As a customer service manager, one of your main tasks is ensuring that your customers remain happy and loyal. If you are using a customer satisfaction survey program currently, but you feel like it’s not actually leading to measurable changes, it may be time to re-design how your program is implemented. Keeping customers satisfied is something you can’t put on the back-burner; there’s simply too much competition, and the internet is a big place where poor company experiences spread like wildfire.
Measuring customer satisfaction through surveys is a task that has remained relevant, even as other customer loyalty and retention programs have come and gone. Understanding how your customers feel is essential – with the correct strategy, a customer satisfaction survey program will tell you so much more than if your customers are simply “satisfied.” A well-executed program will give you insight into what customers think about your products, services, support teams, and how they perceive competitors’ products. By using frequent surveys, you can even help shape the business strategy that your company uses.
If you feel that you’re not getting enough out of your current customer satisfaction survey program, follow our tips below for re-designing a program that will give you actionable and transformative data.
Before you set out to improve your customer satisfaction surveying program, first seek to know what you are trying to measure and why. It may sound obvious that you would have objectives, but it can be easy to have a customer satisfaction surveying program as a de facto part of a metrics plan, without clear objectives behind the process.
Your first step, therefore, is to set realistic and comprehensive objectives. If you don’t set your objectives upfront, your surveys will have little value. What do you hope to learn from the surveys? How will you use the data to change your programs? Most customer service satisfaction surveys seek to measure the following:
- Overall customer satisfaction
- Product/service satisfaction
- Pre-sales support
- Customer service and ongoing customer support
- Cancellation reasons and drop-outs
Keep in mind when you are setting your objectives that satisfaction does not necessarily equate to customer loyalty. Customers who are somewhat satisfied are not necessarily loyal, but customers who are extremely satisfied tend to be more loyal. When you set your objectives, define the level of satisfaction you’re seeking to achieve, and set expectations for what different levels of satisfaction will mean for your company.
Conduct Surveys Proactively
Don’t wait until you are putting out customer service fires to start a customer service satisfaction surveying program. Seek to be proactive, instead of reactive when developing surveys. You need to establish benchmarks for how your customers feel when it’s “business as usual,” and track your customers’ opinions on a frequent basis. If you send out surveys as a reaction to problems that have already occurred, you won’t be getting a realistic picture of your company. When you are surveying on an ongoing basis, and problems do arise, you can use the surveys to let your customers know that you are working to resolve the problem, and use the opportunity to get their opinions on whether the problem was solved adequately.
Set up a surveying schedule and stick to it
Finally, our last tip is to set a schedule for surveying and make sure your team sticks to it (this ties into setting objectives and being proactive).
Your schedule will depend on your business, but you should plan to have surveys written, approved, and set to deploy far in advance. Some businesses survey quarterly; others do it in conjunction with product launches. A customer satisfaction survey program takes a lot of work on the back-end to be effective, so allocate your team and resources accordingly.
Your customers have opinions. Are you listening?
The work it takes to develop and maintain a customer satisfaction survey program is worthwhile. Well-executed programs will give you insights directly from the people who are most impacted by how your business functions, and you may be surprised by how willing customers are to give you their opinions.
Your customers want to talk. Are you giving them a way to do it?