Customer Satisfaction Survey Best Practices

Customer satisfaction surveys can be powerful tools for insight if done properly. Conversely, a poorly designed tool can lead you in the wrong direction. Today we will share a few simple best practices for customer service surveys.
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Customer satisfaction surveys can be powerful tools for insight if done properly. Conversely, a poorly designed tool can lead you in the wrong direction. Today we will share a few simple best practices for customer service surveys.

Customer satisfaction surveys can be powerful tools for insight if done properly. Conversely, a poorly designed tool can lead you in the wrong direction.  Today we will share a few simple best practices for customer service surveys.

There are three types of customer satisfaction surveys. It’s important that you focus your questions on one type of information per survey. You will get better response rates and more accurate results. If you need to know information about all three, it’s better to send three surveys than to try to combine questions.

The three types of customer satisfaction surveys are:

  • Product or service satisfaction
  • Transactional satisfaction
  • Image-based satisfaction

Product satisfaction surveys are fairly basic. If your business makes widgets, you want to ask about the quality and value of your widgets. What characteristics of your widgets do they like or dislike? How do your widgets compare to widgets from other companies?

Service satisfaction surveys are similar, but in this case your product is a service. Healthcare companies, professional service firms and others want to know what their customers think about the quality and value of their services.

Transactional satisfaction is sometimes confused with service satisfaction. Transactional satisfaction has to do with the customer service experience related directly to the process of paying for service or products. Here are some sample questions.

  • Was your invoice accurate and easy to understand?
  • Was the cashier friendly?
  • Was the staff knowledgeable about our products?
  • Was the website shopping cart easy to use?

Image-based customer satisfaction surveys focus on the company providing service or products. It measures brand loyalty and goodwill. People have bad transactions with good companies, and they have good transactions with companies they dislike.

Customer Service Survey Best Practices

Short and sweet – Short surveys are far more likely to be completed. If you need to do a more in-depth survey, start with a short survey to prime the audience. A series of short surveys often works better than one long survey.

To the point – Each question needs to only ask one question. “Was the staff knowledgeable and friendly?” is actually two questions. They can be knowledgeable but not friendly, or friendly and not knowledgeable.

Incentivize – Offer encouragement to survey participants. The proverbial dangling of a carrot works.

Use the information – If you don’t have the desire to change, don’t ask the questions. Put the results of the survey to work by finding ways to clearly improve.

Third-party assistance – Many companies benefit from having a third-party administer the survey for more objective results. Consumer Reports research is much more credible than the same survey being done by an individual manufacturer, both with the public and with survey participants. Additionally, interpreting the data is often better done by experts than by your own staff.

Without a doubt, your customers are the best source of information about your business. Marketing campaigns, brand loyalty, product development and customer service can all be improved by simply asking the right questions of your customer base.

Contact Mediastead and asked for a free Survey Strategy Session to learn more about your customers. Call us today at 215-253-3737 or email Jason Tweed at jason(at)mediastead.com.

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