Customer satisfaction is paramount to the success of any business. Understanding who your customers are, what they want and having systems and processes in place to not only meet their needs but exceed their expectations is what sets the successful apart from the rest. Soliciting and monitoring customer feedback should be part of an organization’s strategy.
Customers come in several forms – employees, customers of your product or service or volunteers of your organization.
Each group has unique needs and expectations but they all have the same expectation and that is that you will know what they want and develop systems and processes to meet their needs.
Employees may need benefits and a flexible working environment; a volunteer may need good communication processes and feeling valued for what they do. A customer of your business needs for you to give them what was promised and give them a quality product in a professional and timely manner.
When developing a customer satisfaction tool, it is important to find out what the customer needs and values. Some customers may value a clean, neat and organized business while others may not see it as important as the product itself. It is for this reason that a first step in the process is to find out what is needed and then script the survey questions around the needs and expectations.
When putting together a satisfaction survey, there needs to be a rating scale. There are different schools of thought on the size of the scale. There are five point scales and 10 point scales. I like the broad range of a 10 point scale because it allows for a more sensitive instrument.
Example Customer Satisfaction Survey
Some final considerations.
- Use customer focus groups to find out needs and expectations.
- Make sure the definition of the scale is very clear. Having someone rate all “1” when they meant “10” could really skew your data.
- Limit your questions to 15 or less, as the more questions you ask the less likely you will be to get a survey back.
- Follow up and send reminders if you don’t get the survey back right away.
- Make it easy to return the survey. Provide a self-addressed envelope.
- Add a comment section and leave lots of white space for writing comments.
- Ask for demographic information like age, sex, length of time as a customer, geographic location, etc.
- Don’t take negative comments personally; use them as a motivator to improve.
- Incorporate feedback into annual business goals.
- Google docs has a great FREE option that can create electronic surveys that you can email to your customers. Check out this video to see how!
Lastly, true data analysis should be done by a professional to ensure proper interpretation.