Customer Satisfaction Surveys
A customer satisfaction survey is a necessity for any company that wishes to stay in business and continue to prosper. The customer satisfaction survey is how a company keeps a pulse on how customers feel about their products and services. Every company needs to do this whether it is done biennially (every two years), annually or biannually (twice a year). The most common period for a customer satisfaction survey is annually. In some instances performing the survey every other year is adequate. Less often a customer satisfaction survey can be performed every six months. It is extremely rare to need to perform your customer satisfaction survey more than twice a year, since the cycle of design, deployment, execution, analysis and action planning for a customer satisfaction usually exceeds three months.
It is important that you do not jump into a customer satisfaction without enough planning. This is a common mistake. A hurried customer satisfaction survey can do more harm than good by creating a negative impression with otherwise satisfied customers. You can avoid the common pitfalls of customer satisfaction surveys and implement a truly useful system of feedback and action if you create a professionally designed survey and follow a few simple guidelines.
- Take the time to ensure you know what is important to your customer (see Customer Needs Assessments)
- Hire a professional to design and execute your survey
- Set a goal to establish a lasting program that foster goodwill with customers and provide valuable information for company decision-making for years ahead
- Plan for the long haul, not just a short-term initiative; your customer satisfaction program should be seen as ongoing — not just a one time event.
It takes time to develop a customer satisfaction program and clearly understand customers’ wants and needs, but that investment pays dividends in the form of happier customers. Survey Design & Analysis recommends the following two activities at the start of any customer satisfaction survey program. They ensure the customer satisfaction survey is starts out in the right direction and put it on firm ground for future implementations of the survey.
Customer Needs Assessment
This involves conducting in-depth interviews (face-to-face or over the phone) with select customers to make sure you understand what is most important to customers, what their needs are, what they think of your company and what they think about providing feedback to you on your products and services. This two-way communication early in the process has been found to be a critical success factor for obtaining actionable information and ensuring that your survey asks the right questions of the right people in the right way. … Read More
Hold A Stakeholders Strategy Session
The success of a customer satisfaction survey is measured by the actions it drives. It is critical that the survey ask the right questions and address the needs of customers, but the feedback system also needs to be integrated into the operations of your company.
Since your customer satisfaction survey is going to be an ongoing part of running your business, it becomes very important for the survey to have a broad base of support and understanding. A strategy session should have key people from sales, marketing, development and operations who get together for a four to six-hour meeting to work on the survey objectives and how they tie to the company mission and values. The session might also include discussions on the appropriate customer segments to target, training from a customer satisfaction expert (internal or external) on best practices and/or defining the scope of the customer feedback you will solicit.
Call us to talk about how Survey Design & Analysis can help you get started with a customer satisfaction survey program for you.