Whether it’s an acquaintance or a long-time customer, sometimes it’s difficult to get complete and honest feedback on your company’s performance. In the case of a customer, it may be that the person you are speaking with feels they do not have a broad enough perspective to make an assessment. If you have a vendor relationship with your customer, it may be difficult to get any meaningful feedback beyond that they’d like a lower price. And at times, a customer’s uncomfortable feelings surrounding a potential conflict may prevent confronting a dissatisfying experience. On average, only one of five dissatisfied customers will complain.
These are some of the lessons I have learned about measuring customers’ satisfaction:
- Commitment to satisfaction must be long-term. The quality of feedback will improve if they are surveyed regularly and they see a response to the feedback.
- Tailor questions to a customer’s specific role in their company. I have created four or five variations of a survey and offer the survey that fits closest to their role. The more specific the question, the more specific the answer.
- A good way to gauge your service is to ask a customer if your service is better, worse, or about the same as other companies in your industry sector. This will solicit feedback on direct competitors and on companies that integrate or complement your offering.
- The “bottom-line” question is always, “Would you refer our company to a colleague?”