Customer Satisfaction Surveys and Client Satisfaction Surveys – Gettin…

This Article is Part 1 of a series of articles on the subject of customer and client satisfaction surveys. Part 1 covers the early planning stages for customer satisfaction surveys.

The starting point for effective customer satisfaction surveys is gaining a clear understanding of the goals and objectives of the study. Typically, the time of action begins with a conference call between the client and the survey company to discuss the products/sets provided by the client, kind of users (B2B or B2C), demographics of the client’s customers, markets served (local, regional, national, or global), and character of the sales course of action. Essentially, the vendor asks the client to describe the organization’s business form.

Another early discussion topic is clarification of the overall goals of the client satisfaction survey. For example, is it measurement of overall satisfaction, measurement of meaningful aspects of customer relationship interactions, or is it a more thin goal – – such as measurement of satisfaction with the purchasing course of action, product quality, or after-sale service? Also, will it be an current survey distributed over an extended time period (for example, after each transaction) or will it be monthly, semi-annual or annual measurement? This information will help the survey company clarify survey length, survey topics, and preliminary survey questions for the first draft of the survey instrument. If the client has developed questions on its own, these can be forwarded to the vendor for review if the client is willing to do this in improvement of a formal contract.

Another important consideration is identifying the most effective survey methodology based on the client’s customer demographics and project goals. A final decision does not need to be made at this point in the time of action; however, viable options will need to be identified for cost purposes. It is sometimes appropriate for a vendor to ask the client about project budget as this can impact the scope of the project. Different methodologies – phone interviewing, mail surveys, and Internet survey research – each have their own nuances which can work better or worse (from cost, efficiency, and response rate perspectives) in different situations.

Asking the client about the quality and availability of its customer records is basic. If good quality records do not exist for the TARGETED survey respondents or are obtainable in one medium only, this can severely impact the viability or cost of the project. The viability of Internet survey research can be determined by asking the client to confirm the quantity of customer email addresses and how often those records are updated. If the response is positive, many clients will favor using Internet survey research because of its cost savings and efficiency.

The final piece of the question already in the early stages of the survey course of action is to try to pin down desired data examination and reporting deliverables. The form of deliverable can impact the cost of the project and also define sample size requirements. For example, where the client desires analyses among multiple segments of customers and/or customer interactions, the study may require additional responses to unprotected to valid response data within each part.

Another reporting consideration is whether the client has conducted similar surveys in the past and wants to use this information for internal benchmarking of results. If so, the reporting course of action will often be more expensive to include applicable statistical comparisons between the different groups.

In summary, the early stages of customer satisfaction surveys is an information gathering course of action where the survey company needs to understand the business form of the client, its customer demographics, character of the sales course of action, goals of the customer satisfaction survey, availability of customer records (including email addresses), and reporting requirements. A skilled research supplier will know which questions to ask and then be able to course of action this information and provide a quote targeted to the needs of the client in terms of its budget and survey objectives.

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