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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Are your customers happy - sales-i provide advice on writing customer satisfaction surveys

Date: 11-Jul-2018

Mick Jagger famously sang about his lack of satisfaction, and if your customers ever feel that way, they won’t remain your customers for long. Monitoring customer satisfaction is a vital part of any customer relationship management strategy. No matter how frequently you’re in contact or ‘feel’ that things are going well, asking your customers how they rate your service or products will strengthen the relationship. You’ll know when is the right time to upsell, or fan any relationship flames before they grow into a fire. Not only that, it will give you greater insight into what your customers’ needs are and give a future steer on R&D, changes needed to your processes or indeed, personnel.

It may feel like extra effort to compile, and make you feel a little apprehensive about potential negative results, but it’s vital to know how your customers feel about your business offering. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Happy customers are promoters – keeping your customers happy will make them far more likely to promote your service or products to others. Keeping them satisfied is therefore a major part of your marketing strategy, after all, word-of-mouth is the most cost-effective channel.
  • It shows that you care – by asking for feedback, you are showing your customers how much they are valued and how you are striving to keep them satisfied.
  • Customer insights drive decisions – whilst knowing what’s going on in the wider market is important, it can be costly and time consuming. Keeping abreast of your biggest customers’ opinions will have the biggest impact on your business in the short term, and will drive decisions in terms of changes (or successes that should be further replicated) in process, new product development and personnel working on certain accounts.
  • Knowing about issues early helps to solve them quicker – it’s much easier to save a relationship that is starting to crumble, than rebuild one that has collapsed.
  • Spot opportunities – knowing that a customer is happy makes it much easier to target them with an upsell, new product trial, or as the subject for a testimonial or case study for marketing purposes.
Your customers are integral to your business’ success and their satisfaction level impacts every department.

There are two main lines of customer satisfaction survey metrics you can use, and which you choose will depend on your length of relationship with the customer, frequency of custom and what area of the business you want to assess the performance of. These are:

  • Net promoter score (NPS)
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

How you go about measuring customer satisfaction from the results of a customer satisfaction survey depends on the question format you use. Remember that old adage – to get the right answers, you need to ask the right questions!

Make sure your survey…
  • Has a mix of closed, scale based questions and open questions for detailed feedback.
  • When using a likert scale, make sure that the scale is described clearly eg. 5 = extremely satisfied, 1 = extremely dissatisfied.
  • Has a limited number of questions – it’s meant to be a survey, not war and peace!
  • Avoids questions that can be misinterpreted – make sure they are simple and clear.
  • Features tailored questions – make sure the survey is relevant to your customers, you may need to tailor it to customers who buy a certain amount of products per year for example.
  • Isn’t just a standard template – make sure the customer can detect your brand and tone of voice from the questions asked. Familiarity is key to open and honest answers.
A customer satisfaction survey is a key part of your CRM strategy. Another is the right CRM software. To maintain effective customer relationships and give your company the best chance of receiving positive feedback every time, choose sales-i CRM software.

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