Customer Satisfaction Surveys
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION IS A LEADING INDICATOR OF A CUSTOMER’S INTENT TO RETURN FOR PURCHASES AND SERVICES.
The relationship between customer satisfaction and financial performance is both direct and indirect. Satisfied customers impact profits directly through their willingness to remain customers for a longer period of time, purchase more during that time, and pay slightly higher prices for what they perceive as a premium product. Moreover, satisfied customers are also likely to be lower-maintenance customers, requiring fewer resources to serve, thereby indirectly decreasing the costs associated with service. Finally, satisfied customers may help create a “buzz” about a company’s products or services, which can help build and develop an existing customer base.
Understanding customer satisfaction is important to increasing financial performance in the immediate present and it can help organizations identify potential problems in specific departments or areas, and may provide useful information in strategic development. In this way, understanding the sources of customer satisfaction can increase the longevity of an organization. Information obtained from the customer can also alert an organization to changes in customer preferences, which can then be used to increase the quality of products or services offered. This type of information is often exactly what an organization needs to develop or maintain a competitive advantage.
NBRI’s Customer Satisfaction Surveys explore the relationship between satisfaction and a variety of perceptions, such as: company image, customer service, ethics, communications, value, and product/service offerings. The best data comes from surveys that are aligned with current operating conditions and target specific organizational concerns, yet allow organizations to compare their own performance with that of their competitors. This type of assessment allows an organization to understand what customers want right now, whether those needs are being met, and the areas in which they lag behind their competitors. In this way, a well-designed survey yields rich and actionable data that can substantially bolster organizational performance.
So what does the structure of a well-designed Customer Satisfaction Survey look like? Typically good customer satisfaction surveys are comprised of approximately 15-30 scaled questions. Scaled questions are those items that have a response chosen from a range of values, like 1 to 6. Scaled questions permit quantification of responses, which can ensure precise measurements of customer opinions. As a result, the relationship between these items can be explored. Finally, a well-designed customer satisfaction survey will typically have customized questions relevant to specific conditions or product/service offerings.
By tailoring a survey to meet your organizational needs, NBRI can accurately identify the leading root causes of your customers’ buying behaviors, regardless of product, service, industry or market. NBRI does this through our ClearPath Analytics, which accurately identify what factors are most strongly associated with overall levels of satisfaction. This type of research gives your organization a clear understanding of what it must do to improve customer experiences in the future.
Our ClearPath Action helps your organization begin that change process. This process uses a grassroots approach, soliciting employees to address customer satisfaction levels by focusing on identified root causes. Ultimately, with ClearPath Action, you are primed to address and manage root causes, increase sales and financial performance, and ensure sustained customer relationships in the future.
By working with NBRI to survey customer satisfaction levels, you will see improvements in several areas, such as:
- Drives customer engagement. A customer survey is one way to show the customer you value their opinion. By seeking feedback from customers, and making changes based on their suggestions, you are sending a clear message that their opinion is valuable to your organization. As a result, customers are more likely to feel valued, and they are more likely to perceive their feedback as a welcome part of day-to-day operations. By making a commitment to customer surveys, you are letting the customer know you are committed to them. In essence, a customer survey is a fantastic way to tell customers, “We’re listening and we care.” Simply reaching out to customers in this way can have a positive influence on customer satisfaction levels.
- Helps define performance objectives. By relying on our extensive benchmarking database, NBRI helps you understand your performance relative to others. This means you will understand the total picture of your own performance and you will also understand how customer satisfaction in your organization compares with that of your industry competitors. NBRI works closely with your organization to identify what areas your organization must focus on to become an industry leader in customer satisfaction. The benchmarking information provided by NBRI gives you specific and defined targets to strive for. For example, NBRI’s benchmarking data can tell you that you are performing better than 68% of your competitors, and simultaneously give you the information you need to outperform 75% of your competitors.
- Fosters customer loyalty. The data gathered in a customer survey gives you the information you need to respond to specific customer needs and concerns. A service recovery monitor, one of the many features offered by NBRI, automatically alerts you when customer satisfaction drops below a certain threshold. The ability to reach out and immediately right a wrong can ensure that customer will return in the future, and your rapid response may even build customer loyalty.
