Customer satisfaction surveys are often one of the first steps in a
customer satisfaction initiative. While there is no single best design, there
are a number of considerations that go into any well designed customer
satisfaction survey program. Following is a brief explanation of some of
- There are at least four categories of independent variable attributes to
include: product, service, price, and image. And the format for
understanding each of these is somewhat different.
- Regardless of whether you adopt the Bradley Gale model, you must also
include the value concept in your analysis. Is your product or service worth
what customers must pay?
- In addition, you must include loyalty measures, such as likelihood to
continue doing business or willingness to recommend. The analysis should
demonstrate how high the bar must be set to achieve the desired bottom line
- A customer segmentation should be superimposed on the customer
satisfaction analysis. You may want to differentiate between primary and
secondary customers, key accounts and smaller accounts, decision-makers and
end-users, distributors or end-users, or different need segments. Everyone
is not equal.
- In larger or more complex organizations, you may need to interview
multiple people within a client organization. When you ask customers about
customer service, are you talking with the person who makes the purchase
decision or the person who actually calls customer service? Carefully
consider which potential respondents will be asked which set of questions.
- Competitor data must also be captured. Ideally, a market sample, rather
than a customer sample, should be used. But this is not always feasible for
- Whenever possible, capture information on standards of performance.
- Probe for knowledge and understanding of how to use your product or
- Analyze the data to determine key drivers of satisfaction. The most
accurate approach for service attributes is some type of inferred importance
measure. For product attributes, a trade-off approach is often preferred.
Use factor analysis to eliminate multi-colinearity.
- Assume that you will need follow-up qualitative research to make
quantitative results more actionable. While customer satisfaction surveys
seek to be actionable by using operational attributes on multiple levels, no
quantitative survey can provide the depth of information needed for action
planning. Successful implementation lies in the details.
Obviously, how the information is communicated and acted upon is as
important as how it is collected. The best survey program represents only
about 2% of the required effort to improve.