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Customer Satisfaction Surveys

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The source of competitiveness in business ultimately comes down to the brand, customer service and the relationship you have with your customer.

So the insight you get from a Customer Satisfaction Survey can be key to understanding your customer's needs and their attitude towards your brand, and so be critical in determining your business strategy.

To plan your survey consider using one of the templates from the column, opposite, and then work through the following:

  1. What are the objectives of your survey?

    For example:

    • To check the quality of service to different segments?
    • To find out their level of commitment to your company?
    • To evaluate the effectiveness of elements of your marketing strategy?


  2. Make sure that you discover the customer’s priority need/want.

    When briefing the customer satisfaction survey make sure that you are gathering data on:

    • What customers need/want, but also
    • How important each particular need/want is to them.

      Getting them to rank their needs/wants will be very valuable.

    For example, customer may say that they want their calls to be answered more quickly by your Call Centre, but don’t tell you that their main problem is that they aren't getting value for money any more, since the recent price rise.

    The success of the low-cost airlines demonstrates that customers are always prepared to compromise on some things if the cost is lowered.

  3. Break down your survey into three sections:

    • The area of interest.
    • What you want to find out.
    • The questions that will find this out for you.

  4. Ask questions such as:

    • Are you completely satisfied with your purchase?
    • How likely are you to make a similar purchase again in the future?
    • Would you recommend this (product/service/brand) to a friend?

  5. Methods of collection

    • Email questionnaire (survey).

      High volume, low cost, but busy people (who may have the most important insight) often don't respond in large numbers.

    • Telephone interview.

      Costly and labour intensive, but often very valuable and insightful.

      May be used to check the qualitative and quantitative data coming from cheaper media (like email).

    • Face to face interview.

      Similar to using the telephone, but even more costly.

      Can be used to give greater richness to results and to handle more sensitive issues.

    • Web based questionnaire/survey.

      Similar to email, but with the advantage that it can include a powerful drilling down capability to expand on particular answers, without the questionnaire becoming unmanageable.

    • Focus group.

      Relatively costly but because people spark off each other you can get greater insights.

      Teleconferencing may be a cheaper option.

    • An internal Suggestion Box.

      Can supply good, honest statistically significant insight from your internal audience.

What is customer satisfaction?