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Top 5 excellent ways of measuring customer satisfaction

Satisfied customers come back, buy more, and even recommend companies, whereas 91% of all customers who were not happy with a company will no longer buy there.

Therefore, measuring customer satisfaction is an essential instrument for successful corporate planning and should, thus, be firmly anchored in the organizational principles.

Customer satisfaction is also the basis for customer loyalty. Especially in times of high competition and increasing customer requirements, one has to measure customer satisfaction to ensure the company's long-term success. By weighing customer satisfaction, measures can be learned to improve your company's products, services, and offers.

Unfortunately, companies still struggle to successfully measure customer satisfaction.

Many companies do not know how to collect detailed information about the customer's perspective. One reason for this is that the aspects of customer satisfaction are multi-dimensional. One has to differentiate between objective and subjective measurement methods.

Methods of measuring customer satisfaction

While subjective methods focus on the customer's perception, objective measurement methods record customer satisfaction through parameters that do not depend on the customer's personal opinion.

Objective methods:

Objective methods rely on quantifiable metrics. It is often difficult for companies to make customer satisfaction objectively measurable. Above all, this is because customer satisfaction cannot be measured as clearly and quickly as, for example, sources of income, website visitors, or clicks on a website. The simple, hard vital figures seem to be missing for this. However, these key figures exist and, if properly understood and used, can make customer satisfaction measurable in various ways. We have put together the most important ones.

1. The Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

The Customer Satisfaction Score, or CSAT for short, is probably the standard metric for customer satisfaction surveys. Your customers are asked to rate their satisfaction with your product, company, or service. The average value received from all customers is then your CSAT score. Typical scales for the CSAT are, for example, 1 - 3, 1 - 5, or 1 - 10. More substantial sizes usually make less sense, since people often rate their satisfaction differently due to cultural differences. For example, an article in Psychological Science showed that people from individualistic countries choose the extreme poles of a scale more often than those from collectivist countries.

2. The Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures the probability of whether a customer would recommend you and your company, or your product or service. Customers are asked how likely a recommendation is. They should classify this probability on a scale of 1-10. The strength of this metric is that it does not refer to an emotion ("How satisfied am I?"), But an intention. ("How likely is a recommendation?")Which is much easier for the customer to answer. It breaks down whether a product (or service) is good enough to recommend it and to "jeopardize" your reputation.

The calculation is straightforward. The NPS is calculated as follows: From the percentage of all customers who come under the generic term "promoter" (that is, customers who have chosen on a scale of 9 or 10), the percentage of "critics" ("critics" are customers who are 6th or worse selected).

An additional benefit of the NPS is that it even reminds the customer of the possibility of recommending it. He might not have considered this option until then.

3. The Customer Effort Score (CES)

Service is the focus here: The Customer Effort Score or CES can also be called customer effort or customer effort. It is a crucial figure that shows how much energy a customer had to take to solve a particular problem or get an answer to a question.

There are usually seven levels when it comes to the CES.

  • completely agree

  • agree

  • I rather agree

  • neither nor

  • rather disagree

  • I do not agree

  • do not agree at all

It refers to any service processes that a company offers its customers. This includes different interfaces or touchpoints, as well as various problems and questions on the customer side. The CES clarifies whether companies are ready to interact with customers as quickly as possible and extent of satisfaction based on services, solutions offered.

An essential prerequisite for evaluating the CES is the quality of the product or service that the customer has purchased. Key figures that want to map customer satisfaction are only reliable if the product and service are in order. In the event of complaints about the product, excellent customer service will not lead to higher customer satisfaction but instead will do the opposite. The question of customer effort is often followed by an open question that makes details clear. For example: What can we improve? Or: At what points can our customer service be optimized? Without these additional detailed questions, the CES is a key figure that cannot reflect any suggestions for improvement. Customer feedback needs to be translated into action.

4. Things went wrong

Similar to the CES, this key figure also relates to information from customer service. The number of complaints, the "Things Gone Wrong", is measured per 100, 1,000, or up to 1,000,000 units of products or services.

