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How much should you be spending on customer satisfaction survey tools? Hint: not a dime!

Mathew Maniyamkott

Mathew Maniyamkott

9 min read

If you are running a business, your topmost priority should be to keep your clients happy and satisfied. When you look at it clearly, creating a top-notch product is all about helping your customer achieve something. After all, the sheer brilliance of your company borders on whether your clients received the exact product they expected to get from you when they paid you.

If there is a huge mismatch between what your customers expect from you and what they get, it is going to cause a lot of issues. This is why you need to set clear expectations and promise them only what you can offer to your customers.  

Why is customer satisfaction measurement important?

The simple reason that customers who are satisfied will return to you and buy more, will introduce your business to their friends and family, and will be ready to pay for a premium plan of your products is reason enough for you to keep your customers the happiest. When you win a customer, make sure you get their feedback on what it means to work with you, at regular intervals.

A company that aims to scale rapidly needs to measure how satisfied their customers are and see if there needs to be a change in the way that they presently operate. Delighting your customers is not that easy and creating a culture where the first priority is to be completely focused on your customers is going to be a challenge. There are so many competitors today in almost any field that it is extremely difficult to be on top of the minds of customers, forget about being known as a company that takes care of its customers.

Enter customer satisfaction measurement tools!

There are a lot of tools that are around which can help with measuring customer satisfaction, but if you are on a budget and if that number is zero, fret not, there are still activities that you can do to measure customer satisfaction. The simplest method to measure customer satisfaction is by asking them directly at any of the customer touchpoints where you encounter them. Let us walk you through some of the best methods for measuring customer satisfaction.

1. Customer satisfaction surveys

Customer satisfaction surveys are as ubiquitous as oxygen; if you have purchased anything from anywhere, you would surely have come across it. There are a lot of methods through which these surveys are distributed. When you ask your customers how they felt about their experience at each customer touchpoint, it is a clear-cut indication that you care about them. Survey Sparrow is one of the leading online survey tools in the field and it also totes a free version which you can use when your budget is zero. Even its free version comes with a set of customizations that you can employ to conduct an effective survey.

These online survey tools come with a set of customizations and features that you can use cleverly to increase the likelihood of getting a huge number of responses and make sure that you get the right answers. Most of these online survey tools come with a dashboard where you can view the results and make business decisions based on what the customers tell you. To reach a wider audience, you can embed the surveys into your official social media handles, email newsletters and so on.

2. Customer portals

Customers will be given a page where they will have their own dashboard which shows the previous orders, ability to make new orders, keep track of the inventory and so on. The terms used will usually differ based on the kind of business you do. But most customers have a private area with credentials that are unique to them. Whenever a customer logs in to their dashboard, send them a survey based on their last interaction with you.

Ensure that there are a lot of ways to connect with your customers every time they log in to the portal. It could contain vouchers, new information that might not be available anywhere else for them and more. Use the customer portal as a source where you can provide personalized attention which will help increase interaction with the brand and helps in repeat purchases.

3. In-app surveys

Do you know that you have the facility to add surveys inside your app itself? Of course, you do. But are you using the opportunity wisely the way it should be? It is known to have high response rates because the visitors on your site are usually people who are a part of your target market and are more likely to interact with you because you are offering something they are looking for. You don’t have to spend a single penny when you are going to ask customers for extra information about your customer service and your products.

4.Use a complaint box

If there is one thing that will be the differentiating factor between a successful company and a failure, the former would always be ready to be scrutinized and course correct while the latter type of company will go with the flow. Always take surveys from your customers at regular intervals, in fact, go out of your way to create opportunities where your customers can lodge complaints. Create a separate team that will monitor these complaints so that immediate action can be taken to rectify the mistakes.

Give your customers the ability to call you if they need an immediate resolution to their problems. The sooner you are available to solve the problem, lower are the chances for them to run off to a competitor. Even your customers realize that businesses can make mistakes too and more often than not, they are even willing to forgive you if you take corrective action immediately. This is why you need to create a place for your customers to complain which comes with a super-fast service.

5. Using analytics

The website’s traffic and content data can give you a lot of insights into how your customers think and act. Find out which are the most visited pages on your website, understand why those are the most visited pages, see if you can incorporate the same type of content on other pages and work on improving the condition of the existing pages that get good traction.

Check the open rates of your email, bounce rate, most shared articles, and so on. While you might not be able to make immediate sense with some of the data, as time goes by when there is a large amount of data that you can use to compare, then it becomes easy to analyze and make business decisions from. Decisions based upon raw analytical numbers will make a whole world of difference for your business and subsequently, your customers.

6. Monitoring social media

Social media has become extremely powerful today for the customers because they can bring even a big company to a standstill. Customers know how much of a power they have in the social media world and if an experience enrages them, they share it among their friends and family, a sort of bad word-of-mouth, isn’t it?

Stories of poor service become viral and it can be hard for the business to gain back the trust of its customers. Social media offers a platform for your customers and if you can use it wisely, it will help you. Otherwise, you are in for a tough ride.

There are a lot of tools that you can use to track what your customers are talking about you on social media. While Facebook and Twitter make a lot of noise, the other platforms that can also provide you with a lot of insights are Quora, Reddit, and so on. Some of the free social media monitoring tools that you can use are Hootsuite, TweetReach, Klout, Buzzsumo, Boardreader, HowSociable, to name a few.