- Provides a great vehicle for measuring opinions surrounding new products or services. The secure relationship you enjoy with a group of satisfied customers gives you an ideal market to test different product or service offerings. This group of individuals is already highly invested in your organization and brand, so they are more likely to engage with the new products or services. Furthermore, the strength of the relationship you have with this customer group means they are more likely to offer candid opinions that are vital during market research.
- Demonstrates a customer-centric focus. After a customer satisfaction survey is concluded, the internal response to that survey can help refocus organizational attention on the customer. Our ClearPath Action process challenges employees to address key customer concerns in a rapid and focused manner. In this way, you can ensure the customer remains at the forefront of employee minds and in the heart of your organization. The more you value your customers’ opinions, the more likely they are to reward you with repeat business.
When you hire NBRI, you’re hiring more than a company to conduct survey research. You’re hiring a business partner with a sincere interest in the health and success of your company.
Give us a call. We’re confident that you’ll find us a valuable partner capable of fulfilling your survey research needs, and exceeding your expectations.
Customer Satisfaction Survey Case Study
For over a decade, a leading hotel chain engaged NBRI to conduct its employee satisfaction surveys. After the economic downturn of 2008, they anticipated a disastrous short-term financial picture and wanted to take action immediately. For that reason, they contacted NBRI to see if they could also retain their expertise for a customer survey.
By investing a small amount of money to implement customer satisfaction surveys, they were able to gain vital information on the changing mindsets of their customer base. Insights that allowed them a competitive edge and the potential to gain millions of dollars of business in an economy that had suddenly become hostile to the travel industry.
NBRI recommended a standard customer satisfaction survey, which was customized for the client. This survey asked respondents to rank items in order of importance before rating the client’s performance on those same items. The survey was deployed to a small, stratified, random sample of customers to ensure the data gathered was truly representative of the thinking of the entire clientele. Ultimately, the hotel was able to obtain a 99% Confidence Level, but at a fraction of the cost of surveying everyone.
The study revealed a very different root cause of customer satisfaction than what was initially anticipated by the client. Somewhat surprisingly—given the economic climate—price was not the primary driver of the customers’ intention to return to the hotel. Furthermore, concerns about the expense of air travel had less of an influence on hotel patronage than expected.
In fact, NBRI’s ClearPath Analytics revealed that friendliness of the staff was the primary driver of the customer experience. This was a very important finding for a hotel that was considering adopting more cost-cutting measures. Per NBRI’s recommendations, the client proactively leveraged this crucial information to develop measures to increase the quality of the guest-employee relationship. This recommendation was later validated by an increase in revenue-per-guest, a very important gain in a challenging economy.
Once again, NBRI’s ClearPath Analytics demonstrated the ability to yield prudent recommendations that allowed an organization to increase its competitive edge and financial returns.
The Standard NBRI Customer Satisfaction Survey includes 30 questions covering 7 topics, requiring less than 5 minutes to complete, and is customized to achieve each organization's specific goals for their study.
Standard Customer Satisfaction Survey Topics
Customer Satisfaction Survey Related White Papers
Research is in our blood. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. Our white papers highlight our philosophy on areas of business impacted by survey research.
See for yourself:
Customer Engagement and Customer Loyalty. Cause or Effect? – Businesses understand that most customers value quality products and services. And, customer satisfaction generates customer loyalty, repeat business and profitability.
Getting the Most Out of Your Customer Research – Why do companies make this investment in customer research? Because they believe that knowledge of customer behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions can lead to increased profits.
View all Customer Survey White Papers by NBRI.
Here’s what some of our customers are saying about us:
The staff is easy to work with and very helpful. Very timely with my email requests and compiling data. Great company to work with, especially the project manager!Dana Atkins
Our NBRI Organizational Psychologist is wonderful to work with. She provides us with great ideas and ways that we can get the most from our surveys. Our project manager is great, I tell her what I need and when I need it and she makes it happen. The survey reports made sense and provided us insights to areas of opportunity.Kim Day
Our NBRI project manager is awesome - I wish we could have her at our organization. She is professional, friendly, and very timely in responding to our many requests!!Katie Kaye
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