Blog Customer Experience

How to Interpret the Results from Your Customer Satisfaction Survey!

Mathew Maniyamkott

Mathew Maniyamkott

9 min read

Richard is the Marketing Head of a Series-B funded startup that has been making all the right noises in the Silicon Valley. They send a customer feedback survey to their initial batch of customers waiting to know what they think about their services and products. The team sends an email blast and are eagerly waiting for the results. It looks like the customers are happy with the product although there are a few areas where the product runs into issues. Satisfied with a lot of 8 in the rating scale, they go back to their business as if there are no issues to be resolved.

Does this sound familiar? While picking the brains of your customers is important, going back to the drawing board to make changes based on their feedback is the ultimate objective of such an exercise.

The above scenario might happen because of two reasons:

  • Lack of plans geared for the future
  • Not knowing what to do with the feedback from customers

In this article, we are going to talk about the second point as we will help you in interpreting the results from the customer satisfaction survey. Let not a lack of knowledge in navigating customer feedback be an impediment in scaling business heights.

customer satisfaction survey-“Sometimes the best discoveries are the result of simple observations” 

While it is a self-evident fact that businesses should keep their customers satisfied, not all businesses are empathetic enough to understand the minutest of details that might affect a customer. This is why the online survey market (read customer satisfaction survey tools market) is a billion industry and there are a lot of companies scrambling for a pie here as even a small bite is enough for these companies to be successful.

Here are 5 steps that you need to keep in mind as soon as the results of a customer satisfaction survey need to be analyzed:

1. Do a Quick Review of the Customer Satisfaction Survey Results

As simple as this might sound, the first step that you need to do is to check how the results have panned out in the customer satisfaction survey. Look for areas that need to be resolved first from the customer satisfaction survey. Sure, there are a lot of customer interaction touchpoints where a particular concern can be addressed after a few days as they might not be pressing problems. If a customer says that they are not given access to the product as soon as they make the payment, it is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

Organize and categorize the results after the quick review of the customer satisfaction survey. In fact, a quick read of the customer satisfaction survey results can help you find out issues that are of immediate concern and measure customer satisfaction. Make sure that people from different parts of the business get to take a quick look of the customer satisfaction survey results too as you get advice and opinion from different perspectives, which can help you unearth a plethora of findings.

2. Use Patterns to Form Quick Conclusions

Never miss out on important pieces of information, look for patterns that you can discover in a quick reading of the customer satisfaction survey. In fact, patterns are usually found when there is a normal reading rather than when a concerted effort is put. Depending on the kind of questions asked and the format used in the customer satisfaction survey, you can arrive at conclusions after going through the responses on the online survey software.

customer satisfaction survey-“If you don't appreciate your customers, someone else will.” 

A pattern means that a lot of people are struggling at a particular instance or finding the product difficult to use based on the questions used in the customer satisfaction survey. Sure, there would be surprises as some of the respondents might not have given the correct responses in the customer satisfaction survey.

For example- If all your customers are satisfied in a particular area, but there is one instance where the majority have shown their disapproval explicitly, it is a pattern that you need to identify and take immediate action to thwart any more damages, which is why customer satisfaction surveys are important as they help you unearth business problems.

This is why using pie charts and graphs can help you very much as visual representation puts the mind at ease since the results from the customer satisfaction survey are not easy to understand even for the discerning mind.

3. Look at the Results Across Various Customer Segments

customer satisfaction survey-"Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten."

Using online survey tools like SurveySparrow for the customer satisfaction survey helps you filter based on a lot of factors like age, city, sex, and designation and so on. The respondent’s answers can also be biased based on such demographic factors which is why you need to use customer feedback tools that can lower the effort and help identify patterns smartly.

Use the different segments of customers and see how their responses have differed. Once you know how the scores vary across different customer segments, you can determine how you affect each of these segments and the reason behind the different scores. Is the customer segmentation a big factor that it introduces inconsistencies across the results? If yes, there is an altogether new issue that the business needs to take quick action on.

4. Explain to Your Employees the Importance of Each Metric

It is important to tell your employees why a particular metric is important, in fact, it is imperative that you tell them the significance of the customer satisfaction survey in general. Here are some customer satisfaction survey questions that you need to ask and discuss internally before you send out the surveys:

  • What is the importance of this data? How are we going to use it?
  • What are the results of the customer satisfaction surveys done earlier?
  • No matter what the previous customer satisfaction survey score was, find out how the business achieved that score. What did they do right? Where did they go wrong?
  • Is there a benchmark that needs to be looked up to in terms of the customer satisfaction survey?
  • What is the customer satisfaction survey that is being expected this time?
  • What are the immediate action plans after a customer satisfaction survey usually?
  • How are we going to follow up and keep each entity accountable after the customer satisfaction survey?
  • Do we have processes set in place to achieve the maximum from the customer satisfaction survey?

5. Determine the Next Steps of Action

customer satisfaction survey-“Customers loves certainty, make sure you give it to them.” 

Once you have discovered the patterns as well as the minor changes that need to be done for better business prospects, the next step is to plan on addressing these issues. Use online survey tools which come with analytics capabilities so that you can communicate further and let the respondents know the kind of action that is being taken.