You can use these tools not only to see the kind of conversations that involve you, but you can also use tools that notify you whenever your brand is mentioned somewhere online.

7. Things Gone Wrong

A part of the ‘Lean Six Sigma Approach’, Things Gone Wrong measures the number of complaints or ‘Things Gone Wrong’ per 100, 1000 or up to 1000000 units of survey responses, products sold and so on. The worst possible scenario is when your score is 1 which means that you get at least 1 complaint per unit product sold.

Problems like this can be identified only when you acknowledge that there are issues in the first place. When you start measuring statistics like this, it becomes easy to identify what is going wrong and work towards optimizing it. You can take advantage of this methodology without spending anything.  

8. Mobile apps

Most businesses these days are working towards creating an app for their brand and rightly so. Almost everyone has a smartphone these days and it is their go-to device when anything goes wrong. If you give your customers the option to give feedback or register a complaint on your mobile app itself, you reduce a lot of hassle for the end user and it is easier to extract information from them as well. Also, apps are usually optimized for mobile and it provides a fast and smooth experience for your customer.

9. SMS support

What if pressing a few buttons on the keypad of your mobile phone and sending a message solves a problem for you, how convenient would that be! You can send SMSes to give your customers important notifications on any new updates, product launch, or anything that will benefit your customer. Your customers will be happy to solve their issues via their mobile phones. SMS texts are much faster because they will work without the Internet too in case you are stuck in some remote part of the world where there is no connectivity.

Metrics you should measure and worry about

The below metrics that we are going to talk about is important and vital to measure because there is no straightforward way in which you can track customer satisfaction.

a. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

A standard customer satisfaction metric, CSAT asks your customer to rate their satisfaction with your business, product or service. The final CSAT score is the average rating of all the customer responses combined. The customers are asked to rate on a scale of 3, 5, 7 or 10. The scale depends a lot on the culture of the place as well. Research indicated that there were differences in how customers responded for the same scale for people from a different country.

CSAT is extremely popular because it is direct and asks an easy question to your customers without confusing them much. But this simplicity is also a disadvantage sometimes when you want to know how much satisfied or dissatisfied your customer is which CSAT doesn’t tell us. In fact, all customer satisfaction survey methodology comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. In CSAT, while rating scale is based on the context and is available to your audience in different formats like stars, numerical rating, emojis and more, there are also worries that the rating is just a short-term sentiment based on the latest experience the customer had with your business.

b. Net Promoter Score

NPS measures customer experience and predicts the growth in the future. It asks a simple question-“How likely are you to recommend our service to your friends and family?”

The customers are expected to respond on a scale of 0-10 and the respondents are grouped as follows:

Promoters: Customers with scores of 9-10 are going to be your lifelong customers because you have served them well and they are extremely happy with you. They will even go out of their way to promote you to their friends and family.

Passives: People with a score of 7-8 are those who are satisfied with your service but won’t hesitate to shift to a competitor if they find something better.

Detractors: Anyone with a score below 6 is an unhappy customer, they can damage your brand with their feedback and you need to take immediate steps to see how you can help them.

Subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters gives you the NPS score. It can range from a low of -100 to a high of +100. NPS is as easy to understand metric that everyone will be able to answer clearly, it is a leading indicator of growth and provides you with a comprehensive view of your customer’s experience with you.

c. Customer Effort Score

It is a CS metric that measures the ease of experience your customers had with your business. It is usually based on a 5-point scale of ‘very difficult’ to ‘very easy’. The question asks how much effort was required for your customer to use the product or service. There has been considerable research done in the customer service field and it clearly says that the ease of experience is a much better indicator of loyalty than just simply measuring direct customer satisfaction.

These are the times when you need to use CES:

  1. As soon as they purchase a product from you.
  2. Immediately after they interact with anyone from your customer service department.
  3. When you want to measure the total experience they had with your brand.

While CES predicts strongly about their future purchase behavior and referral behavior, it does not provide information regarding the customer’s overall relationship with your business.

Conclusion

Measuring customer satisfaction and taking subsequent action to help the customer should be your primary task every single day. If you don’t serve your customers properly, there are high chances that they leave you for your competitors. You don’t want that, do you? All of us know that retaining an old customer is much cheaper than acquiring a new customer.

If you did not measure customer satisfaction because you assumed that all these tools come with a truckload of hefty charges to it, then you could not be more wrong as we have just helped you understand in this article. There are so many ways in which you can get customer satisfaction surveys done without having to spend anything.

Remember that your customers expect top class service every time they buy something from you. They will not go out of their way to appreciate you if you gave them good service because they expect it anyway, this is another reason why you need to conduct customer satisfaction surveys at regular intervals, not because you want to see positive reviews but for you to know what worked right and what did not.

When you create a survey to measure customer satisfaction, give SurveySparrow’s online survey tool a whirl and see if it works for you. Remember this, the free version of the SuveySparrow tool is ideal when you are beginning to have a go at your customer’s brain.

Mathew Maniyamkott
Mathew Maniyamkott

Guest Blogger at SurveySparrow

Regular contributor to various magazines. Passionate about entrepreneurship, startups, marketing, and productivity.

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