Why Customer Satisfaction Surveys are the Secret Ingredient to Success

feedback-form--excellent_2866529Are you wondering how to measure customer satisfaction? Measuring customer satisfaction is a critical part of improving the results that you get all across your organization. Unfortunately, many brands both large and small fall short when it comes to measuring customer satisfaction. This is especially true of small- and medium-sized businesses.

Business owners might not be quite sure how to measure customer satisfaction. Well, the big secret is really not so secret at all: It”s the customer survey. A customer survey is practically the only way to get direct, actionable feedback from your customers! So, why are customer satisfaction surveys so underused? Well, there is one major reason:

Most people won”t fill out customer satisfaction surveys …

At least, not if you don”t approach them the right way! Sometimes, customer survey questions are too long, too confusing, too difficult, or too invasive for most people to answer. To get on the road to measuring customer satisfaction, first make sure your customer survey questions are simple and to-the point. Then, make sure you”re handling each step the right way.

How to Ask a Customer to Fill Out a Customer Satisfaction Survey

Customers are most likely to fill out a survey when they are having an “extreme” experience … that is, extremely good or extremely bad! Of course, that fact alone prejudices the kind of results that you might get. The best way to get a response from a representative sample of your customers is simply to make sure that you ask them about it at the point of sale.

To get people to participate in your survey, you have to make a strategic decision about which offers you want your associates to mention at the register. Once a customer has said “no” to two offers, they”ll be out of patience by the time they hear the third one! Consider taking a week to focus only on the customer service survey and not mention discount cards or other perks.

How to Get Customers to Actually Participate in a Customer Satisfaction Survey

Okay, so you”ve made the decision to focus on getting those survey answers in … but to do that, you have to make this a genuine “offer,” something that customers will respond to. You have a few different options here, but the decision has to be immediate, and there has to be a just-as-immediate benefit to filling out your survey that will be worth the customers” thirty seconds.

Incentives for filling out a survey can include things like entry into a drawing or raffle, for example. However, most people don”t necessarily consider themselves lucky: They might prefer a sure thing. Consider printing up coupons that you will only distribute to customers who fill out the survey. Use an online system to confirm receipt of their answers when they visit next time.

What to Do When You Get Results from Measuring Customer Satisfaction

Of course, getting answers isn”t enough! To do something about them, you have to keep track of them. This is why it”s important to have several “closed” questions where people will rate various aspects of their experience with a scale from 1-5. A scale of 1-10 can be confusing for customers and harder to track. You should also have a space where they can make comments.

All the information you get should be entered into a standardized form, such as a spreadsheet, so that you can compare results over time. When you get “open-ended comments,” look at ways to act on them. If your survey asks for ways to get in touch with the customer, it is a good idea to only do this if you”ve taken specific action on their comment and want to get their attention.

The Biggest Reason to Use Surveys … and Keep Using Them Until They Work!

Customers really appreciate knowing that their feedback counts! Measuring satisfaction is the key to improving it … and building a brand that people feel is responsive to their needs. You simply can”t buy that kind of publicity, so gathering customer feedback is worth it.

Over time, you can get great results by experimenting with implementing customer suggestions. Make sure your questions are specific enough so that you can improve store performance: For example, low customer service scores might mean associates could use further training, while low cleanliness scores point to different needs in terms of your facilities.

Of course, you can”t do it without information, so get started today!