When conducting research, you often need to ask many questions to your customers to get to the core of their needs. However, long questionnaires discourage your respondents, and they cannot always express their true feelings or complaints. CYS has developed a method based on the Root Cause Analysis method (RCA) that is used in IT, which makes it very easy to map the drivers of your customers. But it can also be used in employee feedback, or any other target group. How this works, you can read in this blog post.

What is Root Cause Analysis

Root cause analysis (RCA) is a method of problem-solving often used in IT. You drill down entirely to the real root of a problem. You solve the real problem rather than battling the symptoms, and this way, the most effective solution can be identified and implemented.

Root Cause Analysis in feedback

The root cause analysis is a highly valued method to map the drivers behind customer KPI’s. This analysis allows you to get to the core of customer satisfaction problems. It shows you what is driving your customers and gives you a chance to fix what’s wrong.

Thanks to the root cause analysis, you not only know the needs of your customers (or employees) but also why they have those wishes and what follow-up actions can be taken.

How does the Root Cause Analysis work in CYS?

Let’s show an example of how it works with the CYS software. Let’s say you are using the KPI Net Promoter Score to measure Customer Experience and want to know, based on the feedback of your customers, what your organization needs to do to improve customer loyalty.

The NPS questionnaire with root cause most customers of CYS are using look like this:

  1. The first question is the KPI question, in this example the NPS question:
    Based on your experience, would you recommend our product/service/company to your friends and family?
  2. The second question is an open question and asks your respondents to write down their primary thoughts to substantiate the score they have given for the first question:
    Could you share with us the reason why you feel this way?
  3. With the third question, the ‘story’ will be categorized in two consecutive steps:
    Which of the factors mentioned below best captures your explanation?

Example Root Cause categories

After customers have given your product, service, or company a score (question 1) and written down their primary thoughts (the ‘story’) to substantiate the score they have given (question 2), the root cause categories are listed. The second category the respondent can choose from depends on the category one that is chosen.

For example, in a survey of the maintenance department of a car company, the first root causes can be:

  • Maintenance
  • Making the appointment
  • Service
  • Price and invoice
  • Accessibility

When the respondent chooses the category ‘Maintenance’, the second root causes can be:

  • Quality of maintenance
  • Parts availability
  • Cleanliness of the car after delivery
  • Speed of service
  • Communication regarding maintenance

Analyzing the Root Cause

Suppose most detractors (respondents who rated the NPS question with a 0 to 5) select ‘Maintenance’ as first, and ‘Communication regarding maintenance’ as the second Root Cause. This means the most important driver for customers to not recommend the garage to friends and family is the communication regarding the maintenance.

Another example: most promotors (respondents who rated the NPS question with a 9 or 10) of store Y select ‘Maintenance’ as first, and ‘speed of service’ as the second root cause. That means that the most important driver for loyal customers is the product range in this store.

By combining the root cause categories with the ‘story’ of question 2, you know exactly what you can do to increase customer loyalty.

Up to 64 categories

With CYS software, you can define up to eight categories for the first root cause, and up to eight categories for the second root cause. Thanks to this, up to 64 categories can be assessed, including the needs per category and even per employee. The priority matrix automatically generates priorities to improve customer satisfaction, for all organization levels. And the open answers help employees to understand the emotion of the customer.

This way, each employee can be given insight every day regarding individual customer satisfaction, loyalty, or service orientation and thus follow up on these to improve KPI’s.

A daily root cause analysis example

A kitchen manufacturer and retailer in the Netherlands asks for customer feedback on several moments in their journey. When making an analysis based on the root cause, there were two clear dissatisfiers: a non-transparent price policy and the negotiation about prices. So, the manufacturer decided to implement another pricing model with a fixed price. Immediately the NPS increased as well as the turnover for each store after a while.


Long surveys discourage your respondents and often have a low response rate. Thanks to the unique root cause analysis of CYS you only need to ask three questions when conducting research to get to the core of the need of your customer, employees, or any other target group. In this blog post, we explained how the root cause analysis helps you to identify exactly what you need to do to increase customer or employee satisfaction.

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