How to measure customer satisfaction? Sending out surveys by email?

#1
How to measure customer satisfaction?

We have been doing the sending out surveys by email to customers to try and fulfill this requirement. Truthfully this is simply minmimally meeting this requirement and doesn't truly give us a good measurement of whether or not our customers are satisfied.
 
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SteelMaiden

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#2
Sean, awhile back there was a discussion on this topic. I can't remember what all was stated, but there were some good ideas there. Try a search to see if that will help.
 

ccochran

Southern Gentleman
#3
Sean,

As far as surveys go, I advise companies to start with simpler tools
for gauging customer perceptions. The reason is that there are just so many ways a customer survey can go wrong. One the biggest ways it can go wrong is asking about the wrong satisfaction variables. If you haven't precisely identified exactly the few most important issues with your customers and addressed these in the survey instrument, you're probably not going to get good information back. And most companies don't really know what the most important issues are. Add to this problem the traps of writing confusing survey questions, using inappropriate response scales, not using valid methods to sample customers, sending the survey to the wrong person at the company, getting wrapped around the axle on statistical analysis of data, and you have "survey ****." Start simple, then try a quantitative customer survey when you feel very confident you've used the simpler tools to their fullest.

Open ended tools are especially good at capturing perceptions, because they are driven by the customer's concerns (not predetermined by the constraints of the survey instrument). Do open-ended tools produce quantitative data? No, but they can produce very timely and valuable information. ISO 9001:2000 simply asks you to define methods for obtaining and using information relating to customer perceptions. These satisfy that requirement and actually give you actionable information.

A very simple and effective tool you may want to consider is what I
refer to as a "call report." This is an open-ended tool that is typically performed by customer service personnel during existing customer telephone interactions. Another simple and effective tool is a "field report." This can also be open-ended, and it is typically administered by sales or technical people while they are on-site at the customer location. Both of these tools are discussed in this article of mine: http://www.qualitydigest.com/nov01/html/customer.html. They're also discussed in great detail in my book, along with a number of other methods.

I've attached examples of the call report and field report tools.

Good luck,
CC

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Craig Cochran
Center for International Standards & Quality
Georgia Institute of Technology
[email protected]
 

Attachments

howste

Thaumaturge
Super Moderator
#4
I also like to use the methods Craig explained above. In addition to survey types of measurements that gage customer satisfaction directly, I also like to consider some more indirect measurements when appropriate. Examples of these include % repeat customers, market share, sales, etc. These measurements show the decisions that customers have made based on their experiences with your organization - how they voted with their money.
 
V

vpickell

#5
Craig,
Great article :)
Really got me thinking on ways to measure customer satisfaction. This forum has been a life saver for me. Sometimes I get so involved that the blinders go on :frust: , so I escape to the forum and the sun shines again. :D
 
C

Craig H.

#6
Hi, all.

Let me correct something I said earlier. We just had our audit, and I either misunderstood the auditor the last audit, or things have changed slightly.

The emphasis seems to be on measurement, and the above method I advocated is subjective. As a result of our only nonconformance, we will be adding one question for each salesman to ask on their call, and then include the answer on the call report. What I am thinking of doing is having a "what is your overall impression of our company on a scale of 1 to 5?" type of question. That is one that anyone can answer, from the guy unloading the truck to the CEO. Then, the answers will be tabulated as I read the reports. should be pretty painless, and we may note areas where we are getting lower marks.

Sorry that I mislead you.

Craig
 

RoxaneB

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#7
Craig H. said:
The emphasis seems to be on measurement, and the above method I advocated is subjective. As a result of our only nonconformance, we will be adding one question for each salesman to ask on their call, and then include the answer on the call report. What I am thinking of doing is having a "what is your overall impression of our company on a scale of 1 to 5?" type of question. That is one that anyone can answer, from the guy unloading the truck to the CEO. Then, the answers will be tabulated as I read the reports. should be pretty painless, and we may note areas where we are getting lower marks.
If that kind of question works in your industry, Craig, great! Personally, I've never been fond of the "overall" question unless it's followed with the question "What can we do to serve you better?" or "What can we do to ensure we continue to successfully work with you" or something along those lines.

It's kind of like going to a restaurant and filling in that questionnaire about "How was your meal?" I mean...gee...what to focus on? Great food. Clumsy waitress. Missing cutlery. Smoky atmosphere. Too much for me to recall, when usually all I remember is the conversation at the table and the bad stuff about the restaurant.

Ask me what areas that I, as the Customer, would like you to focus on and that's where the gold mine of feedback comes into play!

We've had three rounds of suveys over the past 1.5 years and it's amazing to see the "trends" in the 'How can we serve you better?' field. We've had a high turnaround in the Sales area and Customer feedback has become increasingly more focused on Service-Sales and less focused on the actual quality of our final product (hey, we're good! :vfunny: )

The numerical value to areas like product quality, product availability, communication, etc. provide quick-and-dirty trends at a glance. The valuable stuff is in the Comments section.
 
C

Craig H.

#8
RC

I agree, the single, overall question really does not tell you much, except:

1. When there is other info included. Our salesmen, when given a 1 or 2, would certainly try to get more information. Also, if I can devise some sort of job code for the person answering - say 1 for purchasing, 2 for production, etc. we might get an idea where our strengths and weaknesses are.

2. If we experience a sudden average rise or drop, that might be a sign of trouble.

We thought about postcards, but think this is a better method for us. We are small enough that most managers have a good sense of what our customers are saying to the sales force, and some managers (myself included) have fairly regular contact with customers.

Craig
 

Cari Spears

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
#9
RCBeyette said:
Personally, I've never been fond of the "overall" question unless it's followed with the question "What can we do to serve you better?" or "What can we do to ensure we continue to successfully work with you" or something along those lines.
...
Ask me what areas that I, as the Customer, would like you to focus on and that's where the gold mine of feedback comes into play!
...
The numerical value to areas like product quality, product availability, communication, etc. provide quick-and-dirty trends at a glance. The valuable stuff is in the Comments section.
I couldn't agree more! Like the reputation feature here, the comment section tells you why.
 
M

mshell

#10
Customer Report Cards

Rather than start a new thread, I thought I would post this question here.

We have several customers that evaluate our performance on a regular basis. An ISO training facility told one of my auditors that the report card received from a customer could not be used to measure customer satisfaction.

My question is this.

If our customer sends me something in writing saying that they have evaluated us based on the issues that are important to their organization and my rating is 100% how can an auditor say that this is not a measurement of customer satisfaction?

Mshell
 
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