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Understanding what drives customer satisfaction and loyalty has become a standard best practice. Companies use the results from customer satisfaction/loyalty studies to modify and improve business practices. For example by learning what irks customers, companies can avoid preventable losses due to quality , pricing and on-time delivery issues. Tom Peters in his book, The Pursuit of WoW!, found about 15% of customers leave due to quality issues, 15% defect for price issues, and a whopping 70% leave due to issues related to service. Customer satisfaction/loyalty results can also provide insight into what action to take to increase market share.

According to InfoQuest, “totally satisfied” customers have a repurchase rate that is 3 – 10 times higher than that of “somewhat satisfied” customers (as documented by research at Xerox, as well as in other industry studies).  Other studies by InfoQuest  enabled them to develop a statistical model to understand the financial relationship between customer satisfaction and revenue.  The model found that over time, a totally satisfied customer contributes 2.6 times as much revenue to a company as a somewhat satisfied customer and contributes 14 times as much revenue as a somewhat dissatisfied customer; and that a totally dissatisfied customer decreases revenue at a rate equal to twice what a completely satisfied customer contributes to the business.

As a result almost every company today conducts some type of customer satisfaction/loyalty study. This means your customer is probably being asked to complete such a study for each of their suppliers. The deluge of studies can cause survey fatigue and an increase in the number of customer who are opting out of the process. Your customer satisfaction survey is another point of contact with your customer that can affect their perception of your company.

Insure your research produces a good customer experience.

Make Your Customer Satisfaction Survey a Good Experience

Here are five things you can do to ensure your customer satisfaction survey is a good experience and doesn’t become a victim of fatigue.

1. Personalize the survey. Leverage all the information you have about the respondent to personalize the invitation and survey to them. Build the overall questionnaire around the respondent’s particular demographics and transaction. Make invitation emails short and to the point, and set the respondent’s expectations on how many questions there will be. The survey questionnaire itself should be tight, personalized, and flow smoothly. Send reminders only to those who haven’t completed the survey.

2. Follow up quickly. Commit to a two-way dialogue with customers and immediately follow-up with customers to show that you are listening, and if you have contact info, send a thank-you note after survey completion and let them know how the feedback will be used. Sometimes, it may be appropriate to share interim survey results upon survey completion, and consider inviting your most engaged customers to be part of customer panels.

3. Acknowledge and implement feedback: Quickly fix problems, reinforce and train employees on feedback that produce positive experiences and fix problems. Route negative responses immediately so they can be addressed. Focus on fixing rather than measuring.

4. Design a customer feedback calendar: You might be surprised to find out your own company is surveying the same person over and over. A customer feedback calendar will help you see whether you have too many or too few feedback requests.

5. Learn and use preferred communication channels. Ask customers about their preferences for communicating with you, email, phone, mail, other and then deploy the survey accordingly. Create easy opt-in and opt-out policies, and set up rules so you’re not soliciting feedback from the same customers all the time. Adding this credibility will make customers more likely to participate.

Learn more about how we can help you gain valuable customer feedback and insights.

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