Business to Business Customer Satisfaction Surveys

The essential concept of business-to-business CRM is frequently referred to as allowing the more expensive business to be as responsive to the needs of its customer as a small business. In the early days of CRM this became translated from “responsive” to “reactive “.Successful larger businesses recognise that they need to be pro-active to locate listening to the views, concerns, needs and degrees of satisfaction from their customers. Paper-based surveys, such as those left in hotel bedrooms, tend to 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 could be led by the interviewer
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INTRODUCTION

CRM is on the basis of the premise that, having a better knowledge of the customers’needs and desires we could 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 the maximum amount of revenue to a business as a Somewhat Satisfied Customer.

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

A Totally Dissatisfied Customer decreases revenue at an interest rate add up to 1.8 times exactly what a Totally Satisfied Customer plays a role in a business.

Consider the next situations…

A large, international hotel chain wished to attract more business travellers. They made a decision to conduct a customer satisfaction survey to learn what they needed to enhance their services for this kind of guest. A published survey was put in each room and guests were asked to fill it out. However, once the survey period was complete, the hotel unearthed that the only real people who’d filled in the surveys were children and their grandparents!

WHY?

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

A big manufacturing company conducted the first year of what was made to be an annual client satisfaction survey. The initial year, the satisfaction score was 94%. The second year, with 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 by the end of the survey.

Although all client satisfaction surveys are used for gathering peoples’opinions, survey designs vary dramatically in total, content and format. Analysis techniques may utilize a wide selection of charts, graphs and narrative interpretations. Companies often work with a survey to try their business strategies, and many base their entire business plan upon their survey’s results. BUT…troubling questions often emerge.

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

While 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 create absolutely sure that their survey process is accurate enough to generate a genuine representation of their customers’opinions. Failing to do this, there’s no way the company can use the results for precise action planning.

The characteristics of a survey’s design, and the info 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 followed if a survey is becoming a company’s most valued strategic business tool.

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