Most business owners will tell you that any company that does not maintain close contact with its customers is doomed to fail. That's why businesses hire marketing professionals to conduct customer surveys to gauge the company's performance. These surveys help companies in two main ways: by identifying what the company is doing right and doing wrong and by sending a message to customers participating in the survey that their feedback counts. The reports you prepare with data from the customer-feedback surveys provide ideas on how to improve your company's overall performance.

Start the customer-feedback report by explaining how and when the data was collected. State the scope of the study. For example, is the company trying to determine customer satisfaction on a global scale? Briefly describe how the data was collected (did the company send out a one-time survey to a select group of customers?), and mention that the company is planning to conduct additional surveys.

State the company's goals for doing the feedback survey. For example, the James Walker Company identified three aims of a survey it performed in 2007. They were to identify needs their customers consider important, determine whether the company is meeting those needs and areas the company should focus on in order to continue to see high levels of customer satisfaction.

Read customer feedback report samples from other companies for ideas on how to structure the report. For example, Infosurv has prepared a customer-feedback report that starts out by explaining how customer satisfaction translates into an increase in profits. The company continues the report by explaining how it designed the customer-feedback survey. It then lists seven key facts of customer feedback, from general satisfaction to customers' interest in new products.

Consider identifying the customers you surveyed. State the total number of customers who participated in the survey and how results were reported. For example, James Walker's report states that it conducted phone interviews with thousands of customers. It then summarized some of the questions the customers were asked.

Include a section that explains your grading system. For example, were customers asked to rate certain services based on whether they were "always satisfied," "sometimes satisfied" or "never satisfied"? Or did you ask them to rate services on a scale of 1 to 10?

Summarize the findings. One of the last sections of the report should describe the results, starting with areas that saw improved results. Describe the three highest scores and the areas in which they were given. For example, did you see improvements in product consistency, performance and innovation? Then explain why you believe customers saw improvements in that area. For example, did you hire new product developers or technical writers who drafted manuals that provided clearer instructions on how to use the product? Then note any areas where you did not see improvement.

Finish the report by explaining how you intend to use the results. For example, James Walker's report notes that customers were not always sure that the company's products were high quality. The report adds, "Perhaps...we need to reconsider our approach."