Customer survey software provides merchants with crucial information they need in the current economic climate: what their customers are thinking.
Merchants can use these solutions to conduct customer surveys by automating feedback collection at the checkout, in response to a survey invitation on a receipt, or via a loyalty app.
Zina Hassel, President of ZLH Enterprises and ASCII member, says, regardless of your client’s vertical, customer survey software has the potential to deliver value. “Businesses in most industries should be open to use surveys to generate product or service interest, understand consumer preferences, or gather competitive information, such as pricing or product effectiveness,” she says.
Hassel says the data that customer survey software collects has value to many of a business’ teams, including R&D team and supply chain, as well as its leadership. “The managed services provider (MSP) or value-added reseller (VAR) needs to understand the customer’s business and their needs and wants to properly position the value,” she comments.
The Finer Points of Selling Customer Survey Software
Hassel points out that MSPs and VARs should take a different approach when selling customer survey software compared to selling other types of products or solutions. “The value of a survey is likely seen as an intangible, value-add to the customer. It’s not as easy as selling the widget or the ‘aa’ service that has a product attached or that is substituting OPEX for CAPEX,” she says.
“But these solutions may ultimately allow you to offer additional services to increase customer satisfaction,” Hassel explains. “So, it may ultimately add to your customers’ revenue – and yours as well. It can be a win-win.”
Getting your sales team on board and correctly positioning these solutions are only part of successfully selling customer survey software in the current economy. “As with advertising budgets — which always seem to be the first to go in business downturn situations — surveys may be seen as a nicety rather than as an ongoing necessity,” Hassel says.
She suggests going into sales meetings prepared with statistics that show how product purchases have shifted, which merchants could have predicted with accurate feedback, or how a merchant’s revenue grew because they had insights into the most in-demand products and services. Connecting the dots between customer feedback and those outcomes can create aha moments for your clients.
Create a Smooth Path for Implementation
To help your clients get the most value from customer survey software, you should also educate yourself and your team on survey best practices. As a trusted advisor, talk through the experiences your client wants to provide their customers and make sure that the survey compliments them. For example, they will want to keep the survey short, so customers aren’t delayed at the checkout. Sales associates or cashiers should also be prepared with a quick script for inviting the customer to take the survey and to answer questions promptly.
Also, advise your clients to tailor surveys to provide the precise data they’re looking for. Each survey should align with a business goal. In terms of question format, Hassel says, “Multiple choice is fine but open ended will allow for detailed feedback.”
She adds that you should set the proper expectations for how customer survey software fits best within a business’ strategy. “You need to represent the survey as an adjunct to the customer marketing or other programs but not as a replacement,” she says.
With all of the challenges 2020 has ushered in, you may be considering changes to the solutions your recommend to your customers. Hassel says, “Given the current state of the economy we all need to be creative in our thinking. Just like restaurants are reimagining themselves, MSPs and VARs need to rethink their marketing and value propositions.”
She points out that merchants that are currently operating under the work-from-home model, need to stay in touch with customers. “Let them know you believe in the customer survey solutions you provide and the value they deliver – and that they’ll more than pay for themselves. Link surveys to their benefits and establish ROI,” she says.
About The ASCII Group, Inc.
The ASCII Group is the premier community of North American MSPs, MSSPs, VARs and solution providers. The group has over 1,300 members located throughout the U.S. and Canada, and membership encompasses everyone from credentialed MSPs serving the SMB community to multi-location solution providers with a national reach. Founded in 1984, ASCII provides services to members including leveraged purchasing programs, education and training, marketing assistance, extensive peer interaction and more. ASCII works with a vibrant ecosystem of major technology vendors that complement the ASCII community and support the mission of helping MSPs and VARs to grow their businesses. For more information, please visit www.ascii.com.