Archive for the ‘Market Research’ Category

Forrester Research Post on Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

I came across a Forrester Research blog post on Customer Satisfaction Surveys that I wanted to share.  I discuss several of their points in detail in my article entitled “Keys to a Successful Loyalty Program”.

http://smallbusinessmarketinggroup.com/retain-customers.htm

However, if you don’t have time to read my full article, or just want to see who else shares these opinions, definately check out the Forrester blog.

http://blogs.forrester.com/b2b_market_research/2009/09/why-is-customer-satisfaction-research-so-hot.html

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Mistakes To Avoid With Customer Satisaction Surveys

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Satisfaction surveys are a great way to get an idea of how your customers feel about your business, but it’s easy to make some common mistakes that will erode the value.  Here are some things to keep in mind when launch your satisfaction survey.

  1. Don’t ask questions if you don’t care about the answer.  People don’t really enjoy taking surveys, so you want to keep it as short as you can to collect only the information you can act upon.  It’s so easy to keep piling on questions that seem interesting at the time, but ultimately you’ll never go back to and use.  I’ve also seen people ask about things they either can’t or won’t change.  If you aren’t going to address an issue, don’t set the expectations with your customers that you are by asking about it.  Nothing infuriates customers more than when they take the time to give feedback only to have it ignored.  On a similar note, only include demographic questions if you’re going to use them in the analysis.  People don’t like giving personal information, so don’t ask for it unless you’re prepared to use it (which isn’t the same as saying not to get it and use it, because it can be valuable).
  2. You’re survey is a reflection on your company. Okay, I know how tempting it is to get a free version of SurveyMonkey, thrown together a few questions, and get on your way.  Please resist the temptation.  You would never prepare a big sales presentation with an unbranded, unprofessional looking template you found on the internet or design your brochures in MS Word (I hope).   Even if you do use something like SurveyMonkey , go ahead and pay for the professional version so you can add your logo and customize the design.
  3. Pre-test the survey.  By that I mean don’t just have someone skim over it for typos (although they should do that too), but actually have them take it.  Have them look for questions that are confusing, biased or leading, or use company lingo that outsiders won’t understand.  Ask about the survey length.  Then take a look at the data after a few people have taken it.  Sometimes people don’t interpret a question the way you intended it and you’ll need to re-phrase.  It’s better to know all that before you send the survey to all your customers.
  4. Mutually exclusive and exhaustive option set.  Okay, so this is a good example of industry lingo I just advised against.  What this means is when you ask a multiple choice question, the possible answers shouldn’t overlap and should cover all possible options.  For example, if you ask how often someone typically eats at your restaurant, don’t give these options:
    1. 1-2 times per month
    2. 2-4 times per month
    3. 4-8 times per month

If they eat at your restaurant 2 times per month, which option would they select?  How about if they eat there daily?  A better option would be:

  1. Less than once per month
  2. 1-2 times per month
  3. 3-4 times per month
  4. 5-8 times per month
  5. 9 or more times per month

That’s a good start.  I could keep going on this for a while, but I’ll stop here and likely come back to this topic again in the future.  In the meantime, feel free to post questions you might have in the comments section below or contact us for a more in depth conversation.  Until next time, thank you for reading.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys – A Missing Ingredient For Small Business

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Every business should have a customer satisfaction / loyalty survey.  Small businesses, this includes you as well.  While popular ways for small businesses to get customer feedback including informal customer conversations and listening to customer complaints may be cheap and easy, they simply don’t give you enough information and may not be representative of your overall customer base.  In other words, the needs of the “squeaky wheels” might not be the same as your overall customer base.  More importantly, they may not be the same as your most profitable customer base.

Customer satisfaction surveys allow you to ask about a broad range of topics.  They let you see what problems need to be addressed right now and if your latest improvement efforts are working.  They can also give you new ideas on what types of products or services your customers would like to you offer in the future.

Launching a satisfaction survey isn’t too difficult and can be very valuable, but there are some common pitfalls you’ll want to avoid when starting out.  Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll address some best practices and things to avoid in your customer satisfaction survey.  Until next time, thank you for reading.