Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Customers are the ones who have road tested the products or services you have to offer. They can tell you what they like and don't like, why they favor you with repeat business or why they take their business elsewhere. They can also tell you about the quality of customer service, sales skills, atmosphere, hours, telephone service, your website, parking, and dozens of other aspects of your operation.

You may think you know your customers. But how many do you really know? Today, with larger operations and a more mobile population, it's difficult for business owners to get to know their customers well, and those you do know may not represent your market. Business owners who want to really understand their customer base rely on customer surveys to gain insight into what motivates customer shopping habits and decisions.

Not all customers are retail customers; clients of professional services, companies, and even departments within companies, are someone's customers.

A feature of many customer satisfaction surveys is the Importance/Performance measurement. This asks customers to rate the business or organization on a range of attributes. Customers are then asked to rate business performance on the same list of attributes. Comparing performance scores against importance scores tells you where you are meeting, exceeding, or failing to meet customer expectations. This calculation can also be made for various customer segments (big spenders vs. small spenders, older vs. younger, etc.)

Customer Satisfaction Surveys can also extend to the competition, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, and which of your customers are visiting the competition and why.