Customer Satisfaction Surveys -- Increasing Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty, Sales and Profit
Customer satisfaction surveys are a very cost-effective way to identify what companies need to do to execute breakthrough increases in customer satisfaction, engagement and loyalty, generating increases sales and profit. Achieving consistently high levels of customer satisfaction is one of the best ways for any company to compete effectively, grow their customer base and increase profit. This article describes the reasons for and benefits of conducting an annual customer satisfaction survey.
Increasing Customer Engagement, Customer Satisfaction, Company Growth and Profit
Your business and consumer customers have a wealth of information and insight about what it is like to be a customer of your company. Many of your customers are also customers of your competitors.
Your customers know what can be done to improve your company's quality, products and services, customer service, communications with customers and other criteria important to achieving total customer satisfaction and loyalty.
While most companies are aware of the need to take action and make improvements to become more competitive, they often miss important hidden actions that can really make a difference for customers. That's where customer surveys come in, uncovering the hidden information you need to compete more effectively.
Compelling need for customer satisfaction surveys / customer opinion surveys
Customer satisfaction surveys provide the information and insight you need to keep existing customers and attract new customers. Here are six compelling reasons demonstrating the payback from customer satisfaction surveys:
1. It costs 5 to 10 times more to attract new customers than it costs to keep existing customers
2. Most dissatisfied customers don't complain directly
3. But when customers are dissatisfied, they all complain to friends and business associates
4. Some dissatisfied customers remain as customers, but buy less
5. Other dissatisfied customers leave…they become customers of your competitors
6. Loyal customers buy more and recommend your company, products and services to friends and business associates
Product, Sales, Service, Psychological and other Factors Driving Customer Satisfaction and Sales
Your customers behave, act, purchase and recommend based on their experiences, what they are hearing, how they feel and what they believe about your company, your products, your employees and your sales and service execution. Customer opinion surveys and customer satisfaction surveys should be created with the important psychological factors that drive employee performance in mind.
Customer Satisfaction Survey / Customer Opinion Survey Metrics
Customer satisfaction survey ratings provide a clear picture of current and ongoing levels of performance and satisfaction. Customer comments and suggestions provide highly actionable information and insight for achieving breakthrough results.
Customer survey metrics include the following and other service, sales, performance and customer focused criteria, depending on the type of customer survey being conducted and the industry:
1.Product and service features, styles, efficacy, competitiveness, quality and reliability features, styles, efficacy, competitiveness
2.Customer awareness and satisfaction with products and services
3. Product and services pricing
4. Marketing and advertising effectiveness
5. Customer loyalty / likelihood of retaining customers
6. Company image / company and product reputation
7. Pricing competitiveness
8. Customer engagement
9. Willingness of customers to recommend your company, products and services
10. Ease and time required to contact a service representative with inquiries and problems
11. Waiting time
12. Timeliness and effectiveness of problem resolution
13. Courtesy/attitude/professionalism/knowledge/responsiveness of sales and customer service staff
14. Creativity of employees
15. Communications effectiveness
16. Availability, effectiveness, empowerment of sales and service staff
17. Satisfaction with and effectiveness of sales, field service & customer service
18. Web site, call center and customer self-service availability, access and effectiveness
19. Satisfaction levels of customers sorted by their demographics
20. Satisfaction levels of customers sorted by your company's demographics (location, sales and service representative, etc.)
21. Satisfaction with access and hours of operation of sales and service locations
22. Satisfaction with the sales and service environment and policies
23. Timelines in meeting deadlines
24. Usefulness / ease of use of company website
25. Handling product returns
26. Product shipping
27. Customer purchasing experience
Benefits of Customer Satisfaction Surveys / Customer Opinion Surveys
Customer satisfaction surveys and customer opinion surveys generate significant bottom-line benefits and a very strong payback:
1. Learn what it takes to achieve breakthrough increases in customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention
2. Gain insight for attracting new customers
3. Identify cross-sales opportunities
4. Discover ideas for new products and services
5. Manage moments of truth more effectively
6. Gain insight for prioritizing performance improvement initiatives and projects
7. Make significant improvements in customer service and sales attribute performance including timeliness, professionalism, courtesy, knowledge, communications with customers, problem resolution effectiveness, etc.
8. Improve communications with customers
9. Enhance customers' experience with your company
10. Increase service quality and productivity
11. Make better, more objective decisions based on customer feedback
12. Identify problems and opportunities by location, communication channel, and other criteria
13. Identify and fix recurring problems impacting customers
14. Send an important message to customers and employees that management cares about customers and their opinions
15. Become more competitive
Your Employees are a Very Critical Driver of Customer Satisfaction
During a CNBC interview on September 16, 2009, Home Depot’s CFO Carol Tomé was asked if Home Depot has been focusing on and improving customer service. In recent years there was a perception that customer service had deteriorated as compared with Home Depot’s earlier years. Carol said they definitely have been working on improving customer service and that you can always improve further. Home Depot’s customer satisfaction problems are not unique to them. Most business have significant problems satisfying, attracting and keeping customers.
Carol Tomé said “if we take care of our Associates (Home Depot’s employees), they will take care of our customers. Home Depot knows that their customers can shop at Lowes and other competitors and that Home Depot needs to earn their customers’ business.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Howard Deutsch is CEO of Quantisoft, a full service survey company. Our broad range of employee surveys, customer surveys, IT customer satisfaction surveys and risk surveys help companies increase their performance. Contact Howard at (609) 409-9945 or hdeutschatquantisoft.com