On December 18th, QuestionPro sponsored its inaugural Google+ Hangout on Air, entitled: “Customer Feedback: Your Fast Path to Profits!” QuestionPro CEO Erik Koto was joined by industry experts Marsha Collier, Rieva Lesonsky, Roy Atkinson, TJ McCue, and the event was hosted by DIY Marketers’ Ivana Taylor.
A lively discussion ensued and it quickly became very clear the previously well-defined lines between mobile, social media, feedback and customer service have completely disappeared! Here’s a 3-minute sound-bite reel with a few highlights:
How can my small business compete with big brands?
Rieva Lesonsky: Customer satisfaction is what’s going to differentiate you as a small business from the more impersonal Big Box stores. If they feel you care, they will be loyal customers. This is really a chance for small businesses to stand out and differentiate themselves.
But I’m trying to run a business – what if I don’t have time for social media?
TJ McCue: I’ve been seeing a lot of the data and research coming out of the shopping season, and a lot of people talking about how small business merchants were making it much more personable and engaged, where people were commenting and sharing. So I can’t imagine not doing stuff to connect, not doing surveys, not engaging when you see comments or not replying to comments immediately.
How would I even know what to ask?
Ivana Taylor: I actually had a client that was starting on this customer satisfaction journey, and one of the first things we did was talk, because we quite honestly did not know what was important to our customers. We had no clue, as they had grown so fast. They knew people were unhappy but they didn’t even know where to begin improving. So the first thing we did is actually talk to well over 100 of their customers over the phone just to get to the root of what we were going to ask. And then, to support what Marsha and Roy and Rieva said, we actually ended up with attribute areas we would measure: speed of the transaction, how accurate they were, whether they had knowledgeable people, those kinds of things. So that just gives you a couple of steps to begin if you don’t know where to start.
But there are SO MANY social platforms – where do I spend my time?
Marsha Collier: Think if your customer is tech savvy or not. That’s an important thing. If you have an online business, probably your customer is more tech savvy but maybe they’re not. This is something you have to find out, possibly through a survey, possibly through a question, even throwing a question on your order form… B2B, Google+ is going to be your place as well as LinkedIn and Twitter is very popular with the techno-savvy, rather than Facebook.
I’ve tried surveys before and didn’t get anything useful. How do I make sure I’ll get value?
Erik Koto: We see four common mistakes with this:
- First, it’s too many questions, we’ve hit on that.
- Second, unclear questions. We see people asking ‘double-barrel’ questions – ‘Are you satisfied with our service AND our food quality?’ You can’t bundle your objectives into a question.
- Too many ‘free response’ questions is the third problem we see commonly that will suppress response rates.
- And lastly, making all the questions required. So give people an out, don’t force them to answer everything. Those are the four most common things we see that will drive down your response rates.
James Wirth is the marketing manager of QuestionPro, a leader in online survey software.