responsive” to “reactive “.Successful larger businesses recognise that they have to be pro-active in finding listening to the views, concerns, needs and quantities of satisfaction from their customers. Paper-based surveys, such as for example those left in hotel bedrooms, generally have a low response rate and are usually completed by customers who have a grievance. Telephone-based interviews are often influenced by the Cassandra phenomenon. Face-to-face interviews are very pricey and may be led by the interviewer jacklistens.

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INTRODUCTION

CRM is based on the premise that, by having a better knowledge of the customers’needs and desires we are able to keep them longer and sell more to them.

InfoQuest performed a statistical analysis of Customer Satisfaction data encompassing the findings of over 20,000 customer surveys conducted in 40 countries by InfoQuest.

The conclusions of the research were: –

A Totally Satisfied Customer contributes 2.6 times just as much revenue to a company as a Somewhat Satisfied Customer.

A Totally Satisfied Customer contributes 14 times just as much revenue as a Somewhat Dissatisfied Customer.

A Totally Dissatisfied Customer decreases revenue at a rate corresponding to 1.8 times what a Totally Satisfied Customer contributes to a business.

Consider the following situations…

A big, international hotel chain desired to attract more business travellers. They chose to conduct a customer care survey to discover what they needed to improve their services for this sort of guest. A published survey was placed in each room and guests were asked to fill it out. However, once the survey period was complete, the hotel found that the only people who’d filled in the surveys were children and their grandparents!

WHY?

Business travellers don’t have the time or the interest in participating in this sort of survey!

A large manufacturing company conducted the first year of what was designed to be an annual customer satisfaction survey. The very first year, the satisfaction score was 94%. The next year, with exactly the same basic survey topics, but using another survey vendor, the satisfaction score dropped to 64%. Ironically, at the same time frame, their overall revenues doubled!

WHY?

The questions were simpler and phrased differently. The order of the questions was different. The format of the survey was different. The targeted respondents were at an alternative management level. The Overall Satisfaction question was placed at the end of the survey.

Although all customer care surveys are employed for gathering peoples’opinions, survey designs vary dramatically long, content and format. Analysis techniques may utilize a wide variety of charts, graphs and narrative interpretations. Companies often make use of a survey to check their business strategies, and many base their entire business plan upon their survey’s results. BUT…troubling questions often emerge.

Are the outcomes always accurate? …Sometimes accurate? …At all accurate? Is there “hidden pockets of customer discontent” that a survey overlooks? Can the survey information be trusted enough to take major action with full confidence?

Because the examples above show, different survey designs, methodologies and population characteristics will dramatically alter the results of a survey. Therefore, it behoves a company to produce absolutely sure their survey process is accurate enough to generate a true representation of the customers’opinions. Failing to take action, there’s no way the company can utilize the results for precise action planning.

The characteristics of a survey’s design, and the data collection methodologies employed to conduct the survey, require careful forethought to ensure comprehensive, accurate, and correct results. The discussion on another page summarizes several key “rules of thumb” that must definitely be honored if your survey is to become company’s most valued strategic business tool.

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