Using Surveys to Anticipate Customer Needs

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  • 0:04 Why Use Customer Surveys?
  • 0:53 Methods and Evaluation
  • 1:35 Tracking Trends
  • 2:24 Include Your Team
  • 3:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Savannah Samoszuk

Savannah has over eight years of hotel management experience and has a master's degree in leadership.

It's important to survey your customers to learn about their needs and expectations so you can exceed them. This lesson looks at why you should survey your customers on a regular basis and give tips for using their feedback.

Why Use Customer Surveys?

Michael had been visiting the same coffee shop for over a year. He always liked the atmosphere and the service he received. Recently, the shop made some staffing changes and shortly thereafter, Michael stopped visiting. Was he unhappy with the service, or had he simply just moved to a new neighborhood? Obtaining feedback from customers on a regular basis will help determine these answers.

Customer surveys are forms or questionnaires that solicit feedback from customers. Surveying your customers is a great way to anticipate their needs as well as address any issues they may have. Perhaps there is one small thing a patron would like to see changed. The odds of that person telling the staff and the staff informing the management are slim. A survey gives customers an easy opportunity to voice their opinions and helps businesses stay relevant and keep improving.

Methods and Evaluation

Many businesses have found that using email to deliver surveys can be a successful way of engaging customers. An email can be a convenient way for a customer to take a survey on the go with whatever device he or she uses. Snail mail has a lower success rate - the survey can get lost in the mail, is more work for the customer to fill out, and costs the customer a stamp to send back in.

Once you've collected your surveys, it's important to have a process for evaluating the results. It's not enough to have your customers complete the surveys if you do not have a plan in place to evaluate them. You should have someone in charge of compiling the data so the information is useful, easily available, and referenced on a regular basis.

Tracking Trends

Be sure to look for trends, both positive and negative, in your complied data. What areas are your customers are happy with and what can you improve?

For example, Patty runs a small hotel, and she reviews her survey results often. She notices that guests started complaining about the cleanliness of the pool in July. She wants to find out the reason for this pattern in order to improve in that area. Maybe the pool is used more frequently in the summer and needs to be cleaned more often during summer months.

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