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Business to Business Customer Satisfaction Surveys

The fundamental concept of business-to-business CRM is frequently called allowing the more expensive business to be as tuned in to the requirements of its customer as a small business. In the early days of CRM this became translated from “responsive” to “reactive “.Successful larger businesses recognise they have to be pro-active to locate listening to the views, concerns, needs and degrees of satisfaction from their customers. Paper-based surveys, such as for example those left in hotel bedrooms, are apt to have a low response rate and usually are completed by customers who have a grievance. Telephone-based interviews tend to be influenced by the Cassandra phenomenon. Face-to-face interviews are costly and could be led by the interviewer
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INTRODUCTION

CRM is on the basis of the premise that, by having a better understanding of the customers’needs and desires we are able to 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 study were: –

A Totally Satisfied Customer contributes 2.6 times just as much revenue to a company as a Somewhat Satisfied Customer.

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

A Totally Dissatisfied Customer decreases revenue at a rate equal to 1.8 times what a Totally Satisfied Customer plays a role in a business.

Consider these situations…

A big, international hotel chain wished to attract more business travellers. They chose to conduct a client satisfaction survey to discover what they needed seriously to boost their services for this kind of guest. A published survey was placed in each room and guests were asked to fill it out. However, once the survey period was complete, the hotel discovered that the only people who’d filled in the surveys were children and their grandparents!

WHY?

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

A sizable manufacturing company conducted the very first year of what was made to be an annual customer satisfaction survey. The very first year, the satisfaction score was 94%. The 2nd year, with exactly the same basic survey topics, but using another survey vendor, the satisfaction score dropped to 64%. Ironically, at once, 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 a different management level. The Overall Satisfaction question was placed at the conclusion of the survey.

Although all client satisfaction surveys are useful 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 use a survey to test their business strategies, and many base their entire business plan upon their survey’s results. BUT…troubling questions often emerge.

Are the results always accurate? …Sometimes accurate? …At all accurate? Is there “hidden pockets of customer discontent” a survey overlooks? Can the survey information be trusted enough to take major action confidently?

Whilst 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 certain that their survey process is accurate enough to generate a real representation of their customers’opinions. Failing to do so, there’s no way the business can use the results for precise action planning.

The characteristics of a survey’s design, and the information collection methodologies employed to conduct the survey, require careful forethought to ensure comprehensive, accurate, and correct results. The discussion on the following page summarizes several key “rules of thumb” that must definitely be honored if your survey is becoming a company’s most valued strategic business tool.

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