Measuring your customers satisfaction is crucial for any company to acquire new customers and keep old ones.
How can I measure customer satisfaction?
One of the most effective strategies is administering a customer satisfaction survey.
Let’s see which benefits your company can have and how to design good questionnaires.
The importance of customer satisfaction surveys
A satisfied customer is a gravy train. Company managers know that and an Harvard Business Review research confirms it. Keeping an existing customer costs 5 times more than getting it in the first place.
In this International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management publication you can see how customer loyalty to a brand (or a product) is linked to a high customer satisfaction.
Also, the real deal for companies that wants to grow is providing a good customer experience because of the current status of markets.
How an effective satisfaction survey can be helpful? It can measure and maximize customer satisfaction.
Here’s 5 golden rules to design good customer satisfaction survey questions.
1. Who to ask
Selecting the right target is crucial to make a questionnaire effective. In theory it could seem a simple task. But what about practice?
For example, let’s take a cigarettes brand. the user is easily targeted, as the use of the product is strictly personal.
Now a cereal brand. The person who purchases the product is the same who use it? That’s not always the case. So, who to ask?
The interview should be administered to the person who makes the purchase.
If your activity deals with B2B, you’ll interview purchasing managers (in the previous example, we’ll interview parents that purchase cereals for their children).
2. What to ask
Another crucial point: which are the right questions? It really depends on your goals.
Here’s some general examples:
- What is the general level of satisfaction with Y Corp.?
- How likely is it for you to buy a product from Y Corp.?
- And how likely is it for you to recommend Y Corp. products to a friend or colleague?
- Products quality (How do you judge X product quality?)
- Delivery (Did the product arrived on day scheduled?)
- Staff and Service (Was the staff nice? Are you satisfied of how they helped in the purchase? How is the post-sale service?)
- Brand (How do you consider Brand Y in terms of reputation?)
- Price (Is the price of Product Y convenient?)
3. How to ask
There are 3 most common tools to administer questionnaires. Let’s see pros and cons of each one of them:
- Questionnaires via Web. Being able to invite customers via email web surveys are really effective also when there’s a strong link between customers and product purchased (as for a car purchase). Use this methodology if you don’t have a huge budget. If you want to give to the respondent time to answer or need to use images, graphs or multimedia. Don’t use it if you want to include a lot of open end questions: you may get incomplete information.
- Face2Face interviews. It’s the best way to measure satisfaction of key customers or customer geographically really close. Great to get high quality open end answers as you can directly interact with the respondent. Cons: high costs due to interviewers or interviewees relocation.
- Phone interview. Most common method used by brands that continuously measure and analyze customer satisfaction. It’s a good choice if you want to cover a wide geographical area or if you need to collect both general and specific answers. Cons: bad interviewers attitude with respondents, difficulties in reaching respondents by phone and high maintenance costs.
4. Rating: measuring customer satisfaction
Customers may rate their satisfaction in multiple ways. For this reason, it’s often hard to measure it. So how can I make answers I get statistically useful?
Use scales of judgment in your questionnaire (like 1 to 10) so that customers can express their level of satisfaction. While collecting data you’ll know that:
- Between 8 and 10: product/service is excellent
- 7 to 8: it is good but evaluate possibility to monitor or improve it
- Less than 7: worrying judgment. Try to improve your product/service as soon as possible.
5. Keep asking
You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.
People tend to change their perception of things and their opinions in time so product expectations are changing too.
That’s why it’s important to repeat your surveys from time to time to:
- Keep customer satisfaction high
- Update the product/service with new features that meet customer expectations
- Protect your market share and brand loyalty
Customer satisfaction: benefits for your company
Measuring customer satisfaction means listening to customers expectations and feedback not just on a product but on the entire experience with your brand.
This translates in tangible benefits:
- You’ll see how your customers fell about your product or brand
- Your company can improve your weak points before brand loyalty is compromised
- The interventions on the product can be measured and you can evaluate customer feedback
- Influence brand loyalty
IdSurvey: how can we help to improve customer satisfaction
IdSurvey is the software to administer CAPI, CAWI and CATI surveys (for face to face, web and telephone interviews). One interface to manage all your research and results.
Survey software IdSurvey is designed to make you completely independent in your research and it’s optimized for your requirements:
- you pay just what you use: flexible licenses and pay as you go
- customize your survey
- advantage of Mixed Mode: interviewers can start working via web and finish with CATI or vice versa to increase response rate