Retaining Customers:

Customer Satisfaction

Measuring Client Satisfaction

The Types of Information That Will Help Enhance Your Performance

By Go To Market Strategies

"Happy customers tell 4 to 5 others of their positive experience. Dissatisfied customers tell 9 to 12 how bad it was."  ~ Mark Stevens 

Just as we all evaluate our successes and failures to create our new resolutions, we should also look at our current relationships with customers to determine what changes we need to make.

Client satisfaction surveys are a good way to gather key information about how well your company has met customer expectations, how your company's performance compares with the competition, and how you could improve your company's process to better serve the customer's needs. Surveys are also an excellent source for customer testimonials and allow you to benchmark your performance for future comparison.

To execute a successful client satisfaction survey, build one that your customers have the time and inclination to respond to, and that delves into the types of information that will truly help enhance your performance. Consider the following questions:

  • What is the primary goal for my survey?
    Companies implement surveys for different reasons and at different magnitudes. Some want to evaluate the perceptions and performance of a specific product, while others want to gather more subjective data about the overall customer experience. When assessing your current customer satisfaction levels for the purposes of altering strategy, avoid questions that pertain to the performance of specific product features. Instead, craft your questions to draw out how your customers perceive your performance has met their specific needs through your product or service. By clearly identifying your company's goal for implementing a survey, you will not only determine the types and formats of your questions, you will also be able to set expectations internally around the results of the survey.

  • How easy is my survey to respond to?
    Customers will not respond to a survey that requires too much effort on their part to complete. Remember, this is a courtesy to your company and every detail of execution must keep the convenience of your customer in mind. By e-mailing a survey, or sending a link to a Web form, you remove any administrative overhead time to answering your request. However, if your customer base is less technology-oriented, there are alternatives such as telephone conversations and mailed surveys. The key to success is to keep the time spent on the survey brief, but meaningful.

  • What types of information am I asking the customer to provide?
    Be sure to consider how long it will take to respond to your questions. If each question is asked in an open-ended format, the time it takes for your customers to compose their response may overwhelm them and cause them to abandon the survey prior to completion. On the other hand, if each question is a multiple choice, yes/no, or rating, the survey may not take long to fill out, but the quality of information you receive may not be helpful. It is best to offer open-ended questions as well as multiple choice, yes/no, or rating response.

  • What do I plan to do with the information? Am I prepared to ACT on it?
    You must be prepared to act on the results. Nothing irritates people more than asking for their time and opinion and then doing nothing with it. Be sure to look at all of the criticisms with an open mind and find ways to remedy the issue or perception. Share the results with your staff, so they can help create ideas for improvement and get personal reward from successes. And, finally, send a thank-you gift upon completion of the survey and share how their
    feedback has impacted, or will impact, the organization.

In today's challenging economy and competitive business world, retaining your customer base is critical to your success. By carefully constructing a brief, yet strong, survey, you can discover what your customers believe your strengths and weaknesses are and what makes your customers loyal to your company.

Doing so gains you valuable information and lets your customers know how appreciated they truly are!

 

Retaining Customers

Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction Illusion and Trap

Service-Profit Chain

Surprise Your Existing Customers To Retain Them

Listening To Your Customers

Selling (and Silence)

Customer Listening Tips

Customer Feedback

P&G: Using Internet as a Customer Listening Device

Creating Customer Value

Customer's Perspective of Quality

Customer Intimacy

Customer Service

Value Innovation

Customer Partnership