Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
Why you should launch a prospective customer surveyMay 22nd, 2019 by
You probably already know the many benefits of surveying your customers. You get valuable insights into the customer experience your company provides; your clients learn firsthand how much you value their input. It’s a win-win.
But what about the people who are still mulling over your job proposal or who ultimately decided to hire a competitor? Wouldn’t you love to know what happened? That’s where prospect surveying comes into play.
If you’re wondering why you’d spend time and money reaching out to people who haven’t yet hired your company (or don’t plan to), you’re not alone. Gathering information from people who aren’t technically clients isn’t as common as customer satisfaction surveying, but it’s no less important.
Prospect surveying is a great way to round out your understanding of your company’s customer experience and get closer to sealing deals that might otherwise be lost for good.
Keep reading to learn the four reasons you should consider launching a survey campaign for prospective customers as well as some handy tips for creating a prospect survey that works.
4 reasons to conduct a prospective customer market research survey
Lead generation isn’t a perfect science—some leads may not amount to much for one reason or another, and leads that seem fantastic at first glance may go dark without warning. Prospect surveying means that you don’t have to simply let those leads fade into the ether.
Here are four reasons prospect surveys are worth your time:
1. Prospect surveys can help you better understand your company’s customer experience.
Customer experience is vital to leading your customers through the buyer’s journey, so if prospects aren’t making it beyond that initial entry point, something may be amiss.
If a lost lead indicates that they decided to hire a competitor because they had a negative experience with your company, for example, that’s something you should investigate further.
2. You might be able to rescue a lost lead.
A lead that goes cold isn’t necessarily lost forever. Things happen. Changes in schedules, finances, and family circumstances get in the way. But in some cases, all it takes to re-engage someone is a quick note letting them know that you’re interested in their experience.
Will every prospective customer you survey immediately sign a contract to work with your company? Probably not. But what counts is that you made the effort to understand why they’re hesitating and whether or not there is anything your company could do to earn their business.
3. Reaching out to prospects can give your business a boost during slowdowns.
With the home service and building industries being somewhat seasonal, a slow point here and there isn’t unusual. Use these dips in activity to launch a round of prospect surveys. You’ll have more time available to analyze the results and make strategic adjustments to your sales processes.
Remember, too, that surveys often renew prospective customers’ interest in your company’s products and services. When you time a prospective customer survey campaign during a business slowdown, you’ll be in great shape to respond promptly to customers who indicate an active interest.
4. Prospective customer surveys demonstrate your investment in everyone who contacts your company, whether or not they make a purchase.
Between robocalls, popup ads, and the odd text message advertisement, consumers are bombarded with solicitations to buy something. Set your company apart from the crowd by contacting consumers without making a sales pitch.
This extra touchpoint is a low-key way to let potential clients know that you keep close tabs on your business and that every customer matters to you, regardless of whether they’ve spent a penny.
How to design a great prospective customer survey
Survey design is important to getting the results and response rates you want. When you work with GuildQuality, we do the work for you, but if you’d rather try prospective customer surveying on your own, take the following tips into consideration as you design and deploy your campaign:
Tip #1: Know exactly what you’d like to learn from the survey.
In order to ask the right questions, you need to have a good idea of the information you’d like to gather. If your goal is to understand your customers’ experiences and why they may have chosen a different company, ask questions that directly reference those points.
Here are some examples:
- In what ways were you most satisfied with your experience with [company name]? Please explain.
- If you chose to work with another company, what contributed to that decision?
- If you haven’t yet made a decision on your project, what can [company name] do to earn your business?
If you’re also interested in learning more about how your marketing efforts are matching up with how prospective customers are finding your company, add one more question:
- How did you hear about [company name]?
Before you lengthen your survey by adding any more questions, think carefully about about what you’re asking and why.
Tip #2: Don’t ask too many questions.
No one wants to take a long survey, regardless of the delivery method. Prospective customer surveys should take no more than about three minutes to complete.
Tip #3: Act promptly with the data you receive.
Potential clients are a source of valuable information about your company and how it does business, so pay close attention to their comments. Be sure to pass along to your sales team the contact information for any survey respondents who indicate that they’re ready to make a purchase.
Timely follow-up is essential to making the most of a prospect survey campaign. Your company will be fresh in the minds of your respondents, so act quickly!
The bottom line
Surveying your clients at the end of a job helps you see your company from the customer’s point of view. But that’s only one side of the story. Prospective customer surveys can help you re-engage with leads that went dark and flesh out your understanding of your company’s customer experience.
Customer experience begins before you even know a homeowner is considering your company for a project. With a prospective customer survey, you’ll eliminate blind spots, serve your customers even better, and grow your business.