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by John Hlavac

Are your customer interactions working fabulously for everyone involved — for you, your organization and your customer?  If so, great!  If not, when do you plan to fix that?  Why not now?

I have seen faithful customers lost because the solution provider assumed the customer would never leave. Or maybe they didn’t stay in touch with the customer on a regular basis, they didn’t check how the customer really felt or perceived their products and services, or they failed to recognize key changes in the customers’ business or market. 

The last and the next contact you have with your customer can be a defining moment. That’s why you must have a specific purpose for each contact and make the most of every customer interaction whether it is in person, on the phone, online, in snail mail or email, through social media or any other way. 

If you haven’t already done so, consider conducting a customer survey. Customer surveys can help you gain information that will help you, help your customer and help others.  They can also help you solidify customer relationships, validate customer satisfaction and confirm customer loyalty.

Before you start the survey process, make a plan. You need to clarify why this survey will be valuable to your current or future business activity.  Decide on a clear and specific purpose for the particular survey, use an appropriate survey methodology and identify what you want to do with the results.  Having a plan ensures your survey results are meaningful rather than a huge waste of time, effort and expense for all involved.   

Can you afford wasting any resource in today’s business environment?  What will your customer think if you waste their time and resources on a meaningless or ineffective survey? 

It’s thrilling to complete an effective and efficient survey process, capture vital information you can use almost immediately, share with others and simultaneously help yourself and your customers.  These types of survey results often improve, strengthen and create win-win relationships by demonstrating a commitment to helping everyone involved.  

John Hlavac is a resident expert at The ASCII Group which provides coaching and consulting to its MSP/VAR Community.   Hlavac has spent over 25 years as a sales and service executive and advocate in the high-tech community and is currently the president of JLH & Associates LLC, a coaching, consulting and training company aimed at helping IT providers and other sales and service executives grow their businesses by refining, implementing and delivering effective and efficient management activities to solidify sales and service.