On this page, you’ll learn how to turn this around in your organization.
In just a moment, you’ll learn how to conduct surveys in CRM to:
- Increase the accuracy of your current customer data,
- Use this insight to attract more qualified leads,
- Make better business decisions and more.
What is a CRM Survey?
A CRM survey (short for customer relationship management survey) is a poll, or another form of a survey, sent to contacts within a company’s customer relationship management system.
The purpose of surveying CRM data is to update, refresh, and – eventually – enrich the existing customer information with insights that could help to serve the target audience better.
How do CRM surveys differ from other customer polls?
CRM surveys focus on researching leads and customers only. They aim to assess customer experience to:
- Improve business decisions,
- Identify areas to improve,
- Discover new opportunities to grow, and more.
The Pros and Cons of Surveys in CRM
#1. Improve the CRM data
CRM insights can help a company confirm and expand data about its customers. Such insights may also help uncover new ways to segment customers better.
#2. Help strengthen customer relationships
A good CRM survey can uncover factors that engage customers with a brand more.
#3. Boost sales effectiveness
For a sales team, a CRM survey can help overcome their biggest customer data issues. For example, identifying contacts with the biggest potential or finding cross-selling opportunities.
#4. Help analyze customer satisfaction levels across the entire lifecycle
Finally, CRM survey helps discover what drives customers in their buying journey. And with such insight, identify your company’s strengths and weaknesses at each customer touchpoint.
#1. Depending on your questions, the survey may deliver irrelevant or incorrect data
Asking confusing questions, will, most likely, yield poor results. So would structuring questions to suggest an answer. Or setting up the survey without a clear goal.
#2. Badly formatted surveys can put customers off
Similarly, the format of the survey email will affect the response rate. A confusing layout might deter your contacts from answering the survey. More complex survey elements – dropdowns, text areas, etc. – won’t even render well in an email client, preventing someone from responding too.
How to Use CRM Surveys: Survey Ideas to Help You Update, Refresh, and Enrich Your Data
Survey #1. Measuring satisfaction across the customer lifecycle
Delivering exceptional customer experience is the best growth strategy by far.
Just consider the increase in sales for different customer experience score below.
But to achieve such results, you must understand your strengths and weaknesses across the entire customer lifecycle first.
That’s what this CRM survey helps uncover. To begin, segment your CRM data by various customer lifecycle stages. Then, survey each section to assess your performance.
Here are some lifecycle stages to survey:
Goal: To discover which elements of your sales process engage leads the most.
Background: Customers have various expectations for your sales process.
And their experience will affect their buying decision and loyalty too. One example: 74% of people are likely to switch brands if they find the purchasing process too difficult.
“In terms of simplicity, how do you evaluate the purchase process? Choose from 1-10.”
“What one thing, if any, can we do better to facilitate the purchase process?”
Goal: To assess how well your company engages new customers after the sale.
Background: Many new customers expect brands to continue engaging with them after their purchase (which is often referred to as “voice of the customer”). And their post-sales experience will affect customer’s loyalty. After the sale, companies often turn their attention to other leads instead.
“What one thing, if any, was the turning point for your decision to buy?”
“Is there anything that made you hesitate before your decision to buy?”
“As a customer, do you feel well taken care of by our support team?”
Goal: To discover whether you’re providing enough training to ensure success with your product.
Background: But both training and onboarding are complex but necessary processes. If done poorly, each could leave a customer with insufficient information to succeed.
“Is there anything you believe should be done differently during training/onboarding with our product/service?”
Support/Customer Care Interactions
Goal: To investigate how well your support matches customers’ expectations.
Background: Even a single customer support mistake can cost a company dearly. In fact, according to a survey by American Express, 33% of Americans would consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service.
Assessing the quality of your support interactions will help identify shortcomings in your support processes.
“How do you rate your overall satisfaction with our support team? Please choose from 1-5.”
“What area of our product/service, if any, would you like more assistance with/more information on?”
Goal: To gauge the likelihood of a person to continue doing business with you.
Background: Churn is a concern for any subscription-based business. And so is trying to predict the likelihood of upcoming renewals.
The solution – survey upcoming renewals as they come close to their renewal date. By doing so, you’ll identify potential churn but also, work out a plan to retain a customer.
“How likely is it that you would recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?”
(depending on the answer, this inquiry could be supplemented by a follow-up question: “What is the reason for your answer?”).
For more information on questions that help prevent churn, be sure to take a look at our NPS® Guide.
Goal: To uncover the reasons why customers cancel your service.
Background: Customers leave for a wide range of reasons. Some of these reasons relate to their experiences with you. Others, to a customer’s personal or professional situation, for example.
Knowing the reasons for canceling your service will help you improve your offering and increase retention.
