Customer satisfaction surveys help companies measure satisfaction, identify unhappy customers and find potential advocates. For most companies, customer satisfaction ratings can have powerful effects. Firstly, they help focus employees on the importance of fulfilling and exceeding customer expectations. Secondly, when satisfaction ratings dip, they warn of potential problems that can affect future revenue.

Customer satisfaction metrics assist with understanding exactly how happy (or unhappy) your customers are. Research from 1Financial Training Services found that 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain, but 91% of those actually leave and never come back. This is astounding and shows how important it is to understand and use customer satisfaction surveys within your company.

What is a Customer Satisfaction Survey?

An effective customer satisfaction survey has 5-8 questions that relate to the service delivery, customer experience and overall satisfaction. Some surveys require just one question and a comments box.

The purpose of this type of survey is to gauge how satisfied your customers are. A happy customer is extremely valuable to your company. Happy customers come back and make repeat purchases; they have higher customer lifetime values and are less likely to defect to competitors.

On the flip-side, an unhappy customer is a nightmare. They are more likely not to continue to buy from you, and even worse, they tell lots of people about their bad experience. A study by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. Around 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.

Customer satisfaction surveys help you identify the overall level of satisfaction and assist with finding your happiest and unhappiest customers. Feedback from a survey gives you the opportunity to follow up with your happiest customers (to turn them into advocates), and your unhappiest customers (to fix problems and retain their business).

The most effective customer satisfaction surveys use rating scales. Asking customers to answer questions on a rating scale of 1-10 means you can track satisfaction over time. This helps when you want to measure changes in satisfaction to see if the initiatives you implemented have had a positive or negative impact on satisfaction.

Additionally, surveys should be personalized and branded, so that customers know what they are filling out. They should be accessible across all web, tablet, and mobile devices. These strategies have been proven to increase survey response rates so you can get more customer feedback.

The end goal of a customer satisfaction survey is to get actionable customer feedback that you can use to improve the overall customer experience. The best companies in the world focus heavily on creating amazing customer experiences. To create amazing experiences, you first need to measure and track customer satisfaction. Surveys are the best way to do that.

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