Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Art of Making A Customer Satisfaction Survey

If you are looking to improve overall customer satisfaction and are looking at doing customer satisfaction surveys you need to ask hard pointed questions. If you survey your customers, what type of questions do you ask, how do you survey (phone, email regular mail) and what type of benchmark or scale do you use? Are there any resources out there that could assist us in setting our benchmark and formulating a process?

· Ask yourself, what do I really need to know from my customers? Consider that question from various staff and management positions within your company. What you may want to know could be different than what your sales rep wants to know or the production manager might wants in the way of customer feedback. Think about your competition: how does your company measure up? Good, bad indifferent? If not what does that competition do that makes them better? Ask your customers, within the survey, those questions that can help show how your company compares against the competition.

· If you're going to ask customers for feedback, make sure you're prepared to publish the results. Nothing could be more frustrating than to take the time to respond, and then never see the results. What you really want to tell your customers is, "thanks for taking the time to take our survey, here is what you said about our product/service and here is what we are going to do to make it better." That way they see what positive results their input made and that what they say is important to you

· Seriously consider having an "Expert" review the survey data, statistically analyze it and develop a complete and meaningful report for your staff and management within your company. This is not to say that you can't gain a lot of insight from evaluating the report results yourself. Remember, what you are really trying to determine is where you need to improve.

· If you don't have the research analyst resources, then carefully review the high and low range responses of your survey data. For example, if your quantitative data range is on a scale from 1-5, with five being the highest customer satisfaction, then look at all survey responses that indicated a one or a five, since those are likely to be accompanied by customer comments. Carefully review the comments. Are there consistent themes? Where might improvement be made? If they rated you a five in a given area consistently, then make sure you keep doing those customer service activities to assure you maintain that high level of satisfaction.

Research analysts suggest that any effort to tie each specific survey result back to the original service event is very valuable. I totally agree and it could then become a very effective training/coaching tool, as well, since the feedback could focus on specifics not imaginary events involved in the your company.

Larson note: If you’re brave enough and strong enough to accept constructive critisism a survey is a good way to get a report card on yourself. Don’t be shy about asking hard questions. That’s the way you learn. But you must send back a copy of synopsis of the survey or they might not ever do it again for you.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

1 comment:

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