Without giving it a second thought, the vast majority of people make a multitude of assumption-based decisions every day. While this is perfectly fine within the confines of one’s personal routines, a much greater risk is posed when assumptions carry over into how we engage with our customers. 

The reasons we make assumptions vary. In some cases, assumptions are made due to a lack of market research or data analysis. In other cases, it may be timing or budget constraints. And on other occasions, it’s even the best and brightest leaders who make them for seemingly very smart reasons. 

There are psychological reasons why bright leaders make bad decisions. 

Pattern recognition is a complex neurological process that occurs when our brain sees something familiar and forms an assumption based on previous experiences and judgements. Unfortunately, when left unchallenged and unvalidated, assumptions can quickly turn into a snowball of risky — and downright wrong — business decisions. At best, a costly mistake. At worst, a brand implosion.

Recalibrate old assumptions with fresh customer survey data

Even if you’re strategic enough to have the benefit of past first-hand experiences and independent market research (data gathered from outside sources), the value of direct feedback from your existing customer base cannot be underestimated. 

Enter the not-so-humble customer survey. 

Surveys are a well-tested and trusted method for gaining a wide variety of insights quickly with relatively low customer effort. In addition to the insights you’ll gather through surveys, customers will appreciate that you’ve given them the opportunity to share their thoughts. Given you’ve sent the appropriate survey at the right time (we’ll dive deeper into this topic in our next post), you’ll be well on your way to designing data-driven marketing programs.  

Unlock revenue growth from your existing customer base

Understandably, it’s common for sales and marketing teams to be laser-focused on new customer acquisition. While a strategy for growing your customer base is necessary, nurturing your existing customer base has the potential to drive considerable sales and loyalty. Knowing your customers’ opinions and what they need is the key to crafting messaging that resonates. 

Now that you’ve decided to integrate surveys into your customer-first marketing strategies, it’s important to put together a comprehensive plan for how you’ll approach the survey process and most importantly, what you’ll do with the results. By following a few basic guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to a great campaign. 

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on the different types of surveys and when to use them, along with a variety of ways to integrate the results into your strategic planning efforts.