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Do surveys help your buyer feel valued?

Posted by Carole Mahoney on 8/31/22 7:15 AM

- Tonya Bjurstrom-1Tonya Bjurstrom and I had a fun chat about surveys because I love Tonya's latest newsletter, where she said, "When's the last time you took an online survey and thought, Wow! This is great! I feel so valued!"? 

Like, what's the deal? Good, bad. Is there a good way to do this? Do people feel like they want to engage with them? Because we're all surveyed out, right?

There are several issues with surveys. 

Unfortunately, the immediate problem for many companies is that it's another checkbox. Okay. Yes. Everybody does them, so we need to as well. So if that's your intention, and I mean this genuinely: just don't bother. 

The other piece of it is. Many companies don't follow up on their survey replies. 

We get our feedback from you. It goes into our data set, and we're going to crunch the numbers, make decisions, and never hear from you again. Then it goes into the big black hole of customer feedback and irritates customers. 

If I take my time to take a survey, even if it's just one question, I want to know what was done with my feedback. And so, a survey is an excellent tool if used correctly.

Looking at surveys from the marketing perspective.

Anyone who's been trained or done any marketing education needs to be able to deliver a message in multiple formats. It would help if you were buyer friendly. It needs to be #BuyerFirst.

Some customers are okay with surveys. They'll fill it out and send it back to you. And those customers typically will be responsive to a follow-up interview. 

Other customers immediately dismiss them altogether. They have no interest in doing a survey at all, but if I reach out to schedule a one-on-one 30-minute interview where I'm looking for some deep insight, the customer is on board and willing to have that kind of conversation. 

If you look at surveys as the end-all to collecting customer feedback, it will not work. If you look at them as one tool in a variety of tools you were going to use to connect to the voice of your customer, they can be helpful. And there can be some essential data that's generated from them. But the minute that completing the survey becomes the intention; it's over. Just don't even bother. 

A survey is a valuable tool to give clues about what you need to talk to your customers about. Say you do a survey, and you've hopefully worked with Tonya to get those questions, right? Because the questions in the survey matter a lot because there isn't that conversation.

You are then using the data to then be able to understand the overall sentiment. If you have collected names, you can reach out to your buyer and say, “I'd love to understand more about what you said here. Can we have a conversation?" 

I see many companies have an NPS score of 90. Great for you. Okay. What are you doing with that score of 90?  

A colleague of mine sends a short 10-question to give them talking points for a 30-minute interview.

And hopefully, they're reaching out to schedule interviews. I mean, that is your ideal and where you have an opportunity for a great partnership with your customer. You’ll know, here’s a customer you want to start exploring other options with. You want to start thinking about how you can work together. And make sure your survey is not the barrier to entry to a valuable conversation. 

Leveraging surveys in the writing of my #BuyerFirst book

I’m going into the phase where we're doing advanced readers. So, before I even started writing the book, I did a survey to understand the most significant challenges business owners face.

Then, from the data, I found people to interview, to talk to. And ask what the challenges you face when you think about sales as a business owner and as an individual seller. 

Their feedback became the critical teaching points in the book. So now, going through and doing advanced readers, I'm asking them similar questions upfront about their beliefs about this beforehand.

And then I asked some questions in one-to-one time with them after they went through the reading:

  • Was there a shift? 
  • Was there a change? 
  • What stuck?
  • What didn't stick? 

Surveys alone are an excellent tool. But if you don't pick up the tool and use it effectively, it will just sit there and do nothing for you.

Yeah. It's a data point, a valuable data point, but it's one data point. Data points are like excuses. Everybody's got one.

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