The Customer Service Survey

On This Day in History

by Peter Leppik on Thu, 2012-12-06 15:55

Is your customer survey still asking the same questions as five years ago?

Five years ago, Twitter was a startup and Facebook had only recently opened to the public at large. George W. Bush was president, and the iPhone had only been on the market for a few months. Chances are your business is very different than it was five years ago.

I regularly talk to companies whose customer feedback programs have not changed at all in five or ten years--sometimes even longer. Ten years ago Google was still a startup--it's hard to believe that any business process developed then and unchanged since is meeting today's needs.

The usual excuse is that it's important to maintain continuity in the survey program. And that's true, up to a point. But if the program doesn't change and evolve with the business, it quickly becomes irrelevant.

As your business needs change, your customer feedback process has to change with it. That means adding questions as needed and removing them when irrelevant, changing who is asked to participate and where the data goes, and regularly reviewing what's working and what isn't.

This has to happen continuously. If a hurricane hits your distribution center, you need the flexibility to ask about how that event is affecting your customers and their expectations of you. When you have a product launch or promotion, the customer feedback process needs to be collecting specific, actionable data about that event.

Customer feedback should not be a passive measurement tool. Ideally, it is a dynamic business process which informs everything else in your company.

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