Know your audience

This is absolutely vital for any business conducting a survey (suppliers, distributors and service providers). Different business segments have different customers, and their wants and needs aren’t equal.

Surveys written for both segments should have questions or sections specific to each market area. Each section should only be accessible to the relevant customers, and should make no mention of the other business segment or survey.

Building separate surveys requires preparation and research.

When asking responders to evaluate a company’s customer experience, a survey writer needs to know what level of service the company aspires to provide, and the methods in which they do so. The writer also needs to know how customers have responded to that service through other channels — such as complaints or discussions with sales representatives — and how the company has worked solve those problems.

This gives the writer background on how the operation’s customer service is currently perceived by the company and its customer base, and allows them to write questions focusing on these issues.

Darlene Shepherd, customer experience manager at Michelin Truck Tires, North America, says this is one of the most valuable aspects of customer surveys — uncovering hidden information about supplier-customer relationships.

“Our surveys focus on what the experience is like for our customers throughout their journey,” she says. “We want to know the areas during that process when they are or are not satisfied.”

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