| Case Studies

Measuring Customer Satisfaction

The case study below is a summary.  For more details click on the full white-paper.

The problems with surveys
Most companies that want to measure customer satisfaction create a survey.  These efforts usually fail for multiple reasons.

  • The “annual” survey measures satisfaction during too short a duration
  • Response rates are low
  • There are too many questions
  • Questions are not well defined and can create inconsistent answers
  • You don’t know if non-respondents feel differently than those who responded

Surveying is a process not a one-time event
Our Client instead created a 5 question survey that is delivered every month to 1/12th of its customers.  Surveying should be a continuous process, not something you do once a year.

Ask the high level question first
We began the process with asking a high level question.  Our Client is a financial-services firm that prides itself on client service and being a premium provider.  Therefore, after much brainstorming, the team decided that we wanted to know, “are we worth a premium?”

Less is more when it comes to survey questions
The team came up with the following definitions of premium financial services:

  • A trusted adviser
  • High quality service
  • Few errors
  • Resolve problems quickly and painlessly
  • Clients feel special
  • Total experience is wonderful
  • Timely response for info/service, availability/access to people/team, proactive

These turned into the following five questions:

  • How would you rate your primary contact?
  • How would you rate your experience with our firm?
  • How many errors have you experienced over the last year?
  • If we made an error how have we done resolving the problem?
  • What can we do better?

Define the scale in very specific terms

One reason that firms get inconclusive results from surveys is the vague definition of the scale (the words associated with 1 through 5).  Often 1 = poor, 2 = below average, 3 = average, 4 = above average and 5 = outstanding.  This type of scale creates tremendous opportunities for measurement error.  (What exactly does above average mean?)

Below is just the first question on our survey (for all five questions see the linked white-paper).What describes your primary contact at our firm?

  1. Below average
  2. No different than others
  3. Helpful
  4. A trusted adviser

Acting on the data
Another reason surveys often fail is they get discussed then forgotten.  At our financial-services Client the data goes to the CEO who shares the results with everyone.  In addition if any customer answers any question with a 1 or 2 he is immediately contacted and calls that customer to resolve their problem.  When was the last time the CEO of your bank called you?

For more information, or if you want us to help you create a customer satisfaction, send Mitch an email (mitch@svnew.supplyvelocity.com).