Customer satisfaction questionnaires are part of the qualitative research, usually conducted by companies to assess customer’s desires, perceived opinions and needs. They are the most freely available information source for the company, and these questionnaires can be a fantastic source of ideas and products for the company as well.
Questions such as will your customer choose you, should you target a different demographic? OR are people satisfied with your employees or services? OR what more do the customer want from the company? These are questions most of the times answered through the usage of customer satisfaction questionnaires.
Depending on the size of the targeted sample that managers try to analyze as well as on how many markets they are spread into, might result in quite an expensive data. However, this expense can be seen as an important investment for the growth of the company. Nowadays, online surveys are considered the most cost-effective way of approaching the customers.
The customer satisfaction questionnaires can be employed by multiple marketing communication tools such as e-mail, mail, telephone or even face to face. By approaching the customers face-to-face managers get the advantage of being able not only to listen to the customer’s answers but they can also observe their body language that sometimes can tell more about what they are thinking than their actual words.
Basically, the most relevant question that a customer satisfaction questionnaire answers is on how well does the company deliver on the critical success factors and dimensions of the business as defined by the customers.
To increase the effectiveness of this kind of questionnaire, employees can also be included in the sample to be targeted. The idea behind this is to offer managers the opportunity to perform a gap analysis in order to determine differences in perceptions between the service providers and the customers.
Conducting customer satisfaction questionnaires can be perceived as a necessary tool in today’s highly competitive environment, where companies need an extra edge to enhance and build upon their relationships with the customers. Once the customers realize that their opinions, needs and perceptions are being cared about, they tend to develop brand loyalty. A high perceived customer value can deliver much more return on the company’s research investment.
Before preparing a customer satisfaction questionnaire, the metrics or variables upon which the business is related have to be clearly established. This is would be the first step in the designing process.
Such metrics or variables are called customer service dimensions and this can range from overall customer service, helpfulness, competency, knowledgeable operators, phone calls returned quickly, promptitude in dealing with customer complaints and attention to details to provision of poor support, inability to access the technical support, etc.
Prior to designing the questions for the survey, the business process should be determined in terms of what is the purpose of the survey, what is it trying to measure, what type of rating scale should be used and how will the manager know that the survey worked and that the data will be actionable?
After deciding upon the business process, the next step involves the actual designing of the survey. This step will being with the title and an explanation of the overall aim of the survey. It will provide general instructions to the respondents at the beginning of each question in order to aid to the correct completion of the questions.
There are some major tips on how to be successful in designing the survey and this include not to write ambiguous questions or “double-barred” questions, to use scalable questions ask customers to rank their responses on a numerical or qualitative spectrum and also include a few open ended questions to allow the customer to come up with further insights.
Nowadays there are different program to help companies in designing their customer satisfaction questionnaires. The most well known that I have encountered until now is called Survey Monkey.
The main common goals of this kind of survey include measuring customer loyality, helping HR department to train their staff effectively as well as to gauge customer service effectively.