Customer surveys are not new and at some point or another, we have all been asked to rate a company’s products or services. This is because companies understand that satisfied customers make return purchases and provide referrals. The easiest way to find out what your customers think of your business is to ask. If you have a few customers, this should be simple since all you have to do is ask them personally. But what happens when you have hundreds perhaps even thousands of customers? Well, you will still ask them, but you also need to have a better approach that will not only reach your clients, but have a personal feel as well. This is where the net promoter score comes in and you would need to have a mystery shopping program as part of your survey to bring about that personal touch. While filling out questionnaires seems to be the simplest way of acquiring data from a large group of people, not many customers will want to fill out the questionnaire or even have the time. It’s just too much work and there are no rewards. However, if your launch a survey program that seeks to find out how you can serve your customers better, it tells them that you care about their needs and they are more likely to engage in such a campaign.

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If you are interested in measuring customer satisfaction, but are unsure on how to go about it, here are some ideas on what you can measure. You can evaluate the quality of service your provide, how well your company meets the client’s needs, speed of service, speed in dealing with complaints, pricing of products or services, useful products or services and much more. Of course, it’s always best to work with a company that is experienced in measuring satisfaction levels. Most survey professionals will choose to work with focus groups as they provide an informal setting. A good facilitator should come up with sessions that interest your customers and these could be anything from a series of questions or material to gauge reactions. The facilitator can also videotape the session. Another approach that can be used is client advisory groups and these are just like focus groups except the input is provided over a period of time. The benefit of these groups is that the input is sourced from the customer’s point of view and the company is able to gain solid information that is factual and reliable to work with.

Survey Monkey conducted a survey on more than 300 managers and small business owners to find out how to measure customer satisfaction. 83 percent of the businesses that were described as successful constantly measure customer satisfaction. Out of the 60 percent small businesses that measure satisfaction, only 35 percent had set goals and these defeats the purpose of measuring satisfaction. It’s not just about measuring customer satisfaction; you must set benchmarks which will help you understand what the measurements mean and how you can improve satisfaction.