A customer satisfaction survey is already a perennial tool for gauging customers’ opinions and preferences. That is why it should be drawn up in such a manner as to invite them to share relevant information, inspire confidence in the company and its products or services, be clear to understand, and be optimally short.
The simple style of a customer satisfaction survey is essential to predispose customers willing to complete it. It should also be inviting enough, and the design templates used should also be as simple as possible. Simple and clear language is essential to deliver clear messages not only to people whose native language is the language in which the questionnaire is written, but also customers who are not native speakers of that language.
Making a customer satisfaction survey optimally short is also essential, as surveys which are too long will inevitably have high abandonment rates – customers filling them online will lose patience and give up finishing them. The typical number of questions to be included should be between 20 and 30, and a survey which contains more than 40 questions is definitely not going to achieve the goal.
Making a customer satisfaction survey should be carried out in conformity with the expectations of respondents, as they fill surveys with the hope that in this manner they can be instrumental in effecting changes for the better in companies’ manufacturing and servicing. That is why companies should strive to measure specific factors that they can control, e.g. response time, order accuracy, delivery policies, etc.
Planning is crucial when making a customer satisfaction survey. There is transactional satisfaction and image based satisfaction. Companies should identify which type of satisfaction they would like to target. Transactional satisfaction is achieved whenever customers interact with a company, calling with respect to sales, opening invoices, or simply using company products. Image based satisfaction refers to the overall impression customers have of a specific company. Image based satisfaction is based on the impression from transactions, the view of competitors, and also opinions and impressions shared by friends or colleagues. Usually it is recommended to measure one type of satisfaction in a given survey, not both types, to avoid confusing responding customers. To measure both types of satisfaction, separate surveys are recommended, and then the results can be compared.
In making a customer satisfaction questionnaire, it is also important to identify the customers who would respond to survey questions and when they would complete the survey, as well as what should be measured. The items that should be measured, called performance attributes, comprise attributes related to products and attributes related to services. The former include products quality, benefits, design, reliability, the relationships between value and price, and the whole range of products or services that are offered. The latter include delivery, warranty, resolving problems, handling complaints.
In a customer satisfaction survey there are also purchase related attributes which include aspects such as communication, courtesy, ease of acquiring products or services, as well as companies’ competence and reputation.