Remember that not all surveys require action to be taken. Even the minutest of issues that disturb the end client needs to be reworked on. The objective of a customer satisfaction survey is gauging how satisfied your customers are and if there is even a single point that needs to be made better, the onus is on the business to work on it.

Here’s the step-by-step action plan after the customer satisfaction survey:

a. Describe the Problem

Once you have tabulated the results, viewed it in different visual representations and after a varied set of people have done a thorough study on it, here is the next step. Write down the problems that plague your business in graphic detail which you found out in the customer satisfaction survey. Even the smallest of issues that need to be taken care of should be written down. Create a mind-map if it helps you understand the issue better.

b. List Out Issues that Require Immediate Care

We have mentioned in the same article on how there are issues that need to be addressed on a war footing, thanks to the customer satisfaction survey. Write them down and keep a separate sheet for the same. Have a separate team that is assigned the responsibility of handling it. The next steps we are going to mention can be used to address the issues of the immediate problems as well discovered through the customer satisfaction survey.

customer satisfaction survey-“Create wow moments for your prospects and watch you online sentiment increase.” 

c. Problem Origin

Find out the reason behind a particular problem that has been discovered through the customer satisfaction survey. While it is normal for businesses to imagine that the processes that they use are foolproof, there are chances that there are systems that have crashed which has affected the scores in the customer satisfaction survey. Check out each customer interaction point and look for the flaws that have been discovered. Have a walkthrough as a customer and see how that particular process or interaction can be improved.

d. Are There Any Barriers?

Even an attempt to make things right can seem like an arduous task because there are barriers associated with making it run smoothly. Sometimes these barriers might not be out in the open for all to see and this is why you need to find out why there are limitations with certain customer interaction points thus unearthing the reason behind it not working.

Take steps to immediately thwart the effect that a barrier has on the customer touchpoints, this might require a lot of investment from the business side. But once you know that your business is deeply affected by it, you need to work on them. Period.

e. Keep Targets

customer satisfaction survey- “A satisfied customer is one who will continue to buy from you, seldom shop around, refer other customers and in general be a superstar advocate for your business.

The best part about having targets is that there is a timeline associated with it, which is a reflection of your seriousness towards addressing issues that bother your customers which you discovered in the customer satisfaction survey. You can pass the same to your customers who would be more than glad to know that you are working on their responses from the customer satisfaction survey and it increases the affinity of the customer to your brand.

An email that simply says-“Hey, we are working on addressing the payment gateway issue that 82 of our customers wanted to be resolved. While we are it at, we are taking this as an opportunity to update you about the improvements we have made in the loading speed of the site. Hope you are having a great experience with us!”

A simple communication like the above will better the results of the customer satisfaction survey score multifold for you next time. Proper communication is a huge factor and a lot of businesses are bad at it. Being even a little better at communication can make your customer fall in love with your brand more and have a direct impact on the customer satisfaction survey.

f. Allocate Resources to Take the Measures

To grow your business, you need to invest in people and buy additional resources, it is imperative and that’s how businesses work. Now that you know how much resources you need, go ahead and invest in systems that will make it better so that you can directly impact the customer satisfaction survey score next time. If there is a need to hire more qualified people to take on the influx in work, then allocate a budget and spend on it.

Assign specific tasks to people and give them a timeline on when it should be completed. Use a project management tool like Slack or Jira to oversee the progress in the measures that are being taken. While you keep the customers in the loop as well about the progress made through emails, make sure that each employee is aware of each of the changes that are being made so that there is more cohesion in the work.

g. Measure and Review Progress

customer satisfaction survey- Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.

The business would also have the scores from the previous customer satisfaction surveys, it is important to see how they have fared over different time periods. Has there been a huge increase in the satisfaction from the customer satisfaction survey? If there has been a dip in the score, there needs to be a serious look into it. Are the recommended action plans enough to sink the issues? If not, what are the resources necessary to improve the situation? Do you have enough time to work on the action plan?

Use cross-functional teams to work on the action plans and use different groups of employees who will be able to help with different schools of thought thus increasing the efficiency. Share the customer satisfaction survey results with the entire team that worked right from the beginning so that they can get to analyze and offer their POV as well.

See if you have been able to achieve the mutually agreed upon goals and ensure that there is adequate training given to folks who handle customer service issues, including training them in tools that need to be used and teach them how to communicate properly with the customers.

Conclusion

If you are looking to improve your business, you need to take feedback from your customers and ensure that they are happy. Customer Feedback Tools are your best bet to spin-off beautiful surveys and understand the pulse of your customers. Use the survey results to build a stronger relationship.

Work your way to customer satisfaction nirvana by asking the right questions. The response from the customer satisfaction survey will help you gauge their opinion about your business and your service. The responses help you arrive at a score and you can use it as a benchmark to see how you are improving at each instance. SurveySparrow has a myriad of templates that you can choose to help you build quick surveys that can be used to understand if the customer is going through any difficulty.

Understanding the mind of your customers and meeting their requirements by taking action on the customer satisfaction survey will help you create a better offering for the customers. Taking appropriate action is the only step that you need to do after the completion of the customer satisfaction survey. Why don’t you start with a beautiful customer satisfaction survey?

Mathew Maniyamkott
Mathew Maniyamkott

Guest Blogger at SurveySparrow

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

Leave us your email.
We won't spam. Promise!

You Might Also Like:
Everything about delighting customers.
You’ll find them here.