By Roy Persson, Vice President

In my last blog post, I left you justifications for why companies should be running customer satisfaction research. As mentioned previously, there are many different insights that can come out of this type of research. I’ve witnessed a variety of approaches, from the power of social media to the intimacy of an in-depth interview, both of which can be used as tools to capture satisfaction insight information. Technically, there are no “right” or “wrong” ways to get to the heartbeat of your customers, but these tips and guidelines can aid any organization seeking to build or refine their customer satisfaction analysis.

Tip #1: Send the Survey to the Right People
Who is your customer? For some industries, this is a simple question to answer. In other cases, such as the business to business industry, there could be a different set of customers for each client interaction.

Tip #2: Surveys Should be Personalized and Branded
By personalizing, customers will know what information they are sharing and why they are sharing it. Customers will be more engaged and excited to take the survey if the survey is personalized specifically to them.

Tip #3: Keep it Short and Simple
The perfect survey starts with knowing what you want to ask customers. Try to keep it to no more than 10 questions, and make sure to keep it concise and well purposed.

Tip #4: Make it Mobile Accessible
Surveys should be accessible across all devices, such as tablets and other mobile electronics. Not only does poor mobile device interaction potentially lower your satisfaction score, but making it more convenient for your customer to share information increases survey response rates, giving you more customer feedback.

Tip #5: Your Brand is What Your Customers Say it is…
…Not what the company says it is. Be sure to compare customer satisfaction results against the organization’s brand promise; if they are different, you’ll have to consider a rebrand or a strategic rethink as to how you are meeting your customers’ needs.

Tip #6: Make it Measurable
Customer satisfaction surveys should produce a trackable, singular metric of the overall level of satisfaction. Whether it is through the use of a simple “customer satisfaction rating” question or a derived statistic that uses a combination of measurements (the infamous Net Promoter Score NPS), there needs to a singular measure that can be tracked and compared against over time.

Tip #7: Be Consistent and Continual
Customer satisfaction research works best when the collected data remains the same and the survey is conducted on a routine basis. Changing questions, research methodology, and/or frequency of data collection can disrupt the findings from the research, making the hard work and investment less effective for your business.

Tip #8: Dig Deeper
Reasons why customers are satisfied or dissatisfied need to be collected. This information is necessary because once satisfaction levels are determined, the next step is to make happy customers brand advocates and dissatisfied customers happy customers.

Tip #9: Contact Dissatisfied Customers
Following up on the last tip – it is critical to contact customers that are dissatisfied. There is no absolute faster way to convert a dissatisfied customer, who often spreads negative word of mouth, than by reaching out personally to show them that you have taken their feedback seriously and want to revitalize the relationship.

Tip #10: Get That Valuable Testimonial
For those who give positive feedback, don’t be afraid to ask if they would provide a testimonial or service as a reference for your business. This kind of feedback is now a critical asset to your organization.

Unfortunately, many business owners don’t use regular satisfaction research as an opportunity to reach out to their customers and really get to know them. And those who do seek the customer’s voice often fall into a few traps that limit the collected data’s effectiveness. In addition to some tips on how to build good customer satisfaction research, you need to steer clear of a few “don’ts” to make your survey really effective. In my next blog, I’ll provide you with a list of things that you should avoid doing when building customer satisfaction research.