“To do successful research, you don’t need to know everything; you just need to know of one thing that isn’t known.”
Research is investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts about the unknown. Research is an attempt to understand the world in general.
Every company needs customer satisfaction information in order to serve customers now and in future. Customer satisfaction is the key to the success of every organization. Satisfaction in the recent era of consumer domain is interpreted as fulfillment response. Fulfillment means a consumption goal that is known as in basic motives of hunger, thirst and safety. Researchers/Experts by analyzing human behavior concluded understanding of these goals can be frequently modified and updated in various ways. Hence consumer researchers have moved away from satisfaction to consumer experiences and describe it.
“Satisfaction is the consumer’s fulfillment response. It is a judgment that a product or service feature, or the product or service itself, provided (or is providing) a pleasurable level of consumption-related fulfillment, including levels of under- or over-fulfillment”
Customer satisfaction studies reveal how customers feel about customer service. They do not reveal why. Customer service measurement reveals the “why” that stimulates continuous improvement. Essentially, satisfaction studies report perceptions and service studies report performance.
Customer-driven companies want customer satisfaction information on which to base long-term strategies. They also want information to help them serve customers better right now. Can one set of data serve both short-term and long-term needs? Is a customer satisfaction study a substitute for a mystery shopping study?
How do we find out whether our customers are satisfied? The best way to find out whether your customers are satisfied is to ask them.
When you conduct a customer satisfaction survey, what you ask the customers is important. How, when, and how often you ask these questions are also important. However, the most important thing about conducting a customer satisfaction survey is what you do with their answers.
You can conduct the research in two ways :
- Offline survey
- Online survey
How You Ask Whether Customers Are Satisfied?
There are many ways to ask your customers whether or not they are satisfied with your company, your products, and the service they received.
You can ask them:
As they are about to walk out of your store or office, ask them.
- Call them on the phone
If you have their phone number, and their permission, you can call them after their visit and ask how satisfied they are.
- Mail them a questionnaire
This technique has been used for a long time. The results are predictable.
- Email them a customer satisfaction survey
Be careful to not violate Spam laws
- Email them an invitation to take a customer satisfaction survey
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. He may color his answers because of confusion with other visits. She may confuse you with some other company.
What To Ask In A Customer Satisfaction Survey?
There is a school of thought that you only need to ask a single question in a customer satisfaction survey. That question is, “will you buy from me again?” While it is tempting to reduce your customer satisfaction survey to this supposed “essence”, you miss a lot of valuable information and you can be easily misled.
It is too easy for a customer to answer yes to the “will you buy from me again?”, whether they mean it or not. You want to ask other questions in a customer satisfaction survey to get closer to the expected behavior and to collect information about what to change and what to keep doing.
Ask the basic customer satisfaction questions:
- How satisfied are you with the purchase you made (of a product or service)
- How satisfied are you with the service you received?
- How satisfied are you with our company overall?
And ask the customer loyalty questions”
- How likely are you to buy from us again?
- How likely are you to recommend our product/service to others
- How likely are you to recommend our company to others.
How Often Should You Conduct A Customer Satisfaction Survey
The best answer is “often enough to get the most information, but not so often as to upset the customer”. In real terms, the frequency with which you conduct a customer satisfaction survey depends on the frequency with which you interact with your customers. My state renews driver’s licenses for five-year periods. It would be silly for them to ask me each year what I thought of my last renewal experience. Conversely, if I survey the commuters on my rapid transit system once a year, I will miss important changes in their attitudes that may be driven by seasonal events.
Selecting the right sample to survey is the most important part of the survey. As you will conduct the survey once and based on the survey you will prepare your short-term and long-term business strategy.
What To Do With Answers From A Customer Satisfaction Survey?
Regardless of how I ask my customers for their feedback, what I ask them in the customer satisfaction survey, and when I survey them, the most important part of the customer satisfaction survey is what I do with their answers.
Yes, I need to compile the answers from different customers. I need to look for trends. I should look for differences by region and/or product. However, I most need to act on the information I get from my customers through this survey. I need to fix the things the customers have complained about. I need to investigate their suggestions. I need to improve my company and product in those areas the mean the most to the most of my customers. I need to not change those things that they like. Most importantly I need to give them feedback that their answers were appreciated and are being acted upon. That feedback can be individual responses to the customers if appropriate, or it can simply be fixing the things that they tell you need to be fixed.
Satisfaction is largely psychological for which one is advised to measure it along the lines suggested to get the best result. Research methodology is used in every field and the result is used for taking strategic decisions by the top management.