Satisfaction surveys – measuring CSAT effectively
Orienting your business towards meeting and exceeding customer expectations is a primary concern for every enterprise. Not only does doing so help to create brand differentiation and customer loyalty, it allows businesses to anticipate trends and remain relevant. For that reason, conducting and interpreting CSAT surveys effectively, significantly maximizes profitability and nurtures a positive engagement with target audiences.
A recent study, commissioned by ClickFox, reports that up to 52% of customers are likely to tell friends and family about receiving inadequate standards in service or an unsatisfactory purchase experience. Of those surveyed, 35% opted to terminate their relationship with the given business altogether (1). These results are not entirely surprising because recent trends and options in service have tremendously empowered customers across industries. As a result, businesses can no longer depend on customers to continue relationships habitually, or because of a reluctance to try alternatives. It’s not all bad, there do appear to be many positives for businesses to explore.
Customers actively seeking high standards of service are an opportunity for smart businesses
A recent RightNow Technologies report has found that a decisive 86% of U.S. adults are willing to pay more for a better customer experience (2). Customers also appear to be more willing to meet businesses half-way in the provision of personal data to facilitate customized service – including in sectors as sensitive as finance (3). A recent American Express survey reports that 81% of Americans feel that businesses are meeting or exceeding their service expectations (4). Furthermore, 84% of Millennials – whose break from traditional customer loyalty trends has often been seen as a significant challenge for CRM to address – actually outstripped older respondents (79%) in expressing their satisfaction. Clearly, businesses investing into a focus on customer satisfaction stand to be rewarded by an appreciative audience despite changes in customer behavior.
An effective CSAT survey process is the cornerstone to operating a business optimally
The results of a recent ProfitWell report indicate that customer acquisition costs have escalated dramatically, in recent years – rising by 50% in just the last five years (5). Inducing repeat engagement in previous customers and investing in customer lifetime value is, very significantly, the smarter customer engagement strategy.
Thus, an understanding of customer expectations, and an effective process to extract actionable insights from customers, is critical to the success and ongoing viability of the modern businesses.
Measuring CSAT effectively is a matter of coherent processes and insightful interpretation
A simple, intelligent framework with sensible interpretation of the data gathered, is essential to an effective CSAT process. Here are a few important considerations that can contribute to your success:
- Set clear strategic goals and priorities. Any process that relies so fundamentally on elements as fluid as opinions and expectations, requires a clearly conceived set of metrics and filters to give it context. It’s critical that enterprises are clear in the specifics of the engagement.
- Identify the data to be gathered and how it is to be processed. CSAT is essentially a dynamic and ongoing metric of measure. Intelligent planning and an effective incorporation into business process are fundamental to success.
- The methodology used to gather it, will influence data. Businesses have multiple channels to seek the input of their customers – from online surveys and telephone interviews to focus groups and face to face engagement. Target demographics, the line of inquiry and the goals of the study must be taken into account when identifying the preferred methodology.
- Pairing the right scale to the data in question. In the case of customer feedback, the data being gathered is especially sensitive to how the scale is perceived by the respondent. Scales of 1 to 10 generate very distinct data sets to those being measured across a scale from “very dissatisfied” to “very satisfied”. It is important that these inherent implications are acknowledged during interpretation.
- Incorporating the measurement of CSAT into the larger business process. In order for a CSAT survey to be a driver of growth, the data gathered must feed into an effective process. Thus, a well organized structure and organization-wide ownership of the process is essential to delivering business advantages.
Organizing business around meeting and exceeding customer expectations is a no brainer for a proactive enterprise. Therefore, measuring customer satisfaction effectively is a critically important function. Customer satisfaction surveys are not just a way of showing that you care, they are a powerful tool for enhancing and optimizing any business model. In conclusion, a few basic priorities and precautions – when creating, implementing and interpreting a CSAT survey – can have far reaching transformative effects for an enterprise.