They say “ask and you shall receive,” and that’s exactly what we (PreGel America) did last year. As a business professional, you know that establishments of similar types look for ways to stand out from one another, but the common denominator between the fiercest competitors is the shared desire to truly know their audiences. To help us achieve the goal of fully understanding the ever-evolving needs, desires, and expectations of our audience better, and how they perceive us as a company overall, we thought to simply ask. So we sent out two surveys: PreGel Product Satisfaction and PreGel Customer Service Satisfaction, via Survey Monkey, a free (and very efficient) online survey development platform.
“We all need people who will give us feedback.
That’s how we improve.”
– Bill Gates
The decision to ask our audience for their insight was beneficial for a multitude of reasons, seeing as we work in a Feedback Economy, as explained by Albert Chang, director of product marketing at SurveyMonkey.
‘’Whether we like it or not, we’re all working in a Feedback Economy,” says Chang. “Public feedback in the market—whether about a product, service, or employer—is more powerful than ever: positive reviews can catapult a business to greater success and negative perceptions can be devastating,” Chang continues.
[bctt tweet=”Public feedback in the market—whether about a product, service, or employer—is more powerful than ever.” username=””]
In terms of the two previously mentioned surveys PreGel conducted, Amy Andrade, Special Service Team manager at PreGel America, was glad that our business partners sacrificed their time to take the survey (perhaps with a little encouragement from the offer of a 15% discount off their next order).
Andrade personally read through every response to review the positive feedback and analyze any negative commentary (which is common on surveys). She found that, “with the results of these surveys, you cannot just take them at face value. You really need to do some homework to get the entire picture.”
Understanding the “full picture”, as Andrade says, is of major importance and her opinion seconds the notion prescribed by Chang, who states that “Taking proactive steps to collect private feedback via surveys gives companies a major competitive advantage: Not only can they address problems early, they can also isolate and promote the parts of their business that customers, employees, and other stakeholders really love.”
“What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Answer: feedback. Don’t forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication.”
In the following example, Andrade showcases how PreGel simultaneously addresses problems and promotes parts of the business that are beneficial to our business partners.
When any comment – whether good or bad – came through, Andrade assigned a task for the Special Service Team (inside sales) members or the outside sales team members to follow-up with the respondent and address the perceived issue. “For instance, if someone responded that we didn’t sell any vegan ingredients, I would ask the sales person to supply the respondent with a list of vegan products we have to offer,” Andrade explained, showcasing problem-solving that educates the customers as well as satisfies their expectations of us as a business partner.
This action step, resulting from customer feedback, is a direct reflection of an important statistic that Chang shared with us: “91% of people believe that companies should fuel innovation by listening to buyers and customers. This practice is so valuable that survey-driven feedback has actually become a new form of currency.”
And, in my opinion, honest insight that can benefit your business is priceless. But just be ready to receive whatever your audience may dish out.
“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
– Elbert Hubbard
My aunt once advised me to never ask a question I wasn’t sure I wanted the answer to, meaning I’d better be able to handle whatever the truth was that I was asking for. It was great advice, and I think the same goes for business-rooted surveys. Asking the questions you need answered, despite the chance of negative feedback is the only way to identify the problem(s) and resolve it for the benefit your business and the satisfaction (and therefore loyalty) of your customer base.
As Chang concluded, “This Feedback Economy has changed the requirements for success in marketing, HR, product development, and customer success. Companies that adapt are coming out ahead.’’
So, if you have ever considered conducting a survey to see how you can better serve your audience, go for it! The more information you have about the public’s perception of you, the better you can tailor your business. And if you’re ever on the receiving end of a survey from a business partner like us, the idea to complete it may be less than exciting, but the end goal is to please you.
So, how do you feel about surveys? Tell us what you think.
*Albert Chang is a director of product marketing at SurveyMonkey. His team is focused on driving awareness, adoption, and usage of the SurveyMonkey platform and solutions, empowering millions of curious people around the world to get the answers they need. Albert holds a BASc in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto.