Year-over-year, the key to a healthy bottom line for any company is happy customers who are satisfied with the products or services they receive, and are likely to become repeat purchasers. As we mentioned in previous posts on brand health tracking and Net Promoter Score, it is imperative that a company stays ahead of changing brand perceptions in order to prevent a loss in market share. In this post, we will examine another type of brand monitoring research as we focus on customer satisfaction research.
Customer satisfaction research metrics
To begin, we will touch on how customer satisfaction is measured quantitatively through surveys. There are three common metrics that are used by companies to measure the level of customer satisfaction: Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Effort Score (CES), and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT).
Net Promoter Score is the most popular measure of affinity to a brand, however NPS surveys do not provide much additional detail on consumer perception of your specific brand. A NPS survey will simply break up a group of past customers into three categories—promoters, passives, and detractors—and then calculate a score that indicates overall attitude surrounding the brand. Although the data collected from Net Promoter Score calculation can be wildly useful, supplemental consumer research can provide additional constructive insight for a brand.
Customer Effort Score is a metric that measures and quantifies how difficult it was for a customer to complete a task. Using CES to measure consumer attitude can shed light on the ease of interaction with anything surrounding your brand. One good example for where Customer Effort Score could be useful is surveying a customer immediately following an interaction with a representative in the customer service department. CES calculation will quantify user experience in a constructive manner.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is a metric used to measure how happy a customer is with what they purchased or the services they received. In order to avoid bias that may skew resulting data, a survey that is conducted to research customer satisfaction should be performed anonymously, most often through pen-and-paper or digital avenues such as online or mobile-based surveys.
Customer satisfaction survey design best practices
Many customer satisfaction surveys prompt participants to answer questions on a Likert scale, which provides anywhere between five and nine answer options on a rating scale, with the middle point being a neutral response. This response type is commonly used in surveys, regardless of the topic, to quantify attitudes on a subject. In the case of customer satisfaction surveys, a Likert scale question may look like the following,
“Please respond to the following statement: The product I purchased today functions as I anticipated.
1- Strongly disagree 2- Disagree 3- Neutral 4- Agree 5- Strongly Disagree”
The varying scale on which participants respond allows for researchers to categorize the degree in which someone feels positively or negatively about a topic. Likert scale questions also always provide a neutral answer choice as to not polarize the attitudes that are gathered through the research process.
Multiple choice questions
Many survey questions can be successfully designed as Likert scale questions but, unlike with Net Promoter Score questions, there is flexibility in questionnaire design for general customer satisfaction research. Standard multiple choice questions are another useful tool when developing a research survey. Demographic information such as age, gender, race, education level, and location is often collected via multiple choice questions, and additional custom questions can also be formatted as a multiple-choice or select-all-that-apply question.
Depending on the survey mode, open-ended questions are a way to break away from gathering strictly quantitative research. Providing space for free-form feedback will allow for more detailed, and potentially constructive, responses.
Keep your goals in mind when designing questions
Write the customer satisfaction survey strategically. If the goal of the survey is to determine customer satisfaction with in-store retail experience, ask specific and probing questions about store layout, fitting rooms, atmosphere, and service. If the goal of the survey is to determine why purchases through the web are much lower than in-store, ask questions about awareness of the online store and the website user experience.
Only questions that will directly quantify customer perception on topics that the company would like to know more about should be included in the customer satisfaction survey.
Customer satisfaction surveys in emerging markets
GeoPoll is an expert in gathering survey data in emerging markets. When conducting customer satisfaction research in African countries and other regions which often speak multiple languages and dialects, survey designers must pay special attention to language, literacy rate, and cultural context. Background research should be conducted before survey design to ensure questions are clear for their intended audience, and any translations should be thoroughly vetted for clarity. In addition, researchers should consider the mode they will conduct the survey through (online, SMS, phone calls, etc) in relation to the audience they are looking to reach.
GeoPoll regularly works with leading brands to provide them with fast, high quality customer satisfaction survey data in niche markets around the world. Using our unique mobile survey methodology, GeoPoll can reach extremely targeted audiences and survey them weekly, monthly, or quarterly to demonstrate the health of your brand over time. Contact GeoPoll to set up a custom survey today.