Customer Service Survey Software

For many businesses, both large and small, customer service survey software is a must when it comes to seeking feedback on the products and/or services being offered. Any first-year business school student knows that it is much less costly to keep current customers coming back than it is to advertise for new customers. It's not really an exaggeration to say that repeat customers are a company's most valuable asset. The first year business school student also knows that an unhappy customer is likelier to spread the news of his or her poor experience than the satisfied individual. A business that wants to stay in business takes these two fundamental realities very seriously. Not even the household-name, regional and national retail chains are immune from the cumulative effect of having consumers turn to their competitors that are providing a more positive shopping atmosphere. Given a choice, people prefer to shop in clean stores with friendly employees rather than dingy stores with surly employees. By utilizing customer satisfaction survey software programs, businesses can obtain reliable feedback from the people who come inside their doors.

It's not only the business with a physical address or multiple locations that needs to be concerned about providing a positive experience for consumers. Online enterprises are equally bound, perhaps even more so, to the fundamental realities mentioned above. The management of internet stores also can benefit from using customer service survey software to determine how effectively they are providing a quality experience for online visitors and browsers. These online entrepreneurs know that a visitor is only a mouse click away from either making a purchase or exiting the site. If the visitor makes a purchase, he may be back again and may provide positive word-of-mouth advertising to family members and friends. But if the visitor exits without making a purchase, he may never return and the opportunity for a sale may be forever lost. Appropriate customer satisfaction survey software can help the online entrepreneurs to obtain information that can be used to ensure that the visitors to their online sites have a positive experience. Even if nothing is purchased on a first visit, a visitor who exited with a good feeling about the site may bookmark it for a later return and purchase.

Advanced customer satisfaction survey software may give the client the ability to access the data even as it is being gathered. The industry refers to this as "live data." With such up-to-date information, the client can quickly adapt policies and procedures to address any ongoing difficulties that are being uncovered through this information-gathering process. Another advanced feature allows a company to designate specific employees to receive alerts regarding particular responses or to receive requests that are included with a response. Perhaps a consumer has an unresolved problem regarding a particular product or service and this issue can be immediately routed to the employee who has the authority to address and resolve the issue. An unhappy customer may become an enthusiastic, breathing, walking advertiser for a company that goes the second mile to resolve a situation. Jesus taught this principle in the Sermon on the Mount: "And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you" (Matthew 5:40-42). This principle, known in some circles as the "second mile smile," applies to businesses as much as it does to individuals.

Many companies who offer customer service survey software programs offer a variety of templates that can be modified to fit the needs of a specific client. They also will create custom surveys for those clients who need to find out very specific information from past and prospective customers. With many of these programs, the client is able to incorporate the business logo or trademark into the survey format which gives even a template-based form a customized look. A few of the more basic features offered by customer satisfaction survey software companies include distribution, tabulation, and reporting of results. Tabulation is the compiling of the responses. Since the survey questions almost always provide a means for quantifying the information, the tabulation is a mathematical calculation. The results are then placed in a report for further analysis.

The distribution can be done over the internet and through email. Of course, the email option usually means that the company has acquired a customer mailing list of individuals who have agreed that it is permissible for the company to contact them. The business may have obtained these email addresses in exchange for sending advance notice of sales or coupons for special promotions to the individuals. Some customer service survey software programs may include a more sophisticated distribution involves telephone call centers. For example, some receipts from physical retail locations, such as restaurants, come with the invitation to call a toll-free number and answer a few automated questions. At the end of the phone call, the person making the call is given a code of some type. When the consumer returns to the restaurant with the receipt and code, she is given a discount on her order. Other stores include websites that the consumer can visit to complete a survey. The consumer is then entered into a drawing for a cash give-away. These techniques enable to companies to get feedback on specific issues. Whether used by national chains or online stores, a customer satisfaction survey software program is a must for gauging consumer satisfaction and responding to consumer concerns. The responsive businesses will find themselves staying in business.

