In-Person Surveys Can Help Improve Customer Relationships

Last week, FEI marketing whiz Marka taught savvy salesperson Zoot about the value of customer surveys. This week, Marka explains to Zoot and Org how in-person surveys can help businesses uncover useful information and strengthen customer relationships. Remember, fire = print.

Org found Marka and Zoot in the conference room. “Question for you two,” he said. “Last year our top 20 clients made up almost 70 percent of our business. How do we know how satisfied these customers are? What are we doing to keep them satisfied?”

“They must be pretty satisfied,” Zoot said. “They aren’t complaining.”

Marka rolled her eyes. “Zoot, are you really that naïve? Most of our customers are too nice to complain about anything until it becomes a major issue—and by that point, they might be half a step from leaving us. Org’s right. We need to ask our clients what they like about working with FEI, and what they would like to see improved. Then, we must take action based on what we learn.”

“That is definitely a good idea,” Zoot said. “But many of our top customers are scattered across the Olympian countryside. It’ll take weeks or months to visit them all. We could distribute a survey via O-mail, but…”

Marka snapped her fingers. “Got a better idea. Fire Expo 4567 BC, the fire industry’s premier conference, is coming up. Most of our best customers will be gathered there. Let’s survey them at our booth.”

“I’ll call up our top 25 customers,” Zoot said, “and ask if they’re willing to spend 15 minutes at Fire Expo to help us improve their customer experience. How could they say no?”

“It’s a plan!” Org agreed, clapping his hands together in excitement. “Zoot: get on the O-phone. Marka and I will work out the questions.”

Marka’s survey plan was a success—22 of FEI’s top 25 customers met with Zoot at Fire Expo to take the survey. Zoot recorded everyone’s responses, with their permission, of course, so the FEI tribe could review the answers later.

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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