The Value of Customer Interviews

Do you Solicit Feedback From Your Clients? Every business on some level needs to know how satisfied their customers are with the services they provide.

If they keep buying from you, then that may be the most important feedback a business can get. However, that may not be a great indicator. Perhaps your business is one of the only of its’ kind and your customers do not have many options. If that is the case, your metric may not be correct. Getting information and feedback directly from your customer provides the most honest evaluation of performance.

Some businesses we interact with have set up satisfaction surveys and they can be very helpful. As an incentive, a customer may get a thank you gift by participating. These surveys are in the form of a “select one” answer format. They are helpful to understand performance, but sometimes we need to dive in to learn a lot more.

Getting instant feedback after a project is completed is another great way to gauge how well the process worked, and the performance of the staff.  It is important to conduct this customer satisfaction survey immediately after, as the experience is still fresh in the customers mind. Feedback is extremely valuable and helps refine the process and insight into the performance of the account managers.

Advantages of Customer Interviews

First of all, high levels of customer satisfaction (with pleasurable experiences) are strong predictors of customer retention, customer loyalty, and product repurchase. If you get negative feedback, it usually is an early indicator that the relationship may be strained and in need of repair.  It could also indicate that a staff shake up is in order.

Second, the feedback validates your team member’s performance. This is extremely helpful during annual employee reviews. It can also be a way to calculate end of year financial incentives.

Third, think of feedback as an inexpensive way to hire a business consultant. If your customers like working with you, or would like to see improvements, they will let you know if you ask them.

Inherent problems with surveys

I do encourage you to interview your customers often, but you need to be aware of some problems conducting these surveys.

The client will often tell you what you want to hear, other times they will tell you that everything is great only to have them announce their departure a short time later. They are polite and do not want to personally hurt someone’s feelings.

Ask yourself, “How is our company supposed to improve if clients are not being truly honest with us?” Try using anonymous surveys to solicit genuine feedback without a feeling of hurting someone.

Second, when you ask for feedback, only a small percentage of your clients respond. They are busy and most of them might groan because of their experience with other surveys in the past – they are painfully dull and take up a lot of our time.

When creating the survey, remember you are asking for their time and truthfulness. Be respectful to not ask too many questions.

Finally, you may only get completions from those that may have had only a bad experience and this is their way to get back at your brand. You might want your larger clients to complete surveys but they may not be allowed or do not have the time and you miss a key opportunity to interact with your biggest customers.

Have you tried any of the methods mentioned here in this article? Let us know in the comments below what has worked for you and not.


I have been in marketing and technology for more than 20 years and have worked in many industries and worn many hats. From independent consultant, to cooking school, to establishing technology centers, it was a Spirit led adventure that landed me in the president & owner’s seat at Element 502.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *