Customer Satisfaction SurveyMost 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.

Best Practices and Techniques

1.Overall Satisfaction Question

Most questionnaires ask an overall satisfaction question, either at the beginning or at the end. This is an important question which is often what is reported to management.

2. Compare Overall Satisfaction based on position in a questionnaire

Some questionnaires ask the overall satisfaction question both at the beginning and the end. The rationale for this is interesting. The beginning question is the customer’s first impression. After the customer has gone through more questions, about the nature of the product, service, transaction or relationship, they often think about additional factors, not considered in the original first impression. This may move their rating of overall satisfaction, up or down.

If the survey is multiple questions and they don’t appear on the same ‘page’ (for an on line survey), you may be able to ask the question twice and compare the results.

Did the scores go up or down from the start of the questionnaire to the end?

If  your survey is  short, you can try moving the question.  Try the overall satisfaction questions at the beginning  on some surveys and at the end, on other surveys. Analyze if the average of  the overall satisfaction scores is different depending on where the question is placed.

3. Rank the questions by the highest scores to the lowest scores.

Include the overall satisfaction question. Where is the overall satisfaction question? Is it near the top of the list or near the bottom? What are the top rated 5 questions? What are the bottom 5? The top rated questions are those things the customer feels you are doing right. The bottom rated questions are opportunities for you to improve. You will need to find out why those are rated so low.

4. Correlate the detailed questions to the overall satisfaction question.

a When the satisfaction question rates high, what other questions are also high?

b. When the overall satisfaction question rates high, what other questions rate low? Your most satisfied customers are telling you where to improve.

c. When the overall satisfaction question rates very low, what other questions are also rated low?

d. When the overall satisfaction question rates very low, what other questions rate high. Even your most dissatisfied customers are telling you what you do well.

5. Key Driver Analysis

Look at the responses to 4b and 4d. Are the same questions in both lists? These questions are your key drivers of customer satisfaction.

For example at IBM, in Software support, we found that if the customer rated us high overall, they also rated speed of resolution high. If they rated us low, speed of resolution was also rated low. That means speed of resolution is a key driver of customer satisfaction for software support.

6. Management Focus

Identify your key drivers. Focus on ensuring you always deliver well against those key drivers. Those are the areas on which to focus management attention.


Analyzing the data from a customer satisfaction survey can help determine what you are doing well, what you are doing poorly and key drivers that can influence overall satisfaction the most.

What techniques to you use with your data analysis? Leave a comment below.


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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

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