Survey Your Customers - Anonymously

  • June, 2014

Does what your customers actually say about you translate to the service that you believe you are offering them? Apart from executing one of their financial transactions, when have you last engaged with your customers? If you are going to ask your customers for feedback, then to solicit the most honest responses to your questions it can be best to allow the answers to be submitted anonymously. To do that the branch maybe the best place to ask the questions, where you can really demonstrate the anonymity of the responses.

Benefits of understanding your customer

Outside of dealing with specific customer requests and interactions, using anonymous surveys may be a better way to solicit customer sentiment around service and value in a bank. Anonymous surveys may be better placed in the branch where customers can see that the survey is truly anonymous rather than online or on a mobile device where there may be a perception that feedback can be tracked. Consider different ways of interacting and getting anonymous feedback: Electronic survey posts/kiosks or even paper based feedback forms.

There are a number of benefits to truly understanding and delivering what your customers really want:
  • You may be able to offer better or new service, or at the very least ratify your current service approach.
  • Your customers may even feel like they are appreciated, and like/trust you even more.

Benefits of soliciting feedback

Understanding and fostering key relationships can create short and long-term value in customer loyalty and marketplace alliances. Surveying customers makes very sound and fundamental business sense. CVENT suggests that:

  • Increasing loyalty and customer retention has a marked increase in profits.
  • Most dissatisfied customers will eventually tell 9 other people about their problem.
  • Only 4% of dissatisfied customers actually complain to the company.
  • Satisfied customers, on the other hand, tell 5 to 6 other people about their positive experience.

Record and analyse customer interactions also

You don't just have to ask your customers for feedback to understand their requirements. Having some form of activity/request tracking system where activities can be assigned through a work-flow is nothing new - but not everyone has this. Recording each interaction with the customer should can be easily implemented. More critically, recording each customer request (promise) and being able to see when it is recorded; acted upon; communicated; and ultimately closed; allows that data to be analysed to build a better understanding of the customer to add to the overall relationship and service offering. Analysing the time to close each type of request or simply looking at the type of requests can be telling.

Act on the feedback

Obviously if you undertake to listen to your customers, you have to be prepared to follow through on the outcomes. This will reinforce the trust in the relationship. If you don't follow through, then the deaf and uncaring bank stereotype is what will be reinforced. Listening and acting on what is heard is something that should be carried through on the day to day interactions with customers.

In a time when the customer experience is a key differentiator for banks, providing mechanisms to understand their behaviour and to allow your customers give feedback makes sense. Analysing your interactions is one way of understanding the mood of your Customers. Surveying them anonymously in a branch is also an inexpensive and simple approach to get honest feedback. Regardless of the approach, use what you learn to improve your service.

See Dilbert's Anonymous Survey