The Marketing Strategist:
Ask ITSMA: Sharing Survey Results – Suggestions for Preparing Meaningful Communications
Each month, ITSMA receives a number of queries through Ask ITSMA, a resource designed to give members a quick and easy way to get insight on important services and solutions marketing questions they face. In this column, we will publish some of our favorite questions, along with excerpts from our replies.
Q: We just completed the analysis of our annual customer satisfaction study and are preparing to share results with participants. What suggestions do you have for preparing a meaningful communication?
A: First of all, kudos for taking the very important step to circle back with your customers with survey results. It validates your sincerity in asking for customer input and continually striving to improve.
Some of the following tips may seem obvious but are helpful to refer to:
- Send the communication to everyone invited to take the survey, not just those who participated. Some people might not even remember that they participated!
- Issue the communication from a senior executive. This conveys that management knows what’s going on and is taking action.
- Personalize the salutation. Customers will pay more attention to a communication addressed to them personally than they will to a generic group.
- Recap areas of strength. Articulate how pleased you are with good results, which may include improvement from past measurements.
- Acknowledge areas that need improvement. Be sure not to sweep weaknesses under the rug. Let customers know that their concerns have been heard and that a plan is in the works to demonstrate improvement.
- Judiciously share numbers. Focusing too much on scores and ratings can overshadow the value of the feedback. However, a simple graphic can reinforce a positive message.
- Avoid management consultant jargon. Models and paradigms mean little unless they convey how customers will be directly affected.