Three Simple Standards to Effective Customer Satisfaction Measurement
In today’s market, it’s critical that a business measures the satisfaction of its customers. High customer satisfaction is one of the strongest drivers of repeat business. In fact, 7 out of 10 Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies that they believe provide excellent customer service.
Unfortunately, a typical business only hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers (they’re out telling their friends about the bad experience they had instead of directing their feedback to you). This leaves many businesses wondering where to place their focus.
The point is simple: it’s important to measure the satisfaction of your customers. The big question is — how can you optimally design your survey so that you hear from all of your customers (and not just the happiest or the angriest)?
To answer this question, you must take a methodological approach to designing your satisfaction survey. Not just any set of questions will do — you have to ask the right questions at the right time, and keep your respondents engaged in the survey process.
Companies that want to run an effective customer satisfaction program should adhere to the following standards:
Survey customers consistently and timely
It’s important that you survey customers consistently – all hours of the day and on every day of the month. If there are time gaps, then you could be missing a big piece of your company’s story. For example, do your afternoon employees work as quickly as your morning employees?
If you have employees handing out surveys, make sure they’re distributing them regularly and without bias (don’t just ask customers who seem happy to take your survey). Either every employee should mention the survey to every customer, or none should mention it at all – pick one.
And finally, survey invitations should also be sent via a method that every customer has the opportunity of accessing. Sending out surveys to just those customers who have signed up for your mailing list will not provide a representative sample of your customer base.
Ask both high-level and low-level questions
Start your survey by asking broad questions that directly address the customer experience. For example, “overall how satisfied were you with your visit?” Don’t place any detail-specific questions in the survey just yet. You want to get an overall feel for the customer’s visit without leading them to consider specific elements.
After you’ve included 2-3 high-level questions, ask a few low-level questions. Something like, “how satisfied were you with the speed of the checkout process?” These types of questions are critical to understanding where your customer’s specific pain points are.
If you want to make your customers more satisfied, you must focus on specific elements of the purchase process. Measuring product-specific or service-specific questions along with high-level questions will help you learn what’s driving overall satisfaction.
Design the survey to keep your customers engaged
Once your customers have started your survey, that’s great! You now just need them to complete the survey so that you have actionable data. We’ve seen up to 50 percent of customers drop out of a traditional survey after starting.
Simple, straightforward questions are always the best place to start. Keep long grids out of your surveys, and make sure the survey program you use is optimized for mobile devices.
Secondly, ask only what you need to ask and can act on. With each question that you write, try to hypothesize what the results will look like and ask yourself what you’ll do with that information. If it’s not something that you can act on, then don’t ask the question.
Also consider engagement tools like Datagame to keep your customers interested throughout the survey process. We’ve built an example game that can replace a major portion of the survey process and will show you the most important areas that you need to be focusing on to improve customer satisfaction.
The results of this game will give you a rank-ordered list of your best and worst performing areas, as shown in the chart below. While it’s important to look at absolute scores for tracking purposes, looking at your customer’s satisfaction levels relative to each other can provide a starting point on what you need to improve first.
You can see that most customers are satisfied with the speed of service, yet there is quite a bit of work that can be done in regards to price. At this point, you might want to start talking to your customers to see what specific pricing issues exist.
Just getting a survey in front of your customers is great starting point, but with a little work you can have an effective business improvement tool. Start with these three standards and you’ll be on the path to having a successful customer satisfaction program.