Just as we all evaluate our successes and
to create our new resolutions, we should also look at our current
with customers to determine
what changes we need to make.
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
process to better serve the customer's needs. Surveys are also an excellent
source for customer testimonials and allow you to
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
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
has impacted, or will impact, the organization.
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!