Trying one of these simple tactics to get feedback can keep you from losing customers.
“Are you satisfied with the service you received?”
That is a tough question to ask. You’re opening yourself up to a variety of answers. Some people will be brutally honest with you. Others are afraid of confrontation or hurting someone’s feelings, so they lie and say everything was great. But then they hire a different company.
If you don’t think you are up to that much face-to-face honesty, a customer service questionnaire or survey is a great option. It will allow customers to give honest feedback about your employees, your equipment and your service. There are a few different ways you can do this:
Hire an independent company to poll your customers. The company will call customers and gather any data you would like. You can really specialize this questionnaire by the type of customer they are contacting. The downside is that this method can be a little expensive and takes some time to complete.
Send a short survey with your invoices. You can easily type something up and enclose it in the bill. This is probably the cheapest option, costing you the price of a couple reams of paper. The downside is that there is no guarantee that people will fill it out or send it back.
Send an email survey. We have done this in the past. We used Survey Monkey and I was really happy with the results. If you are a really small company you can use the free version, which will give you 100 responses. The next plan up is $25 per month and that allows for more customization and more responses.
There are many ways to get feedback. It may hurt to read some of it, but the most important thing to remember is that any feedback is good for your company. I would rather know now how bad my service is than at the end of the year when I have lost customers.
So open yourself up to some constructive criticism and try a customer survey.
About the Author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.