Editor’s note: Shannon McCrocklin is a marketing specialist at research firm GeoPoll and is based in Denver. This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared under the title, “How survey research improves customer experience.” 

Whether your business has hit a plateau or you’re actively seeking ways to improve, the best route to take is often unclear. You may make a change that your customers don’t like, taking the wrong track altogether. You can guess-and-check what your consumers want over and over but that will cost your company some serious time, money and headaches. Surveying your consumers is a more effective route for understanding where their pain points are. From there, an effective road map for improvement is easier to develop. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why survey data is critical to improving customer experience and the overall health of your business.

Too many businesses focus the bulk of their attention on sales numbers. Though revenue and cash flow are important, a company is nothing without the people that rely on its services.

Asking a customer for their input shows that their opinion is valued by the company and makes them feel that their voices are heard. This extra level of interaction is a key way to convert leads and earn the favor of existing customers. According to a study by Oracle, 74% of the tech giants’ senior executives claim that customer experience has a direct impact on a customer’s loyalty. The more involved your clientele, the more likely they are to pay for your services in the future. It might be a cliché, but it’s true – it’s always cheaper to maintain existing customers than it is to find new ones.

Many of the setbacks holding your business back are difficult to pinpoint. It can be deeply frustrating when you feel your organization has checked all the boxes but something is still not quite right. Instead of agonizing over the u...