How to Measure Your Customers’ Satisfaction Levels - dummies

How to Measure Your Customers’ Satisfaction Levels

By Marina Martin

You have many ways to gather customer information about customer satisfaction so that you can measure your organization’s efficiency with regards to customer service. One common way is to review your customer service inbox. If a customer is dissatisfied with what you’ve provided in terms of quality or service, they are likely to send a letter or e-mail to let you know about the issues (after chewing out some managers, of course).

Ways to measure customer satisfaction

No doubt, you have a method for dealing with customer complaints and the issues that arise from time to time within your company. The Balanced Scorecard customer leg is ideal for tracking these issues.

Here are other common ways you can gather information from customers:

  • Evaluate communication at call centers and help desks.

  • Check out product-return centers.

  • Interview field service reps and technicians.

  • Conduct surveys and send out questionnaires.

  • Hire a third party (consultants, websites).

  • Hold discussions with focus groups.

Zero in on the right customer measures

How do you measure your customers? Most companies already have some data and information on their customers, and we’re sure you do, too. That’s well and good, but the first thing you need to ask when beginning the customer scorecard is if your data and information include the right measures.

Do they really reflect what your customers think and how they feel about your products or services? Do they focus on the critical few things that are truly important to customers? In short, does your data measure what you really need to measure?

You can take many different approaches to measure your customers, but the key is to find the critical ones that are important to you and your company so that you can hit the right mark and avoid costly mistakes.

The measures you select depend on where you are in your organization. A strategic-level customer scorecard, for example, will have measures that comprise high-level objectives, such as customer retention and loss rates and profit and revenue per customer. Customer scorecard measures at the operational and tactical levels will be more specific.

For example, you can measure what it is about your product or service that drives retention, profit and loss, or revenue measures at the strategic level. Such measures usually focus on things like quality, cost, and speed of delivery.

So whom do you survey? This would seem to be obvious, but it is actually not so easy. Certainly you want to ask your customers, right? But which ones? And at what level within your customers? You need to ask those customers that have some knowledge about your customer service processes, likely because they have had to avail themselves of your services at one time or another.

When you consider the best way to ask your customers, surveys come to mind almost immediately. This is because surveys provide immediate, up-to-date feedback. However, conducting a survey requires that you already understand your customer’s needs and expectations.

Having a customer-focused company means you must understand what your customers want and expect from your business and then evaluate how well you’re meeting those desires and expectations. An often overlooked yet vital tool for accomplishing those tasks is the survey. Surveying helps you

  • Gather specific feedback about how satisfied your customers are with the level of service they receive.

  • Provide an initial benchmark against which you can measure future progress.

  • Make changes, based on your research, to the way you do business.