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Consultant’s blog: Why pay for a customer survey when you can run it in-house

Opinion piece by one of Insync’s Research Project Managers

Yesterday I took the day off work and was astounded that by the end of the day I had been asked for my opinions of products and services several times. These customer surveys took various forms ranging from internet pop-ups, emails (the majority), being approached by skin-care demonstrators in the shopping centre, random calls from telemarketers and a request on the bottom of a utility bill.

Working in research environment I don’t want to be rude and ignore the people who are paid to gauge my opinions via a customer survey, but I also don’t want filling in surveys to become a full time occupation. What struck me was that how many of the customer surveys that I was sent were badly designed, lacked focus and suffered with poor sampling and execution. It made me wonder what useful and meaningful results could be extracted.

Over the last few years many internet companies have sprung up which enable organisations to design and administer a customer survey at a fraction of the cost traditionally charged by research companies. This in turn has led to an explosion in the number of independent customer survey executions. However, in the main they would appear to be false economy.

In establishing for yourself whether your DIY online customer survey is value for money ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the customer survey use an established methodology that serves your unique business objectives?
  • Does the customer survey’s methodology investigate all academically validated areas of customer satisfaction (i.e. experience, judgment, emotional engagement and behavioural predictors)?
  • Does the customer survey methodology help you with established research protocol (i.e. audience segmentation, sampling sizes, participation levels)?
  • Is the online customer survey tool able to provide validated data through provision of interviews and focus groups?
  • Have you the expertise to conduct the statistical analysis of your customer survey raw data?
  • Do you know how to interpret the customer survey data into meaningful business improvement initiatives?
  • Will the time that you spend setting up spreadsheets, developing report formats, creating secure data collection facilities and then formatting presentations cost you more or less than paying a research agency who has established, ethical & secure customer survey protocol?

It would appear that many of the companies who are DIYing a customer survey are not achieving the above. The problem is that these poorly executed customer surveys are leading to survey fatigue among many of the most desirable respondents that you want to hear from.

At Insync our Customer Satisfaction Survey is a state of the art, reasonably priced tool that adheres to best practice methodology.

  • A trained research manager will spend time establishing how your customer survey fits with your business needs
  • The customer survey will follow an academically validated framework but will be flexible enough for you to add your own questions
  • The customer survey data will be collected and stored confidentially and securely
  • The customer survey can be benchmarked against your competitors’ results
  • A simple, colour coded customer survey reporting structure will illustrate areas in which your business priorities are working well, are satisfactory or are in need of improvement
  • The customer survey will identify percentages of respondents who will stay, increase their spending, decrease their spending and recommend you to others
  • The customer survey report will give verbatim comments from your customers telling you exactly what they think about your products and services
  • A full debrief and customer survey presentation will be provided to aid you with understanding and interpreting results enabling you to move from answers to action

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