The choice of the unit (100, 1,000, or 1,000,000) naturally depends on the type of your company or how many units you sell.

In the worst case, your value is one or higher. This would mean that you would receive at least one complaint per unit.

5. Social media KPI: Social Sentiment

Social media are an essential source for determining customer satisfaction. Your customers are active there and are very likely to express themselves about your company, whether they want it. So you may not have to do any surveys to get customer satisfaction metrics. It can also be worthwhile to look at the right social media KPIs.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are key figures that provide information on whether the activities contribute to the company's goals. It is essential to differentiate the critical figure/metric from KPIs. The BVDW focus group on social media did this as follows in the guideline "Measuring success in social media".

" A key figure is just a metric that allows a quantitative statement about a certain characteristic. The range, for example, is in itself just a key figure. If you combine the key figure with the achievement of a specific goal, e.g., B. Increase in reach to increase awareness, then this metric or key figure becomes a key performance indicator, an indicator that allows a statement about the effectiveness of a measure. A KPI can consist of one key figure or several key figures."

The list of metrics on the social web, such as the share of voice, retweets, or sentiment, is almost endless. The KPI relevant for customer satisfaction is the so-called social sentiment.

A social sentiment analysis captures emotional moods in social media and analyzes them using an algorithm. In this way, it can be determined relatively quickly and inexpensively how and what is spoken about your business entity on social media. Strengths and weaknesses can also be identified in this way.

ATTENTION: However, social sentiment analysis is not an absolute substitute for a qualitative survey. The information was given voluntarily. The analysis results are neither structured nor weighted in any way. Besides, there is no possibility to follow up more closely to get to the bottom of the things said. Social sentiment analysis is, therefore, more suitable as a supplement to a survey or to get first impressions in advance. The prerequisite for such an analysis is that people talk about your company on social media. The quality of such an analysis is, of course, extremely dependent on the current technological possibilities. Although the algorithms are self-learning, the analysis process is still in its infancy. There are some hurdles:

  • Recognizing irony and sarcasm

  • The mood orientation of topic-related words

  • Slang and slang

  • Punctuation in the sentence structure

Despite numerous difficulties, there is some potential in these new analyzes - as long as the technology is given time to mature. The quality of the results strongly depends on the availability of relevant data, which is why the quality of the results will probably improve significantly in the coming years. Due to the lack of a survey structure (there is no direct survey), this analysis should still be considered a supplementary analysis method or an analysis method in advance.

Subjective methods:

Now that you have learned the critical indicators for customer satisfaction, it is essential to add that customer satisfaction can never be measured in a fully quantifiable manner. The key figures always refer to certain aspects of customer satisfaction. Customers' subjective perception must also be taken into account, so the individual customer satisfaction measurement should be mentioned here. Typical for this are measurements in which customers make statements based on given questions. The recording can include questions about the company's offer, the company's image, employee behavior, processes, and the location of the service. Possible are

1. Face-to-face survey:

Here there is direct contact between the interviewer and the customer. For complex questions, the customer can ask again if these are not clear.

2. Written survey:

In the case of a written examination, the customer fills out a questionnaire that can be sent to him by post or handed over to him. The respondent is, therefore, independent of an interviewer.

3. Terminal survey:

The customer can fill out a questionnaire at a dedicated feedback terminal. He can, therefore, be interviewed on-site directly after the purchase. This digitized version of the written survey is less cumbersome and makes the data's evaluation much more comfortable.

4. Telephone interview:

This is where the conversation takes place on the phone, with the interviewer remaining mostly anonymous. The advantage is that this survey is inexpensive and not particularly time-consuming. However, the telephone interview is only suitable for shorter surveys.

5. Online survey:

Here the customer can answer the questions directly on the screen via the Internet. Online surveys are quick and inexpensive and are particularly useful for large or widely dispersed customer bases.

Top 5 online tools to measure customer satisfaction:

  • SurveyMonkey

  • QuestionPro

  • Surveyplanet

  • Surveysparrow

  • SurveyGizmo

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