Web Based Survey Software

A web based survey software program is an invaluable tool for a variety of businesses. Surveys collect valuable data about people's opinions, beliefs and behavior regarding particular matters. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish. (Luke 14:28-30) This information can influence decisions and actions taken by a business. Creating and sending out surveys can help to achieve goals set by a company. Surveys are also useful for determining customer or employee satisfaction levels and evaluating the programs of healthcare and nonprofit agencies.

Most Internet survey software is available in several formats. Licenses can be obtained to download programs, or the web based survey software can be hosted using a provider's servers. Many companies prefer the latter option so that details such as installation, maintenance, and administration do not get in the way of the purpose of obtaining the software, which is to determine the best course of action to take so that a business or organization continues to prosper. They wish to avoid getting mired in technnical details and focus on interpreting and utilizing the results of the questionnaire. There are a number of different providers of survey services, and these can be easily found with an Internet search. Take the time to examine the features of the various programs, as compared with their overall cost. Many offer free trials of the program, which can help determine their usefulness.

The first step in using a web based survey software program is to create the survey. Most programs are entirely web based. To build this research tool, one can start from scratch or make use of the many templates provided by the service. The interface of the Internet survey software is usually easy to use. Complete creative control is often given over color, size, style and other elements. Logos or other custom elements can be uploaded. These can be saved for use in future questionnaires. The option to adapt existing surveys is also available.

One aspect of the Internet survey software features a variety of question formats. One company offers twenty different styles of questions. Aside from the fact that it is nice to have choices, this feature allows the designer to pick formats which are most appropriate to the audience which will be completing the questionnaires. Some formats are extremely simple: 'pick an answer'. Others leave room for personalized responses. One type of survey may ask a participant to 'check all that apply', while others urge the respondants to rank choices on a scale, or enter numerical information, such as income level or salary requirements. Drop-down boxes leave space for additional details. Any or all of these question formats can be utilized in the creation of the survey.

Next, an email invitation is sent to the desired contacts. A customized message invites the recipient to participate in the questionnaire, which is hyperlinked within the e-mail. The message can be adjusted to promote the desired look. The presentation is uncluttered with advertisements, resulting in a professional appearance. In fact, some providers of web based survey software take pride in the fact that there is little trace of their own company's presence on these materials. Instead of plastering materials with the name of the provider, they realize that making a client's company look professional can result in far wider word-of-mouth advertising for their own internet survey software business.

The organization is able to view the results in real time with some types of web based survey software. Response rates can be tracked and reminders can be sent to slow responders. Questions can even be changed mid-survey if some type of adjustment is required. Surveys can be obtained via text, fax, scanning, and the use of PDA's, phones and other handheld technologies. Even kiosks in public places can be employed to collect data.

Live graphs and colorful charts assist managers in communicating the results of the Internet survey software to others. Interested individuals may dig further into reports to obtain more detailed information. Filters allow individuals to display only elements or responses which are relevant to their interests or responsibilities. Of course, security parameters can be set to restrict elements of the results to particular departments. However, the information can be directed to and utilized by various departments as needed to accomplish company goals. Professional reports can be constructed to share the results in a meeting, and paper copies of surveys can be obtained for a supervisor's information, or for use when requesting participation offline. Be sure to put the results of the surveys to practical use, or the efforts of this exercise will have been in vain! Target one or two areas for improvement and set measurable steps to accomplish the goals. Assign specific jobs to individuals, or employees may tend to rationalize that 'someone else will do it'. Also, this helps to fairly distribute the workload. Otherwise, conscientious individuals may give up in frustration or end up being resentful over the fact that others seem to expect them to do everything. It does not take a survey to figure out that this behavior is not going to help the company accomplish its goals. Instead, make good use of the knowledge which has been obtained, and supervise carefully to be sure that each individual within the company is assisting the organization reach common goals.

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