Survey Software, Alligators and a Warning

December 16, 2016 — Leave a comment

IMG00281I’m agnostic about “Survey Software” in general. You can go to the web and find all kinds of sites offering apps to let you make a questionnaire, upload a sample, get responses, do some simple analysis and reporting. You can even do this for free on some sites.

You can engage any number of Vendors who sell survey software under the guise of being “Customer Satisfaction”, “Customer Insight” or “CX” consultants. This can easily cost you $100,000 a year or more.

Either way, the problem is, you really don’t want to be doing “surveys”.

In my opinion: you should be understanding what drives or inhibits strong business relationships and what to do about it. Surveys may be part of this process or may not.

Software is always seductive. It can suck you in like quicksand. All of a sudden it’s 5:30 PM and you realize you’ve spent all day trying to make a questionnaire look pretty or get an Excel pivot table into PowerPoint. Not a good ROI on your day’s effort.

And for B2B companies….when it comes to Business Relationship Survey Software….there really isn’t any. Most of the platforms out there are of a consumer mentality. Many are rather ancient systems and clunky to customize. Most don’t give useful individual account views, and in general,  analysis and reporting modules are really weak….generally because the software was developed to be generic…not B2B oriented.

Once you get over-involved with survey software,  you start over-feeding the animal (here’s where the alligators come in)…more surveys, more sample contacts, and inevitably, more GIGO.

Before you take the leap to spend big bucks on survey software….or renewing that contact for next year, consider this recipe for reminding us that a little bit of interviewing can have way more impact than all the surveys and software you can buy:

1. Take 5 very important customer accounts

2. Identify the 3 most important decision makers/influencers in each

3. Determine the 3 things your CEO would be most concerned about with these customers

4. Develop 10 questions that will address the CEO’s concerns

5. Have someone in top management sponsor the effort and get support for encouraging the 15 customer contacts to respond to you.

6. Call them, thank them for their business and have a nice chat

7. Get results, and enjoy being a hero

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