I am looking for innovation, best practice and proven methodologies in managing client satisfaction surveys in a service industry
Hello and thank you for your question on innovation, best practice and proven methodologies in managing client satisfaction surveys. The short answer is that before a company begins building a customer satisfaction survey, five key factors to consider are: target audience, survey frequency, timing, perceived benefit and incentive. From a theoretical perspective, Reasoned Action Approach and Psychological Approach are two approaches why people participate in surveys. According to reviews, SurveyGizmo stood out as the best online survey software followed by SurveyMonkey, Zoho and QuestionPro.
Below is a deep dive of my findings.
We searched corporate websites, industry reports, trusted media sites, user forums and review sites to gather the relevant information to answer the question.
Many companies use surveys as a way to receive response or feedback from their clientele regarding the service they offer, and it just does not seem to be forthcoming. Either they don't get enough feedback or they get none at all. This can be very frustrating and some companies are wondering how to fix it and what are they doing wrong. There can be many reasons for this. We will look at a few of the causes and what others have successfully done to fix it.
Survey Gizmo says, before you begin building your customer satisfaction survey, consider these 5 key factors that influence survey response rates.
1. Target Audience- does your survey pertain to all your customers? Try segmenting your customers according to relevance.
2. Survey Frequency - If multiple surveys will be conducted you may want to survey only a portion at a time to avoid "survey burn out." Online surveys have become so popular that many people have become a little numb when asked to take another survey. To avoid survey fatigue, do not survey your customers more than once every three months.
3. Timing- There is a saying "timing is everything." If you are surveying your customers once a year you are missing out on a great opportunity to get your customers opinions and improve your business. Feedback response rates are more accurate and much higher if administered within 24 hours of the interaction.
4. Perceived Benefit - For better results, include an introduction to your survey stating how you want to improve your business and that the responses received will assist you in doing so. Clients are more likely to respond when they believe that participating will result in real improvements. Response rates are higher, when respondents believe they are helping a cause.
5. Incentive - offering an incentive can improve your response rate. However, incentives have their place but it is not in a customer satisfaction survey. If customers feel that they will not receive the incentive if they give a negative feedback, they will be less inclined to do so. You need the negative feedback also as it will help you to make necessary changes.
According to Survey Gizmo, the design of your customer satisfaction survey is another factor to consider in order to reduce "survey fatigue." Gizmo highlights some survey design pointers to look at.
1. Survey length
2. Question type
3. Question phrasing
Fred Reichheld, a Bain & Company consultant and one of the leading pioneers of customer satisfaction surveys is now expressing that "he is tired of it." One of the reasons is "survey fatigue." According to Vision Critical, companies are bombarding clients with too many surveys and too many questions which in fact discourages them from participating. It goes on to say many customers do not complete the entire survey especially if it's longer than a couple questions.
BEST PRACTICES FOR CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
Surveys are important; they can help you improve the customer’s experience, and they can provide valuable input to improve your business. However, they are the last thing on the customer's mind according to Stella Service.
1. They have some level of connection, either personal or emotional, to the person asking them to complete the survey.
2. They’re under the impression they’re making a difference.
3. They had a positive connection to your brand before the request.
4. It’s as effortless as possible.
Some of these factors may have already been mentioned. Interestingly, though Scantron looks at it from a theoretical perspective in that it makes mention of two approaches why people participate in surveys.
Reasoned Action Approach - this approach relies on the "theory of social exchange" to explain why someone will fill out a survey. It is said that the client is more like to participate if the "rewards outweigh the costs." e.g. including monetary incentives for participation. However, Scantron says "Incentives use social exchange theory by causing participants to feel obligated to respond."
Psychological Approach - this approach relies on "heuristic factors such as reciprocity, helping, compliance, and selectivity" as a way to increase response. Reciprocity is the behavior that implies "do unto others as you want them to do to you."
Scantron highlights some other methods that have been used, which include: specifically requesting help, for example a cover letter;using "an authoritative organization" like the government as the sponsor. Finally, using selectivity, or making the participant "feel special" by being a part of a selected group has also been used to increase participation.
Over the years, many different methods have been developed to ascertain the attitudes and behaviors of customers. None of these methods is perfect; all are simply attempts to gather data that a company can use to improve its business. Vision Critical believes that "Net Promoter System (NPS) as both a specific metric and a full net promoter system is the most useful and practical method." Among its primary advantages are:
2. Ease of use
3. Quick follow up
4. A growing body of experience
Tyler Douglas, chief sales and marketing officer at Vision Critical, highlights one critical issue with NPS. He says, "the problem with NPS is that, while it can tell you if customers are likely to recommend you, it can’t tell you why." According to Douglas, CSAT and NPS surveys are sent to customers "after the purchase is done, so by the time the results are analyzed, the information is already outdated." As a better approach Douglas recommends "engaging with customers frequently and building understanding of them over time." In particular, he encourages the use of an "Insight Community"groups of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of customers who opt-in to be a part of a group that "offers regular feedback and suggestions to improve products and the customer experience. "
It is said that "your customer can be your best friend but can also be your worst enemy." Research shows that only 4% of dissatisfied customers voice their complaints; the others simply don't come back. Survey Anyplace recommends measuring customer satisfaction by communicating with your customers directly and effectively using feedback surveys. They highlight some ways in which this can be done successfully:
1. Automated Online Surveys
2. Measuring customer satisfaction through Social Media surveys
3. Building Feedback Surveys Into Your Product or Service
4. Real life interactions
"Surveys are an efficient and effective way to find out what your customers need." Top Ten Reviews found the best survey software services for creating and collecting surveys to get you data to push your business forward. According to Top Ten Reviews, "SurveyGizmo, SurveyMonkey and Zoho stood out as the best survey software services they reviewed." It is said that they "outperformed the competition and provided the most complete set of features to help you build, distribute, and analyze surveys to gain insight from your key stakeholders." Meanwhile, honorable mention was made of QuestionPro because it just "missed the top three." It offers "excellent usability" for both survey creators and survey respondents.
To wrap it up, review of the data revealed that before a company begins building a customer satisfaction survey, five key factors to consider are: target audience, survey frequency, timing, perceived benefit and incentive. From a theoretical perspective, Reasoned Action Approach and Psychological Approach are two approaches why people participate in surveys. According to reviews, SurveyGizmo stood out as the best online survey software followed by SurveyMonkey, Zoho and QuestionPro.
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