Customer satisfaction is essential for organisations to grow in today’s fast changing business environment. Gathering feedback via surveys can be a powerful management tool, so here we take an in-depth look at how to implement a customer satisfaction survey.
It is often pointed out that retaining customers costs nine times less than winning new ones. Additionally, satisfied customers will more than likely become repeat buyers and recommend you to their friends, so it makes sense to find out what will keep them coming back.
How to Implement a Customer Satisfaction Survey
Consumers have more choice than ever before meaning the bar for achieving satisfaction with products and services continues to get higher, with intense competition among companies to win and retain customers. Even if they don’t show their dissatisfaction, customers could jump ship to your competitors at any time, so direct feedback is essential to keep abreast of satisfaction levels. Customer satisfaction surveys should be viewed as a valuable resource for communicating directly with customers.
5 simple steps to plan and implement your survey
- Plan your survey: Set your goals and identify your target audience. Determining who the best person is to provide feedback will set a solid foundation for any successful customer survey. The buyer is not necessarily always the consumer, especially in a B2B situation. Different influences on the buying process should be taken into consideration as well as the opinion of lapsed customers. The building of good sample frames, i.e. lists from which the respondents sample is chosen, is a worthwhile process.
- Decide what will be measured: Research should strive to learn how the organisation is performing in the eyes of their customers, and how customers think the experience and/or product can be improved. Understanding of satisfaction can be gained at a very high level by asking customers about their overall satisfaction, how likely they are to consider purchasing from the company again or if they would recommend that company to friends and at a more specific level by asking about particular individual issues such as the level of assistance they received.
- Choose the right questions to ask: To implement a successful survey can take practice, but you will quickly learn which customer satisfaction questions will be the most beneficial to ask. Make your questions clear and easy to answer and remember not to ask too many! It can sometimes be useful to make the survey anonymous in order to increase the quantity and quality of the responses. By explaining clearly at the start of the survey why you are asking for feedback can help customers understand why you are asking the questions. Implementing feedback and improving the customer experience demonstrates that you are listening which will help build loyalty.
- Decide how satisfaction will be measured: Online surveys should include verbal and numeric scales which customers can use to illustrate their satisfaction. To be completely informative, surveys should also determine customers’ expectations and the importance they attach to certain attributes, although this can be more difficult to measure.
- How will the results be analysed: The final step should include the creation of CSI (Customer Satisfaction Index) that will allow you to measure how satisfied customers are with your organisation. A CSI can be formed using overall performance satisfaction, by combining it with intentions to re-purchase or even by using a wider basket of components. The results should be plotted against importance scores in tables of strengths and weaknesses that can be beneficial for business analysis and improvement.
How to improve business with Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Successful businesses tend to be customer focused and have the backing of management to implement any improvements identified by the surveys. But don’t forget, customer satisfaction is a moving target! People change their opinions continuously and measuring satisfaction has to be a recurrent process
This article by Chris Ward, Editor of MyCustomer, titled; Surveying customers: The Marks and Spencer approach demonstrates the importance in the retail industry of putting the customer at the heart of everything and how management endeavour to find out exactly what their customers are thinking on a day-to-day basis.
If you need to create an online survey quickly, take a look at some examples of customer satisfaction surveys by visiting our Questionnaire Template page. You can see a selection of ready-made questionnaires that will help you get started.