How to Conduct a Successful Survey Campaign as part of Customer Success


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The most successful Enterprise SaaS companies know that growing revenue only through new customer acquisition is the less efficient way to scale. Rather, they understand that growing revenue within your existing customer base - through up-sells, cross-sells, and expanded use - is the most profitable way to scale.

In fact, Enterprise SaaS companies that grow revenue - and company valuation - by expanding revenue within their existing customer base also know the key to making this work is to focus on - and operationalize - Customer Success.

This presentation - How to Conduct a Successful Survey Campaign as part of Customer Success - is from Pulse 2014, the biggest Customer Success industry event ever and included panelists from Booker, SocialChorus, Satrix Solutions

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  • Alford, H.
  • My initial instinct was to send the survey to our current customersQ to audience: What do you guys think? Who else should be included?TK’s response was to ask me who I’m targeting for the new product line –current customers, our current demographic, a different demographic:To avoid selection bias, make sure to create a sample that is representative of the market you’re trying to serve depending on , it could include:Current customersPrior customers who have switchedCurrent competitor’s customersNew market demographic – ie if you’re trying to get to the economy, family or green market
  • For example, this doesn’t include
  • Corporate IntroSocialChorus Advocate marketing platform.Personal IntroPreviously VP of Customer Success @ ExtoleSpent past 15+ years running enterprise email marketing programsI like NPS/referral is in my blood – and I have (sometimes insane) focus on email marketing
  • 50,000’ view – if surveys were silver bullet, none of us would be here; they’re useful, but only as one component of overall CSM‘You get what you measure’Three key strategies:#1 – Make it bone simple - must have high response rates - response bias, non-response bias - not getting what you need; or worse, generating spurious data - small optimizations can drive huge results - what worked on day #1 in customer lifecycle may not in year #2#2 – Get strategic re: timing - at key points during customer lifecycle when they’re most likely to respond - with key information - that you can use to positively impact customer relationship/drive business objectives#3 – Ensure results are integrated and actionable - surveys generate data (sometimes a lot, and sometimes it’s unstructured) you must effectively house it, associate it with appropriate accounts, and surface it to those who are able to act on it - need to have a comprehensive plan in place to address potential issues in advance of survey launch – need to ensure one can act quickly post-surveyReasons people don’t take surveys: they take too much time, no follow-up on specific issues, no learnings being obviously incorporated
  • Communicate specific # of questions (required, etc.) and tell customers: ‘what?’ ‘so what?’ ‘now what?’ – personally follow up on each [if possible]Ensure survey is weaved into most customer communications (project plans, calendars, QBR’s); in person, on the phone, in email.Become an email marketer – test, learn, and test more. From, subject, text, pre-header, timing/cadence (dig quickly into each)I used to survey quarterly to coincide w/ reporting, CS bonus, etc. – need to be on customer schedule, not yoursBest info sometimes comes from ID’ing variance in responses [ie: end-user gives 9 but business owner gives a 6, or vice-versa] – try to understand why Segment – by user type/role, by vertical, by stage in customer lifecycle
  • How to Conduct a Successful Survey Campaign as part of Customer Success

    1. 1. How to Conduct a Successful Survey Campaign Tracey Kaufman, Booker Evan Klein, Satrix Solutions Nick Einstein, SocialChorus
    2. 2. Tracey Kaufman Booker is transforming the way local services are managed by businesses and discovered by consumers. Booker replaces everything from manual methods to disconnected software, and unifies the essential components of running a service business into a single web-based platform, accessible from any device. Booker also enables service businesses to sell their services online, through their website and a network of partner sites and apps, creating a seamless online booking experience for consumers. Booker processes over one million appointments each month across 70 countries. Headquartered in New York City, Booker’s customers include Fortune 500 companies as well as thousands of local service businesses. VP, Customer Experience Booker
    3. 3. Scenario • I’m the new Product Manager for Audi chartered with launching a new product line • Reviewed available info – market research, competitive info, user forums & still have lots of open questions • I decided to do a survey to collect more info. I’ve never done this before and figured I’d ask the experts
    4. 4. WHO to survey Need to define your goals & target market prior to defining a survey sample • Who should I send the survey to?: • Current customers • All qualified car buyers • Other? • Select a survey sample that is representative of the target for the new product line • Current customers • Previous customers • Current demographic • New market
    5. 5. How to ask the questions Proposed question: • Which one of the following items is the most important to you when buying a car? o Price o Gas mileage o Sportiness • Useful for prioritizing known alternatives, not for initial discovery • Assumes a comprehensive understanding of the key value drivers for the target audience – doesn’t include other key variables like: technology, safety, cargo space, etc.
    6. 6. What rating scale to use • Proposed question: • Please select the item that best represents your satisfaction with your current car - Sample results: • Price: 8 • Gas mileage: 7 • Sportiness: 6 • Conclusion – need to focus on improving Sportiness • But…add another question • Please select the item that best represents the importance of the following items: • Price: 10 (Gap -2) • Gas mileage: 7 (Gap 0) • Sportiness: 4 (Gap +2) • New conclusion: Price needs to be the focus area and Sportiness is an area of over-investment
    7. 7. Summing Up... • Beware of biases when designing your survey • Select a survey sample that reflects your target audience • Ensure that the options provided include key value drivers • Using a gap rating scale provides context to the response
    8. 8. Resources Alford, H. (2011). Designing and conducting survey research. SMC Institutional Research Rea, L.M., & Parker, R.A. (2005). Designing and conducting survey research: A comprehensive guide. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Websites:
    9. 9. Nicholas Einstein SocialChorus @socialchorus @othereinstein SocialChorus® powers tens of thousands of brand advocates – employees, consumers and bloggers - to experience, create and share authentic content about brands they love. We call this new marketing category Advocate Marketing. Our award-winning Advocate Experience™ solution makes Advocate Marketing easy. We combine a comprehensive SaaS platform with a dedicated, expert team and best practices to deliver measurable social engagement with millions of people every month. VP, Customer Success
    10. 10. 1. Make it easy to respond and religiously focus on optimizing response rates. 2. Strategically time deployments to deliver key value at proper moments in the customer lifecycle. 3. Ensure results are integrated in CS system of record and made actionable. Three Key Strategies
    11. 11. Tactics: How to Conduct a Successful Survey Campaign • Clearly articulate goals and next actions; ensure appropriate incentives. • Manage communications expectations from moment one in customer lifecycle, and frequently reinforce. • Craft emails with precision and routinely test key variables [from, subject, format, pre- header, cadance etc.]. • Execute suveys at key points in customer lifecycle [post-launch, usage milestone, etc.] when they’re most likely to respond with quality information, and while you have time to impact account and drive change. • Incorporate results in customer dashboard/reporting, ID variances and dig deeper into root causes. • Make segmentation as simple as possible, but not simpler.
    12. 12. Founder & President Evan Klein Satrix Solutions  Gather Candid Feedback  Objective Analysis of Data  Convert into Actionable Insights  Extensive Reporting & Recommendations  Drive Results & Measure Impact  Existing Customers  Former Customers  Prospective Customers  Employees
    13. 13. Customer Experience – Analysis Concepts KPI 5 Whys NPS MoE Top 2-box Standard deviation Correlation CLV Churn rate Response bias KDA Verbatim analysis
    14. 14. Share the Insights Board of Directors C-Level Business Leaders Service Product Marketing Sales HR Finance Front-line Personnel
    15. 15. Follow-up Bottom-up Top-down Employees Non- responders The ‘Public’
    16. 16. Q & A