If used correctly, customer surveys can benefit your company by providing valuable insights into your target market, informing future marketing initiatives, and fueling company improvements. They can also bring positive experiences to your current customer base, potential customers, help secure startup funding, or even bring awareness to the entire industry with data that might have been lost in the ether otherwise.
How Can Customer Surveys Help in Startup Funding?
Conducting customer surveys can provide measurement and analysis of current satisfaction levels (or, in some cases, customer dissatisfaction levels). Your organization can start off with a sample set of data by reviewing customer feedback sites like Yelp, Google, or Angie’s List. It can also take note of blog comments and read social media commentary.
But there are methods much more effective than sourcing sample information from elsewhere online.
Customer surveys will provide your business with the opportunity to decide what information is important to you. A lot of customers – in particular, the unhappy ones, will freely express themselves, but oftentimes without exactly explaining why they’re dissatisfied with your product or service.
Not only do they provide a level of specificity not otherwise easily attained, but they allow your organization to identify areas of potential growth. Customer surveys should be treated as the pavers you use while building your organization’s road to revenue ascension, geographic expansion, or even new market penetration.
Conquering the current market is only possible with a readily available dialogue with your customer base.
Firstly, use your surveys to candidly ask customers what you should focus on next. This will let you discover customer needs that you may have otherwise missed, and identify trends that can be determinant for the future direction of your business.
Secondly, think of it this way – taking surveys provides an outlet for your customers. For example, if your customer base is fed up with a poorly performing site or your business hours are actively harming your business, these are things that you should know.
Customer-centric surveys give your clients the opportunity to share their opinion on your product or service in ways you might have otherwise missed.
While some customers won’t feel strongly about your products (for example NPS neutrals), a personalized customer survey will allow your organization to connect with clients to learn more about what drives them. This can help when you begin to pitch investors for startup funding or capital.
Survey insights will be an element of market research on customer satisfaction levels and will help potential investors paint a picture of your entire business.
Perhaps the most important thing that conducting customer surveys can do is allowing a higher level of communication with recipients. Opening the floodgates of communication is extremely beneficial to an organization, as it gives a company the opportunity to clearly articulate benefits and build brand loyalty by fostering familiarity.
The Basic Customer Survey Strategy
Tell A Story!
There is no shame in humbly approaching your customer base and asking them for assistance. Inspire your customers by pulling back the curtain and supplying a morsel about the latest product, service, or policy that was designed in response to a previous unsatisfactory experience with your product. Shifting the survey tone from ‘rate us’ to ‘help us’ will do wonders for transforming your image.
Foster An Air of Convenience
Customers, even the happy ones, will not go out of their way to return a customer feedback survey. You must work to optimize the survey experience – otherwise, results will be tepid, at best.
People have lives jobs to go to, children to care for, and homes to clean. This leaves little time to assist their pharmacy, software company, or plumber with their concerns.
Having to find a stamp or even go buy one to return a letter or following link after link to get to your organization’s intricate online form are probably some of the quickest ways to get customers to click that ‘X’ button and bail.
Be Sure To Follow Up
Every single customer that responds to your customer survey deserves a ‘thank you’, but most companies fail their customer base and miss out on an opportunity by sending automated responses in the likes of ‘thanks a lot’, which that don’t really foster a sense of connection.
Instead, your organization should follow up with a feedback-oriented personalized email that reads something like:
“Hi, Michelle! We’ve received your feedback and we completely agree, <insert problem here> is inconvenient. We’re working hard on getting that remedied as quickly as possible. What do you think about <insert solution here>?”
Maintain Customer Service Focus
It should be crystal clear that your survey’s intent is to improve service to the people you serve on an individual level. If it appears, even for an instant, that your survey is just a fluff-piece for your firm, it will never succeed.
Customer Surveys – Actionable Data For Investors
For organizations that are working on securing investors to secure a round of startup funding, customer survey insights can be utilized as real-time customer data that shows insights into your current customer base. This can help supplement the investment research any investors may do when they’re analyzing a startup attempting to secure funding.
Fast market research like this can help analysts measure everything from consumer sentiment to validating any potential conclusions on investments before signing off on a round of venture capital for startup funding.
Enabling investors to make educated decisions quickly will go a long way- investors greatly value the ability to collect information quickly and efficiently. Finding a resource-efficient strategy to find data and insights around key business questions will help your organization secure funding, but not only that. It will also allow you to gain the confidence to push forward on growth initiatives while retaining the ability to stay nimble enough to adapt and change direction if needed.
Including customer survey insights in your pitch deck to investors can help paint a clear picture of your business and tell your organization’s story- everything from having a crystal clear understanding of pricing, identifying the target market demographics, to exploring the ideas of different business models with your current customer base can be deciphered with a well-executed customer survey strategy. These insights are priceless to a campaign for startup funding and are a vital part of your overall pitch deck.
Clearly spelling out your business goals to investors, including the insights that paint a clear picture of your business now and its perception among the target market in the ecosystem, and telling a story of opportunities and objectives will help take a business far in its quest to secure investment capital and funding.