Archive for the 'Customer Satisfaction Surveys' Category

In a prior blog post titled How to Understand Your Customers Better using Focus Groups, I reviewed the reasons for an organization to want to run a focus group and what the elements were of customer satisfaction research using this technique. This article reviews the preparation steps to run a successful focus group.

Many organizations use satisfaction surveys to keep a pulse on their customers. The objective is to be able to create a numerical measurement with some statistical validation. Surveys have their place but there is another form of customer satisfaction data that is purely qualitative, that is, opened ended, dynamic and flexible. It provides for a greater depth of understanding of your customers, and provides the language the customers use when discussing your products or services. One technique to gather this data is called a focus group.

Buying or selling a home is a major financial transaction for all concerned. Picking an agent to list with or an agent to help find a home is a decision that often involves word of mouth recommendations. As a result, it is very important for a broker to monitor it’s customer satisfaction ratings for its agents and for the brokerage as a whole.Real Satisfied is a service provides a realtor with a system to measure customer satisfaction both at the broker level and for multiple real estate agents working for them.

Customers who are unhappy tell their friends about it. With social media, that information spreads faster than ever before.

We also know that some customers who are happy tell their friends, write reviews and spread the word using traditional new internet techniques as well.

The real challenge is how to turn satisfied customers into these ‘advocates’ or ‘promoters’. An advocate actively spreads positive word of mouth about their experiences. An advocate can help your organization obtain new customers and prospects.

American Express has been focused on improving the number of customers who are ‘promoters’ and would recommend them to family and friends. Here is how they changed their culture to accomplish this mission.

The real challenge is how to turn satisfied customers into these ‘advocates’ or ‘promoters’.

Fonolo has an interesting application that allows consumers to navigate a company’s voice response menus on a PC or an iPhone, enter a number for a call back and get called back by the next available agent. This front end can be implemented without changing an organization’s entire system. Customers may like the alternative to waiting on hold, increasing customer satisfaction and agents may be more productive handling problems they are trained for , without having to transfer customers.

Most customer satisfaction surveys are made up of more than one question. Using data analysis, it is possible to determine what areas an organization should focus on; what to fix and what to continue doing well. Find the key drivers for customer satisfaction and make them part of your management focus.

The Consumerist, an online resource for consumers to learn and report about their issues, recently exposed a situation at a Ford Dealership where a customer was advised that if he didn’t rate the service he received as satisfied, the personnel at the dealership would be financially impacted. In addition, there was an implied threat that the customer would no longer be able to get good service for his car at that dealership in the future, if a bad score was given as they would know about his complaint.

7 Techniques to Understand Your Customers

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

A prior blog post called Customer Satisfaction Tip: Understand Your Customer reviewed why it was important to understand your customer and what it really meant to understand. Three company examples were included, IBM, Cisco and Apple. This post covers seven techniques and best practices to understand your customers, theirs needs, wants, wishes, complaints, concerns, and the terminology they use.

One of the biggest problems with satisfaction surveys is that many customers won’t fill them in. Many surveys are boring, asking too many detailed questions and consumers get bothered too often. Internet and mobile technology allow for new methods of engaging customers. Here are some of the old techniques I have seen recently in surveys I have completed, followed by some new techniques you might not have considered. My thanks to Qualtrics for demonstrating these new survey and market research techniques and allowing me to use excerpts from their demo materials in this post.

One of the challenging aspects of designing a customer satisfaction survey is determining what kind of questions to ask. The usual process involves asking an overall satisfaction question, either at the beginning or the end of the survey and several questions about aspects of the experience to drill down to a lower level of detail, in order to better understand what has the most impact on customer satisfaction. One of the key elements that is often overlooked in measuring customer satisfaction is how important each element of the experience is to a customer. Both are needed.

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