“What prompted you to cancel your plan?”
“What improvements would make you consider renewing your subscription?”
Dead sales leads
Goal: To identify how to re-engage lost leads.
Background: Many leads disappear during the sales process. In spite of their interest in your services or products, the contact with them dropped. However, their disappearance doesn’t mean a lost sales opportunity.
Factors like wrong timing or changes in the business might have made them go dark.
This survey might help:
- Uncover the reason for their disappearance,
- Re-engage them with your brand, and
- Restart the sales process.
“What’s stopping you from purchasing the product/service from us?”
Survey #2. Profiling leads and customers
The more you know about your leads, the greater your chance for more sales, retention, and revenue.
But, as we’ve pointed out earlier, most companies question their data accuracy. In fact, for many, up to 91% of it is incomplete.
Running surveys to improve customer profiles would help you in many ways:
- You will discover your target customers’ pain points and needs better,
- Identify the most effective channels to engage them,
- Establish customer segments to understand them even better,
- Keep contact information fresh, and
- Provide new means to segment the data.
“How often do you use our product/service?”
“Which of the following best describes your business? (Choose all that apply)”
“Which of the following tools do you use in your day-to-day business communication?”
Survey #3: Analyzing product usage
Goal: To discover insights to drive new product ideas and innovation.
Background: Innovation drives much of today’s buying decisions.
According to a study by Lab42, 84% of customers choose brands they consider innovative.
And a study by the Nielsen Group named innovation as one of the main drivers behind product purchases.
But innovation works only when it delivers on customers’ needs. And the best way to discover what your customers want from your product next is by surveying them.
“What’s the primary benefit you receive thanks to our service/product?”
“In terms of ease of use, which area – if any – can we improve in?”
Survey #4. Measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty
Goal: To assess customer satisfaction levels to drive revenue growth.
Background: Today’s customers value referrals more than any other form of advertising. And for many, the search for a new solution begins by asking others for advice.
This survey will help you to:
- Discover your current customer loyalty levels,
- Identify your promoters and their reasons for being eager to promote you,
- Identify detractors and the reasons for their dissatisfaction.
Recommended solution: NPS® score – the most effective method to measure customer loyalty.
Writing CRM Survey Questions: 4 Types of Survey Questions to Use
Questions you ask your CRM contacts will directly affect the outcome of your study.
That’s why, in this section, we outline 4 types of questions to use and when.
#1. Categorical questions
Categorical question help uncover a more general idea about your customers. For example, how many of them came through a particular channel. Or how many found your sales process lengthy, and so on.
In their simplest form, categorical questions require only a yes or no answer, i.e., “Are you a business owner”? However, you could also offer multiple choice-based answers, i.e., “How did you hear about us? Web/Google/Referral, etc.”
#2. Ordinal Questions
Ordinal questions reveal patterns by asking to choose from a clear order of information. For example, “What’s your annual revenue? Less than $1M/$1M-$5M/$5M+.”
In CRM surveys, ordinal questions often help identify new customer segments.
#3. Interval Questions
This survey question uses scales to discover customer tendencies towards something. For example, in an NPS survey, you ask customers what’s their likelihood to recommend you on a scale of 1-10.
Another example – ranking product features from the most favorite to the least.
#4. Open-ended Questions
Finally, to discover customers experiences, stories or expectations, use open-ended questions. Unlike the previous three types, these questions do not offer a choice of answers. Instead, they encourage them to share insights based on experiences or feelings towards the subject of a question.
Example: “What do you think of our sales process?”
To read more about open-ended questions, take a look at our Survey Design Checklist.
Two Best Ways to Send CRM Surveys
The final element of any CRM survey is getting it to the target audience. And here are the two ways you could use:
#1. Add surveys to emails sent from the CRM
Most CRMs offer the ability to email contacts directly. Salesforce, for example, allows Salesforce surveys to be sent from the platform.
Another approach – email CRM contacts a link to the questionnaire you’d like them to complete. Like this:
TIP: Include only the first question – ideally a single choice answer – in the email. And then, setting it to go to the rest of the survey once a person selects their answer. By doing so, you can increase the response rate, regardless of the length of your survey.
#2. Triggered, automated emails
Some survey types aim to analyze specific customer interaction. Customer support, for example. And you could set them up to trigger automatically after a person’s CRM status changes.
How to Get Even More from Your CRM Surveys
You already know that surveying CRM data helps increase its accuracy. You’ve learned how it speeds up the sales processes too. And how the two combined help propel your business growth so much forward.
But there’s a catch…
You see, to achieve it all, you must use a dedicated platform for collecting and acting on customer insights. One that would integrate with your CRM, ensure high open and response rate, and allow you to improve data quality once and for all.