Customer Satisfaction Survey

Topics: Marketing, Customer service, Customer Pages: 5 (1164 words) Published: January 20, 2009

Customer satisfaction surveys are important tools for measuring the success or forecasting the future of a product or service. They often predict or explain sales trends, and can give clear information on what changes will improve the bottom line. Customer satisfaction is essential to the survival of any business. Its basic aim is to find out whether customers are satisfied? The best way to find out whether customers are satisfied is to ask them.

When To Conduct A Customer Satisfaction Survey

The best time to conduct a customer satisfaction survey is when the experience is fresh in their minds. If you wait to conduct a survey, the customer's response may be less accurate. He may have forgotten some of the details. She may answer about a later event or may color the answers because of confusion with other visits.

Type of satisfaction to be measured

There are two types of satisfaction surveys, transactional and image-based. Transactional satisfaction. Each time a customer interacts with the company there is a transaction - whether it is a sales call, a support e-mail, opening invoice or using a product. Many companies use ongoing transactional satisfaction measurements to monitor customer service, support or sales groups over time.

Image-based satisfaction. Every customer has an overall impression of the company. These opinions are based on the sum of their transactions, their beliefs about your competitors, what value they place in the product or service, and impressions that their friends or colleagues may have shared. Regular image-based analysis is vital to understanding the company's strategic position with their customers and in their marketplace.

Although it is feasible to measure both types of satisfaction in one survey, it's not recommended. Respondents find it confusing, because it forces them to think in two very different ways at the same time. It is better to conduct separate surveys, with a few of the same questions, and then compare results from ongoing transactional surveys with results gathered from quarterly image-based studies.

STEPS IN Customer Satisfaction Survey:

1.Identify Your Customers: Who to Measure

To get valid results, one needs to identify who to measure and when. Here again, there are significant differences between transactional and image-based surveys. Transactional surveys is can be conducted only among regular customers. For image-based surveys, the "respondent" need not be the purchaser of a product or service. Channel partners, distributors, consultants, advertisers, past or prospective buyers, and competitors' customers can be extremely valuable sources of information.

Frontline employees can also be included in the customer satisfaction analysis - they have extremely valuable opinions about how things should be done! One has to put significant thought into who is to be surveyed so as to get a true understanding of where the company fits in the market.

2.Critical Performance Attributes: What to Measure

Next, you need to identify what you need to measure. Referred to as "Performance Attributes" it refers to the key elements that shape satisfaction. According to the AMA Handbook for Customer Satisfaction, the following performance attributes are appropriate for most companies to measure: Attributes related to the product

Value-price relationship
Product quality
Product benefits
Product features
Product design
Product reliability and consistency
Range of products or services offered by your company
Attributes related to service
Guarantee or warranty
Complaint handling
Resolution of problems
Attributes related to purchase (or transactions)
Ease or convenience of acquisition (either buying the product or using theservice) •Company reputation
Company competence
Satisfaction alone is not a predictor of future purchases. Another area that...
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