Want to Sell More to Customers? Try Surveys

Last week, FEI marketing whiz Marka showed savvy salesperson Zoot how to calculate the effectiveness of FEI’s customer loyalty program. This week, Marka talks about another way that FEI can gain more share-of-customer—customer survey outreach. Remember, fire = print.

Zoot and Marka had just finished a delicious midday snack at Grapeleaf Yogurt in the nearby Pallas Mall. As Zoot wiped a gummy bear off his lip, a Grapeleaf employee set two customer surveys down on their table.

“Thanks for coming in today! We’d appreciate if you could take just a minute to let us know how we did,” she said with a smile.

Once the employee had left, Zoot raised a hairy eyebrow. “This is good stuff. It may be simple, but this survey makes me feel like Grapeleaf really does care about improving my customer experience.”

“Sound like something FEI could do?” Marka asked.

“Hmm…” Zoot pretended to be deep in thought. “Yeah, I think so.”

“Customer surveys can provide us with key insights about what we’re doing right,” Marka said. “They can also give us actionable data about what—and how—we can improve.”

“Surveys are proactive,” Marka continued. “They show customers we’re not just resting on our laurels. Many times, a company doesn’t know anything’s wrong with a customer relationship until that customer leaves. And most of the time, whatever was wrong could’ve been easily corrected. Customer surveys will help us identify our weak points and improve them—before it’s too late.”

“I’m concerned these surveys might have a response bias,” Zoot said. “Customers who want to take a survey generally fall into two camps: those who love us and those who have a serious gripe. Won’t this yield skewed results?”

“That’s a good point, Zoot,” Marka acknowledged. “Consider what Grapeleaf just did. You like froyo, but I wouldn’t call you a rabid fan. If they hadn’t shoved that survey under your nose, you probably wouldn’t have bothered with it. But you did.”

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 tj@tjtedesco.com.
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