Of all of the different types of market research projects an organization can pursue, a customer satisfaction survey (CSAT survey) is likely the most widely used. Why? The process is simple and informative. Doesn't every organization want to know how they are performing? What do customers or users think about their product or service? Hopefully the answer is yes.
The results from a customer satisfaction survey are used to drive improvements and measure performance. CSAT studies typically involve a baseline or benchmark study with subsequent follow-up waves of regular surveying. Every day, every week, every month, every quarter, etc.
A customer satisfaction survey is easy to set up. Here is a the simple 4 step process to have you up and running in no time.
Step 1: Define Your Objectives
The first step for any market research is to define your objectives. Ask your team these 3 simple questions: (1) What do you want to learn from the customer satisfaction survey? (2) What are your expectations of the customer satisfaction survey? (3) How do you plan to use the customer satisfaction survey results?
Once you have answers to these, you'll have a more clearly defined vision and end-goal. Once you know what you want at the end of the day, you can work backwards to set up a process and workplan to get you there. Make sure you define your objectives here fully. If you do not, your customer satisfaction might be set up to fail. Garbage in. Garbage out.
Step 2: Determine In-House or Outsource
This is a key step in your process. There are benefits to conducting both in-house and using a third-party customer satisfaction survey company. We'll touch on some of those highlights below.
Benefits of DIY (Do It Yourself)
The most commonly mentioned benefit of in-house client satisfaction surveying is the perceived cost savings. I say perceived because if you have little experience with customer satisfaction surveys you'll likely take a lot more time than an expert. If you make any mistakes, it will also take a lot more time to fix and straighten out. So the fact that you are not paying out to a third-party looks good on your budget and on-paper, but what other priorities won't you be able to accomplish if you are spending all of your time on the market research project? Something to think about.
Benefits of Outsourcing
There are several here. They center around perspective, context, benchmarking, expertise, and guidance. Using a third-party helps with perspective and context meaning the customer satisfaction company can share how your results compare to other organizations they have worked with. They will tell you if 68% is good or bad. This expertise and guidance throughout the process and ensuring you ask the right unbiased questions proves critical.
Using a third-party also helps acquire honest and unbiased responses. By using a third-party customers will be more up-front about their feedback. If you conduct the survey on your own, customers may not be willing to share the whole truth if they know you'll be reviewing the specifics.
Benchmarking is another key factor of using a third-party. We talk about 4 benchmarks in market research all the time. These include comparing your CSAT scores to best-in-class companies (Amazon, Apple, JetBlue, etc.), industry peers (other companies in your industry across the country), key competitors (your local or regional competitors), and your own company (comparing CSAT scores wave-over-wave). A good customer satisfaction survey firm can help you structure these into your analysis.
Step 3: Collect Lists
Once you have your objectives and path forward laid out you'll want to begin collecting your lists. These lists will often determine which methodology is best suited for the research. We always recommend using email surveys as a first step with customer surveys. Online surveys are cost-effective and timely. However, if you collect phone numbers or mailing addresses, phone or mail surveys could be another possibility for your organization. These are both more costly and take longer to conduct. This database or contact list is what you will use to move forward with your customer satisfaction survey process.
Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of these Voice of Customer (VoC) methodologies.
Step 4: Outline Survey Questions
Now that you have your objectives, client satisfaction survey partner, and lists outlined, the next step is to outline your questions for your customer satisfaction survey. Here are 6 key performance indicators (KPIs) you should consider measuring as part of your efforts. Start with an outline when drafting survey questions. These surveys often involve a lot of programming and routing, so making changes after the survey is formally programmed is much more difficult than making simple changes to an outline. Once the team agrees on the outline and questions, it is easier to take next steps. Then you'll be ready to roll!
Contact Drive Research
Drive Research is a customer satisfaction survey company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team works with clients across the country to assist with customer satisfaction survey needs. We work with clients to customize a client satisfaction survey, manage the process, analyze the results, and consult with them to take action and make improvements.
4 ways to contact Drive Research: