Everything you need to know about Customer Satisfaction (Research)
Customer satisfaction, what does it mean, how do you measure it and how do you improve it? Below you’ll find all information about what customer satisfaction entails, how to measure it and why customer satisfaction research is important.
Customer satisfaction indicates to what extent the products and services meet the expectations of the customer. So, to what extent a company or organization is able to meet or even exceed customer needs.
How to measure customer satisfaction with customer satisfaction research?
There are different methodologies you can use to measure customer satisfaction and to conduct customer satisfaction research. One of the most commonly used KPIs to measure customer satisfaction is the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). CSAT can be compared with a score with which you measure the satisfaction of your customers with the products and/or services they’ve purchased. On a scale of 1 to 10, the customer is asked to rate your product or service. By expressing customer satisfaction in a score, the CSAT is recognizable and easy to display in average scores.
This way, the CSAT offers the opportunity to gain insight into how an organization performs on certain (specific) aspects. The CSAT is mainly used when asking for a recommendation is not a logical question or when asking for a recommendation is not appropriate, for example, with questions about care institutions or questions about the government.
Moreover, a satisfied customer doesn’t tell you anything about how loyal he or she is to your brand or organization. The difference between satisfied and loyal customers is that satisfaction focuses on the past and meets expectations. On the other hand, loyalty focuses on the future and on the extent to which a customer remains loyal to an organization and recommends the organization to others.
The importance of customer satisfaction research
Measuring customer satisfaction gives you insight into to what extent you meet customer expectations. This is very important to know for organizations that want to work in a customer-focused way. Focusing on customer focus and meeting customer needs will result in more satisfied returning customers and make repeat purchases and thus become loyal customers. Or even ambassadors/promoters of your brand or organization. Enthusiastic customers also ensure enthusiastic employees. This results in lower absenteeism, retention of talent and an increase in productivity and it creates a positive atmosphere in the organization. And loyal customers and promoters spend more and are willing to pay more. This means more sales! The purpose of customer satisfaction research is to provide you with the tools to improve the customer focus of your organization and to get more satisfied customers.
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Improving the experience
To stand head and shoulders above your competition, it is important that you not only listen to your customers and respond to their changing needs. The enthusiasm and well-being of your employees also play an essential role. Happy employees means happy (returning) customers. To achieve this, it is important that the foundation of your business is solid. By only responding to customer satisfaction, you can no longer stand out as a brand and organization. On the other hand, "Experience Management” focuses on customer focus and what this accomplishes from 3 pillars as a holistic entirety:
- Listen to your customers and continuously implement focused improvements through all layers of your organization (Voice of Customer)
- Motivate and engage employees, they make customer satisfaction and customer loyalty possible (Voice of Employee)
- Make sure the foundations are solid and improve your business operations by focusing on hard KPIs (Voice of Business)
Benefits of customer satisfaction research
Measuring is knowing! Many companies or organizations often make decisions based on their intuition, processes that don’t work well internally or only look at customer complaints. And satisfied customers are being overlooked. By setting up your customer satisfaction research properly and analyzing the results, you know exactly to what extent you as an organization meet customer needs and which buttons you need to push to improve customer satisfaction. By ensuring that your methodology is focused on priorities, you know exactly what areas should be improved for each department, location or employee and you can make well-informed strategic and operational decisions.
There is so much more to customer satisfaction research than an Excel sheet with the end results. You can read how PGGM (executive organization for various pension funds) takes care of that in the blog PGGM brings research to life, including examples of how they improve customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction research software
If you truly want to make a difference and you want to stand out, it’s not only important that you know to what extent your customers are satisfied. What matters is what you do with this information and how you’re going to improve customer satisfaction with this information. Through smart customer satisfaction research software, you can continuously collect automated customer feedback. Then, you’ll get structural insight into customer satisfaction and you can use this data immediately instead of afterwards every year. Customers and employees often no longer know what the interaction was like a year ago and complaints can no longer be resolved. That way you’re always one step behind.
If you link the insights to your internal (customer) data from ERP, CRM and support systems, you’ll also know exactly at which organization level you need to improve. In addition, you can personalize the questionnaire by automatically linking data that you already know about your customers from your internal customer systems. Address the customer by first name and last name or mention the name of the employee who helped the customer.
With smart customer satisfaction research software, you can structurally support the organization at all levels to increase customer satisfaction and give customers the feeling that someone is seriously listening to them without sending them lengthy questionnaires.
Important features of customer satisfaction research software
Ask as few questions as possible
Use short and powerful automated questionnaires, but make sure you’re still able to figure out why your customers give a specific score.
Categorize open questions
Let your customers categorize the answer and find out exactly why they gave that answer and what they mean by it.
Collect data smartly through all channels
Customers and employees are active on lots of channels and platforms. Use the medium that suits them and make it as simple as possible for them to give feedback.
Focus on the stories of customers
A story says a lot more than just a score. Understand what goes on in the mind of the customer by supporting the score with real stories and emotions.
Share insights within your organization
Activate your organization by giving everyone access to insights that are relevant to him or her at any time.
Make data as beautiful and visual as possible
Avoid boring tables and graphs. Make data and results visually appealing so that it becomes manageable and comes to life in the organization.
Make sure you have a good data link
By bringing together data from different sources and systems into one system, you avoid manual, time-consuming processes that are prone to error.
Make organization data suitable for analysis and reporting
Different systems in the organization store data for the same customer in a different way, which makes analysis and reporting a lot harder and it requires a lot of manual work. Avoid this by working with just one system for all analyzes and reports.
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