Although a customer satisfaction and performance evaluation is required as part of your ISO 9001 compliance, much more value can be gained for manufacturers by thinking more strategically about this mandatory market research. Although the ISO customer satisfaction survey must be designed to determine how well you perform, understand unmet needs, generate ideas for improvement, and identify new opportunities, several other strategic opportunities exist. Opportunities which should be taken advantage of under the ISO 9001 umbrella.
Since the ISO 9001 customer feedback survey and tools need to regularly monitor performance, it's worth the time to design a comprehensive and informative survey from the onset. A well-designed survey will ensure you can benchmark key statistics down the road. It will also ensure you have the data you need for reporting and actionable next steps.
Designing the right ISO 9001 customer satisfaction will ensure you set your organization up for success.
Here are some questions manufacturers should consider as part of their ISO 9001 customer satisfaction survey efforts:
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Very simply, NPS measures likelihood to recommend. It uses a 0 to 10 scale with "10" being very likely to recommend and groups respondents into 9 and 10 ratings (promoters), 7 and 8 ratings (passives), and 0 to 6 ratings (detractors.) The number of detractors are subtracted from promoters to arrive at an NPS rating for your manufacturing organization.
Promoters are those who are actively out at industry gatherings, networking events, and trade shows recommending your brand to others. They are your "raving fans." Passives are those who are satisfied with your product but they will not go out of their way to recommend your brand or your product to others. Conversely, detractors are those who actively go out of their way to encourage others not to use your product. They will undermine success and change others' minds.
Virtually all companies across all industries are utilizing NPS in their market research. This is for 2 reasons: (1) it's simplistic and easy to include and (2) because many adopt this key performance indicator (KPI), opportunities exist through simple online research to understand how your company compares to the Amazon's, Apple's, and other key players in a variety of industries.
NPS is a fantastic benchmarking metric to measure over time. It's easy to grasp and all levels of manufacturing personnel will understand the math behind it. Marketing strategy teaches us one of the best growth strategies is finding out what those who rated your product a 9 or 10 love about your product and use this feedback and messaging to convert passives (those who rated it a 7 or 8) to the promoter level.
For more detailed information on NPS, read this article.
Collecting scaled customer satisfaction ratings using a 1 to 5 or 0 to 10 scale is great from a measurement standpoint but you won't know how to improve the score without context. For your overall satisfaction question or NPS question, include a brief follow-up question to ask "Why did you rate it a 9?"
These open-ends will provide you with a wealth of anecdotal comments to help your team to create an action plan and improvements based on the data. Just a warning, these comments can get overwhelming to read through. Working with a third-party firm like Drive Research can take this off your plate by reading through comments and coding them into appropriate categories for analysis. This alone is worth the additional cost of out-sourcing among others.
Drivers to Satisfaction
In addition to asking an open-ended question digging into "why" for overall satisfaction or likelihood to recommend, your organization should create a series of rating questions which address key factors which make up the full customer experience. You can use a similar 1 to 5 or 0 to 10 scale but instead of asking overall satisfaction, ask about satisfaction with customer service, cost, ordering process, delivery time, quality of the product, etc. Regression analysis can be used to dig deeper on these factors to understand which ones are priorities to fix.
Sources of Awareness for Marketing
This question will help you address your ROI of your marketing and advertising efforts. It's a simple question but one your marketing team would love to have data on. In this question, inquire about awareness of your manufacturing organization at trade shows, trade magazines, associations, websites, social media, etc. At the end of the day, you'll know which sources your marketing team should spend its time in.
Inquire on Your Competition
Since you have your customers attention on this ISO 9001 customer satisfaction survey for at least a few minutes, it's worth your time to ask a few other valuable questions. Want to know how your company compares to key competitors? Ask.
This can be framed as "When comparing Company ABC to the competition, Company ABC is: much better, somewhat better, the same, somewhat worse, much worse." It also may help to ask the customer to briefly "why?" Again, for context.
Your average customer satisfaction score (CSAT) may be a 7.4 but how does it compare to your competitors?
It's a changing world and manufacturers often wonder how both their end-users and distributors prefer to communicate. Using the ISO 9001 performance evaluation survey is great opportunity to tackle this. You'll discover communication preferences among customers (email, phone, online portal, etc.)
Since the survey allows you to efficiently reach out to thousands of customers at once, it's worth the time to ask your customers if they'd like a follow-up phone call or email for any reason. These contacts or leads can be passed to the appropriate sales rep. The follow-up may allow the sales rep to address a complaint, log a new order, or talk to the customer about cross-selling other products. Sales rep IDs can seeded directly into the file when the invitations go out so they can easily be passed along on the back-end.
Inquire About Interest in a Panel
We all know response rates are dwindling. As a result, many manufacturing companies have opted to design their own in-house customer panels. These panels are groups of customers who have pre-qualified and opted-into assisting with market research needs from your organization down the road.
Panels provide manufacturers with the ability to reach out and obtain key voice of customer (VoC) feedback when needed, even for product innovation. The panel can also be used for in-depth telephone interviews (IDIs) if you want to run a new product design or concept by some key end-users or distributors. Once built, a customer panel will provide you with manufacturing market research from a core group of customers who now have stake and ownership in your strategy.
An ancillary benefit of building panels is members become more interested, invested, and loyal to a manufacturer. All for the simple fact that you are reaching out for feedback, care to listen, and plan to do something with their feedback.
How does a customer panel work? Read more here.
A customer panel provides manufacturers with quick, inexpensive, and in-depth feedback in real-time.
It always helps at the tail-end of your ISO survey to inquire about business demographics. These questions may include age of respondent, industry segment, type of customer (e.g., end-user or distributor), and geography to name a few. These demographics allow manufacturers to profile the customer base and give an analyst the opportunity to separate results based on audiences.
For example, let's say your mean satisfaction rating for the past month was a 6.2 out of a possible 10 which is lower than month's past. Digging deeper through the demographics you find out that the majority of negative feedback came from end-users who purchased products in the Pacific Northwest.
This may be a light-bulb moment for you because last month your management team just restructured delivery routes which highly impacted delivery times on the West Coast. Now you have the data to better understand this and make changes.
How Can We Help?
Drive Research is an ISO 9001 customer satisfaction survey firm. We work with manufacturers around the country to meet their ISO 9001 customer satisfaction needs and requirements. Drive Research designs, structures, manages, analyzes, and reports on all data collected to ensure you meet your ISO 9001 requirement.
Our team differentiates itself on our ability to add insights and interpretation to your customer feedback to drive operational, quality, and sales growth. We care about the strategic impact of the ISO 9001 data and how our team can use it to drive decisions across all levels of your organization - sales, marketing, operations, customer services, etc.
Visit our ISO 9001 customer satisfaction survey company page for more information and to submit a request for a quote.
Contact Drive Research at info@DriveResearch.com or call us at 315.303.2040.