Measuring customer satisfaction effectively

Measuring customer satisfaction (CSAT) is essential to understand how your customers feel about your products or services. Are they happy with your service, how about support or pricing? Connecting with your customers is the only true way to understand customer satisfaction. One of the most common ways of measuring customer satisfaction is through customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys. Through these surveys, customers record their feedback via rating questions, open-ended questions, etc. 

Ways to measure customer satisfaction (CSAT)

Sometimes it’s hard for strategists and marketers to choose a course of action and measure customer satisfaction. The way you grow customer happiness and retention will be unique to your organization. Still, the elements of a satisfying experience can be measured with similar strategies, regardless of your industry and the products and services you offer.

So how to go about measuring customer satisfaction? We have outlined 7 key steps for you to follow to successfully gauge customer satisfaction.

1. Define your research focus

Before starting your quest to measure customer satisfaction, you need to set clear goals. Why are we measuring it? Or why now? Without a definite focus, your measurement or data may be skewed and not help you at all achieve your goals. You will receive a lot of data when you start with your exercise, depending on your brand, its capabilities, etc. To put the data to good use have a clear goal in mind. This will help guide your future plans and actions and will bear great results. Use insights from this to address gap areas and smoothen your processes.

2. Devise a plan

Now that you have a clear goal in your mind, you need a plan to achieve it. This plan should translate into actions based on the customer feedback gathered. This could mean improving your website navigation, support systems, creating a knowledge base, etc.

3. Select your CSAT survey metric

CSAT surveys are an excellent way to study and measure customer satisfaction. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all tool. Depending on your focus, you can select any one of the following metrics to measure CSAT.

Net Promoter Score® (NPS)

NPS measures customer loyalty by asking the question, ‘Based on your complete experience with the organization, how likely are you to recommend it to your friends and colleagues?’

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

CSAT measures the level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your product or service. Usually, customers rate their satisfaction on a scale of 1-3, 1-5, or 1-7.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

Quite similar to CSAT, CES works on customers’ ratings on the ease of operation or experience.

4. Design appropriate surveys

Designing your surveys is crucial for it will determine your survey completion and survey response rates. You do not want the surveys to be monotonous and long. Keep it simple, asking only necessary questions and data from which you will use to refine your processes. Your customers might be willing to fill in surveys, but you certainly have to respect their time.

It is always a good idea to customize your surveys, use your brand colors and themes to make them credible and authentic. You can also segment your data and send different types of surveys for the best results.

5. Select an apt survey medium

If you are using an online CX measurement tool, you have a host of options to deliver your surveys. You can email surveys to your customers, send them via short messaging service (SMS), etc. Having these options ensures you have a healthy survey response rate as these can be taken anywhere and at any time. SMS surveys get a 7.5 times higher response than email surveys.

6. Collect and carefully review the data 

If you’re unsure how to measure customer satisfaction levels, interpreting your survey data can also be confusing. Start by reviewing the feedback with a detailed eye. Yes, you will build a follow-up strategy from additional analysis, but first, you need to be familiar with what’s in the feedback. This way, you can recognize a strong or flawed step in your plans. 

Once you know what’s in the raw data, you can quantify and analyze results and draw out key takeaways with reporting tools. At this point, you have measured customer satisfaction by referring to various metrics and asking carefully crafted questions. Next, you will take the scores and results you’ve revealed to create your strategy to achieve your established goal. 

When you follow these straightforward steps for measuring overall satisfaction, you will equip your organization with the feedback you need to improve, optimize customer experience, boost customer retention, and customer loyalty.

7. Collect, act, repeat

All your above efforts will bear fruit if you collect data appropriately, act on it to bring about changes in your processes and systems, and repeat it. Your findings could bring to light issues with support or pricing or service. Knowing this will help you address any immediate concerns and ensure a smooth and excellent customer experience. It could be something after a period of time. It is crucial to note that this is not a one-time activity, and you should do this regularly with a cadence relevant to your organization or brand.

Methods of measuring customer satisfaction

Now that we know the best way to measure customer satisfaction, let us look at some of the tools you can use to measure it.

1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS helps you analyze customer loyalty and is used regularly in customer satisfaction surveys. We’ve mentioned in detail how to get a good NPS score.

2. Marketing e-mailers

Emails are an ideal tool to engage with your customers and also collect quality feedback. Customers or prospective customers who have signed in to receive updates will be happy to hear from you. You can survey them by sending questionnaires or adding links to them in newsletters.

3. Social media

Customers sharing about you, talking about you, positively or negatively, showcases how your customers regard your brand, its products, services, and content. Social media has changed the way your customers provide feedback; it’s instantaneous, candid, and honest. They get to react or comment on what you’ve published on your social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter. The spontaneity seen on social media cannot be replicated via surveys or phone surveys. Use these channels and the options they provide, such as polls, reviews, etc., to maximum benefit.

4. Live chats

Businesses operating in almost all industries have websites; these actively provide information about products and services, host case studies and whitepapers, and provide all sorts of information and support. Live chats that these websites and even apps in some cases host are a rich source of information. You get to know what your visitors or customers are looking for, what they expect, etc. You can also engage with them in real-time rather than sending out surveys gathering precious customer feedback at the moment. Needless to say, all your previous conversation history is crucial information to look over and learn from.

5. Customer follow-up surveys

Many customer experience and customer satisfaction surveys are conducted annually or half-yearly. While these are valuable and provide great insights into customer feedback, they may lack the immediate reaction of customers when they interact with your brand at various touchpoints. Try and conduct follow-up surveys to gather immediate customer feedback on their interaction with support, billing queries with accounting, etc.

6. Short message service (SMS)

SMS surveys are extremely convenient for respondents. They can answer questions using their cellphones while commuting, waiting in lines, etc. SMS surveys have high response rates; customers respond to SMSs 45% of the time, a rate that is 6% more than emails. Research shows that about 31% of customers respond to SMS surveys, and you can use that to your advantage.

7. Churn rate

Churn rate is the percentage of customers that you lose over time. If you conduct customer surveys regularly and know the number of unique customer responses, you can gauge the number of customers who left without giving feedback. These customers are not engaged with your brand and are at risk of going to your competitors. Keep an eye out on these numbers and use them to devise future plans.

8. Web intercepts

A web intercept lets a certain percentage of your website visitors participate in online customer surveys. Visitors get a message on their screens about the survey, and they can choose to answer the survey. Web intercepts work since there are no redirections or pop-ups, ensuring you do not lose your visitors. You can set up intercepts on certain actions such as clicks, scrolls, hovers, etc., making it extremely easy to set up and deploy.