Businesses that consistently deliver quality services or products to their respective markets usually have mastered the art of customer satisfaction. This is not a walk in the park. Sustained customer satisfaction means that you have a way to measure customer experience, fix any issues, and improve from time to time.
Unfortunately, customer satisfaction is often difficult to measure, because satisfied customers frequently don’t feel the need to contact you to offer their feedback. And they can easily skimp on providing honest feedback regarding the flaws that they quietly grumble about. Satisfaction metrics are also extremely difficult to quantify, being unique to each individual customer.
On the brighter side, measuring customer satisfaction doesn’t have to be complicated. You can simplify the activity by choosing how you’re going to measure it. To make your choice, consider the type of services or products you’re offering, the number and type of customers you’re serving and how long or how frequently your business interacts with your customers.
Here are the three different approaches you can take to measure customer satisfaction, and when it would be best to use each.
Periodic Satisfaction Surveys
Measuring customer satisfaction can be as simple as gathering customer feedback by way of surveys. You can do so yourself or hire a firm such as POTLOC to survey your clients. This simply involves asking the customers about their experience with your product or service.
Unless a customer is really upset for some reason, they won’t always have the time to send you their feedback on your service or product. It’s up to you to ask them for it from time to time, because you’ll want to get occasional snapshots of what customers think about your offerings. Periodic satisfaction surveys also help you learn how the experience of repeat customers changes over time.
To gather customer feedback via surveys, consider asking them through email, mail, or over the phone to gauge their experience with your business, preferably on a weighted scale.
Post-Purchase Customer Satisfaction Surveys
You could also choose to collect customer feedback right after they get a service or buy a product from your business. This kind of customer satisfaction survey reflects the individual customer’s satisfaction with the offering immediately after the transaction has been completed.
If you’re looking to build a lasting relationship with the individual customer, then consider the post-purchase satisfaction survey approach. This should give you immediate feedback on how to improve the product or service so that the customer can have a better experience next time.
Continuous Satisfaction Surveys
The other option is to carry out several post-purchase evaluations, or periodic customer satisfaction surveys, on a regular basis. Once you have a series of similar surveys, you can identify trends. This approach is necessary if you want to ensure that the desired level of quality is maintained, long-term.
Whichever approach you choose, if they’re done right, these surveys should provide you with a clear understanding of your customer’s experiences and what they expect, so that you can make any adjustments accordingly.
By Winnie Kotieno