Over the last couple of months a lot of people have been talking about budgets. Either they are just doing them or they’ve just done them for 2011. My first reaction is, when we don’t know what is happening to the economy from week to week, how on earth can you predict [and plan for] things that are up to a year away. My second reaction is, if the all important GDP and inflation figures are changing by nought point something of a percentage point, then ninety-nine percent is unchanged and totally predictable. Then a thought comes to mind about issues much closer to home and, naturally, closer to my heart; what about if they are budgeting for a customer satisfaction survey.
The micro view (do I sound like an economist?) is – are we getting their business? But it is the macro view that is more important – that is, will we be getting their repeat business over the coming years?
To achieve this, the customer satisfaction survey must be a success. For it to be a success the client needs to get a return on their investment. And to get that return, the client needs to Do Something With The Results.
Yes, I know it’s blindingly obvious. But dear reader, if it was so obvious, why do so many companies fail to fully follow through?
Here at InfoQuest we try our hardest to point clients in the right direction and give them a good push. We run full-day post-survey workshops with the client’s senior team. They develop an action plan, based on their customers’ feedback; prioritised to give quick wins and put together so that it fits any best-in-class continuous improvement culture.
But all our clients need to budget [or, if you prefer, plan] for some time and effort for that follow-through. If you want to get closer to your customers, if you want to optimise those relationships, if you want to sell more and reduce customer churn, then you are going to have to do some things differently. You will have to plan, implement and manage changes to your systems, disciplines, procedures and people – and that doesn’t happen by magic. Granted, there will be some things that you are currently doing that, based on the customer feedback, you might be able to stop doing – thereby releasing spare capacity of time, effort and money. But don’t bank on that Godsend outweighing the other issues.
So, if you are currently involved in budgeting and, by chance, are also thinking about running a customer satisfaction survey next year, please plan for some stuff to happen afterwards!
p.s. There is a 2-page pdf which looks at the Post Survey Workshop and a copy of our Brainstorm Scorer that we use to help prioritise the actions arising from those workshops available on our Downloads page at www.infoquestcrm.co.uk.