I can’t tell you how often I hear, when working with a new client, “I don’t want to survey my customers.” They are either afraid that they are bothering them or that they will find that they are not addressing their customers issues and that the customers are angry with them. Most of them think that they already know how their customers feel.
Please, let me take a minute to give you a different perspective. First off, you are not bothering your customers if you keep your survey short, explain the value to them, and set an appointment to do the survey. Everyone likes to share their opinions. I find when interviewing my client’s customers that in fact they are thrilled to give input. If you explain that the time they spend with you will help you to improve your service to them, why would they not want to speak with you? Make sure that your questions are open ended and when they give you general answers, you ask them "what would that look like", or "can you give me specifics?"
Second, you MAY find that you have unhappy customers. But by talking with them you can gain awareness and insight as to where the problem lies, you have an opportunity to solve the problem and look like a hero. If enough of your customers are having the same problem, this information gives you the ability to address the problem internally so that your new customers will not have the same experience.
Finally, it is a HUGE mistake to think that you already know what your customers really think about you and your products or services, and you will never know without asking them questions. Most of the time you will get answers that are very different than your perceptions.
Only by truly understanding your customer’s experience with you can you begin to look at what makes you great, where you could use some improvement and how to talk to potential customers.
Have you been asking the right things and asking them often enough?