Another "easy way to measure customer satisfaction is through a simple, binary survey at the conclusion of each customer support interaction," says Timothy Delaney, vice president Customer Success at Directworks, which provides sourcing software for manufacturers. "For example, we use the Zendesk customer service software platform, and a simple 'Good — I'm Satisfied' or 'Bad — I'm Unsatisfied' rating for each help desk ticket is captured. Zendesk also lets you measure your results against the aggregated scores of other Zendesk customers in your industry, and provides an easy to use feed to our corporate website so the whole world can see how we are performing."
As for how often you should survey customers, there is no general consensus — except to not to do it so frequently (e.g., daily, weekly or even monthly) that it becomes an annoyance.
"We created a custom survey that customers receive via email once every 90 days, so frequent customers don't get overwhelmed," says Kevin Gibson, marketing technologist, AlphaGraphics Bountiful, a provider of marketing solutions and business printing.
"When customers are happy, we go the extra step and ask them to either review us online or ask for a professional referral. So not only are we keeping a gauge on our customers, [but we] build business as well," Gibson says. "Maybe more importantly, when customers are unhappy it allows us to react quickly to remedy the problem and do what we can to keep the customer. Luckily this hasn't come up that often, but it has been a life saver the few times it has."
"Our company measures customer satisfaction by allowing users simply to leave telephonic feedback on a 1-to-10 scale at the conclusion of their conversation with a phone representative," explains David Reischer, Internet marketing manager, Legal Marketing Pages. "This method of measuring feedback is helpful because it allows us to gauge how responsive our customer care staff is in assisting our customers."
4. Conduct focus groups. "Focus groups are an excellent way to have a relaxed conversation with your customers," says Pat Campbell, marketing coordinator, Legal Marketing Pages. "A focus group is a great environment to see how your customer reacts to your product and how they behave while using your product. It is a great way to measure customer satisfaction, gather ideas about customer needs and so forth."
5. Check and solicit customer reviews. "A business can gain invaluable feedback on customer satisfaction from online reviews," says Laurie A. Sossa, partner, QualStudios Market Research. "Businesses can have their own blog or website or keep up with reviews on Yelp and Facebook and other social media sites. This is where you will see how your customers are describing you, what they are discussing about you, and what they are asking of you for the next time, enabling you to measure their satisfaction."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.