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.

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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