The following survey is a good way to get qualitative information from your customers about their needs and how well you are doing. It should be used in interview format with key decision makers only. By changing the underlined words, you can modify this survey to fit your industry. You can also add other open-ended questions to address topics where you need more customer input.
- What is your organization’s philosophy of _(your industry)___? (range from “doing everything to save money” to “providing the highest quality” to “_______________________”)
- Thinking about how you work with your (your industry)_____ suppliers today, what could be done to add the most value in those relationships? What is being done that does not provide value? What about other suppliers?
- To what extent are you using outsourcing to lower your costs? In what ways?
- In your view, would you say the business your firm does with _(your company)_ is a “relationship” or is it more “transactional?”
- A. Why do you say that?
B. Which do you prefer? Why?
- What are _(your company)’s greatest strengths and weaknesses?
A. How valuable are these strengths to you and your firm?
- A. Who in the _(your industry)____ industry are the leaders in…
- Customer service
- Price – value
- Nationwide/Global capabilities
B. How does _(your company)_compare with the leaders in these areas?
C. Speed of response
D. Nationwide/Global capabilities
E. Electronic access
F. Customer support
- What does the term “customer service” mean to you in the context of __(your industry)____?
- What benefits or synergy do you see from a provider of multiple _(your industry)___solutions?
- When should a supplier be more flexible? When is it OK to say “no?”
Price - Value
- In what areas do you want your (your industry)_supplier to use their…
a. Internal expertise/consulting capabilities
b. Ability to take on aspects of your administrative duties
c. Ability to assist you in your _(planning, marketing, etc).
- How should a supplier quantify value for you?
- What would be a bold “service guarantee” you would like _(your company)_ to make and support?
- Do you want nationwide/global capabilities? How do you define it? Why, why not?
- How can technology help meet your _(your industry)____needs?
- What types of information do you need from _(your company) ? What do you do with the information?
- Do you want the information analyzed by your supplier?
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
- Reviewing all the things we discussed today, what is the one message you would like to send to_(your company)__?
Contact us for help in understanding your customers’ needs and other ways Van Allen Associates can help you grow.