Gathering Feedback Leads to Satisfied Customers

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Gaining feedback on customer satisfaction is critical to a company's success. Feedback gives marketers tools to anticipate future needs and helps mold upcoming products and services. Many marketers are turning to online surveys as the preferred tool to extract customer feedback quickly, easily and affordably.

Whatever the size of your company, listening to customers is crucial in making effective product changes. In today's market these types of changes cannot seem to happen quickly enough. Everyone is well aware of the 2.0 business atmosphere, where daily exchange, marketing and advertising are governed by a different set of rules than before.

Lateness in making needed changes or gaining important customer feedback can hurt your competitive advantage. While the Internet and its ever-quickening exchange of information created this conundrum, the Internet also offers the platform from which to combat it.

Online surveys help marketers and businesses develop better products faster based on customer feedback. What company could not improve some aspect of its business by listening to customers?

However, the method through which customer feedback is obtained should be as fast and as user friendly as the market demands. Here are tips for creating online surveys and information to help you market back to your clients and revamp programs or products:

Starting out. When designing the survey, keep it focused, short and relevant. Be consistent with question wording. Question scales should be consistent within a particular questionnaire as well as over time.

Inquiring about demographics or firmographics (company or industry type and size) lets you analyze the data by different subgroups.

Shorter surveys generally have high response rates and lower abandonment.

Analyzing the data. Online reporting features and data analysis capabilities vary by provider and pricing package. In general, all users receive standard charts and graphs and highlights of important findings in real time.

Data can be viewed online and downloaded to Microsoft Excel or Word. Business owners also can conduct turf analysis and cross-tabulation reports.

Response rates vary depending on survey type and audience. If a survey is crafted properly, customer satisfaction response rates come in around 30 percent.

Online surveys are a great way to connect with customers and prospects and to gather valuable data to make informed decisions. Businesses can engage in a dialogue with customers through a survey and quantify "cyber" conversations. n

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