With so much chit chat about your business on social media sites like Facebook and Yelp, you may be tempted to skip the formal customer satisfaction survey process. This would be a mistake. While watching, analyzing and participating in conversations with your customers on social media sites is an excellent practice, it doesn't make up for have a real program for customer satisfaction.
1. Use customer satisfaction surveys to measure quality
Customer satisfaction surveys are an awesome tool to measure the quality of your business process If your organization is using some kind of quality system such as ISO, TQM, Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, or any other system design to maximize profits while eliminating waste, then you'll want to lean into this section.
Most quality systems are rooted in understanding true customer needs and then making sure that all of your business systems are focused on meeting those needs with as little waste as possible. No matter which system you are using, a customer satisfaction program is the foundation.
A core principle of any of these systems is NOT to tell you how to measure quality, it's really to define what matters to your customers and then develop a business and quality system that is designed to deliver the desired outcome.
The key question type you'll want to use for this is the Importance/Satisfaction matrix question.
Simply create a list of items that is a mix of the following:
- What you think is important to customers
- What the industry or competition is offering that you don't
- What customers have told you is important
Then send it out as a survey. I would recommend that you don't have more than 10 attributes and only add one other question to your survey -- this one:
"What is the one thing (COMPANY) can do to improve your experience with us?" -- make it an open ended question and see what happens.
This alone will help you create a wonderful foundation for your business and quality system
2. Measure your marketing effectiveness with customer satisfaction surveys
Management is always complaining about marketing ROI (or the lack of connection between marketing investments and ROI) the best way to do that is by using a customer satisfaction survey.
The Gallup Organization has a tried-and-true methodology which they call Customer Engagement. The Gallup Customer Engagement survey consists of 11 questions that measure your customers' Loyalty and Emotional Attachment to your brand or organization.
Here are the 11 Questions Outlined by the Gallup Customer Engagement Survey
- Overall, how satisfied are you with [Brand]?
- How likely are you to continue to choose/repurchase/repeat (if needed) [Brand]?
- How likely are you to recommend [Brand] to a friend/associate?
- [Brand] is a name I can always trust.
- [Brand] always delivers on what they promise.
- [Brand] always treats me fairly.
- If a problem arises, I can always count on [Brand] to reach a fair and satisfactory resolution.
- I feel proud to be a [Brand] [customer/shopper/user/owner].
- [Brand] always treats me with respect.
- [Brand] is the perfect [company/product/brand/store] for people like me.
- I can’t imagine a world without [Brand].
3. Use customer satisfaction surveys to develop new products and services
It's easy to get tunnel vision about customer satisfaction surveys. One trap is to look at the surveys as a "grade" or evaluation of your performance. That's definitely one aspect of the survey, but an even more powerful feature of a good customer satisfaction survey is that it opens up the conversation for developing new products and services.
Instead of just reporting on the results, why not drill down into the results and connect with specific customers to get deeper insights into what's missing for them and their experience with you. You might discover a real competitive advantage hiding inside your feedback.
4. Arm your employees with customer insights
Your employees can really benefit from seeing the results of your customer satisfaction surveys. Remember -- the results aren't there for you or the management to beat up on the employees, why not engage them in the conversation about the results and get their side of the story.
You're going to get two benefits from this process:
- Your employees will be MORE ENGAGED in the business
- They will give you deeper insights about how to actually improve on those results. Often customer dissatisfaction is a systemic problem and one your employees can't do much about. But they can pinpoint exactly where to go and what to do to fix the problem.
So there you have it -- I've given you four new ways to use your customer satisfaction survey results. Here is are also templates you can use for customer satisfaction surveys.
How do YOU or your clients use customer satisfaction results? Let us know in the comments below.