11 December 2014 – Andrew Burns
In a competitive marketplace where businesses vie for customers, your Customer Satisfaction Score is a key differentiator and, increasingly, has become a key element of business strategy. It is therefore essential that businesses effectively manage their Customer Satisfaction Score.
Why do we need a metric in the first place?
There are two main reasons why businesses need the Customer Satisfaction Score:
As a measure of customer loyalty– Most of the time customer feedback is about understanding what you need to do in order to improve customer loyalty and referral propensity. So the first reason is that you need an index or measure for the loyalty of each respondent.
- To benchmark progress– As you continue to improve your customer experience you need a measure against which you can compare yourself. How much better, or worse, are we performing than we were during last quarter? You might also want to benchmark yourself against other companies in the industry.
What is the Customer Satisfaction Score?
The Customer Satisfaction Score is a broad term that covers many question types that attempt to reveal how satisfied customers are with a product or particular interaction they have just completed. Typically, customers are asked to rate service on a scale with a question such as, “How would you rate your experience with our recent service?”
- Very dissatisfied
- Somewhat dissatisfied
- Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
- Somewhat satisfied
- Very satisfied
The Customer Satisfaction Score is then derived by looking at the percentage of respondents who select somewhat or very satisfied and a score of 70% or more would indicate that company is doing a good enough job to keep their customers happy.
Five ground rules to capture a great Customer Satisfaction Score
- Don’t survey too often – While it is important to conduct customer satisfaction surveys frequently, surveying too often will force your customers away. Experts recommend surveying around 25% of your customer base in every quarter instead of conducting surveys across your entire customer base each quarter or on the other hand, only doing annual surveys.
- Create a customer-friendly survey – Create a form that people will be able to access easily and will find it easy to fill out. Revise and rephrase ambiguous questions that customers may not understand. Include variety of options such as multiple choices, yes/no, agree/disagree and a range of satisfaction ratings.
- Conduct convenient surveys – Many customers find customer satisfaction surveys untimely, tiresome and obligatory and, as such, may resist answering them. You will therefore be losing Customer Satisfaction Score points. With the flexibility of time and space via email or short SMS/USSD surveys, customers usually love to share their thoughts.
- Don’t burden customers with too many questions – Evaluate the number of questions you ask. Narrow down on what you want to achieve and focus on those points only.
- Select words and questions carefully – Each word you choose has an impact on your customer, so structure questions clearly and include questions on what they like/dislike most about your services and products.
Once customer satisfaction surveys are completed, companies should use the data to improve their Customer Satisfaction Score. Focus on fixing areas that customers complained about and conduct training programs to improve employee proficiency and thoroughly investigate those issues raised by customers.