04.02.2019

Lessons from customer satisfaction surveys

Nowadays, low production costs or optimized processes are not the only factors affecting a company's success. High competition makes companies have to fight for every customer. Therefore, it is important to know what his expectations and requirements are. The primary source that can provide such useful information for a company is customer satisfaction surveys. But what do they actually consist of and what benefits do they bring to companies that opt for them?

The essence and methods of customer satisfaction research

Customer satisfaction surveys make it possible to gather opinions on the goods and services offered by a company, as well as to measure the level of satisfaction and loyalty of buyers. Over the past decades of marketing development, many methods have been developed to measure these aspects.

The simplest and most accessible way to study customer satisfaction is to analyze complaints coming into the company. However, it involves some inconveniences - it is not very representative. Only 4% of customers complain directly to company representatives. The others complain to family and friends, effectively deterring them from using the company's services. Therefore, when surveying customer satisfaction, it is worthwhile to use professional companies that use more structured methods.

These primarily include survey research. In the first stage, a questionnaire is prepared based on existing knowledge about the organization and customers. This is followed by interviews with buyers: either by telephone, via an online survey or in person at the company's premises. After collecting information from consumers, the analysis process begins. One tool to help interpret the data is the Consumer Satisfaction Index (CSI). It measures both the fulfillment of expectations and their validity. Using weighting in measuring satisfaction allows you to select aspects that need improvement first. Through surveys, it is also possible to calculate a Consumer Loyalty Index showing how many existing customers would choose to purchase a product or use a service again. This allows you to focus on the expectations of regular customers, who generate the highest profits. Acquiring a new customer is much more expensive than retaining an existing one, so a consumer who has already used a company several times should not be allowed to abandon it.

What can you learn from a customer satisfaction survey?

Correctly conducted customer satisfaction survey allows you to obtain a lot of important information necessary to gain a competitive advantage over other companies. First of all, you can find out what customers' requirements are and what they expect from the goods and services offered by the company. This allows you to adjust your business and assortment to meet the needs of your buyers and keep them in your business. Knowing the profile of a company's average customer also makes it possible to better adapt its offerings to consumer trends and respond instantly to changes in the environment. In addition, it is possible to distinguish different groups of customers who have different expectations and apply an appropriate sales strategy to each.

Responding to consumer expectations and demands results in a high level of satisfaction. And if the customer is satisfied then he is more likely to return to use the company's services. Customer satisfaction surveys help measure, as well as build buyer loyalty. Brand loyal customers are also more likely to encourage their friends or family, which increases the pool of potential customers.

The customer satisfaction survey also allows measuring the quality of service. Its low level can effectively discourage buyers from using the company's offerings, so it is very important to find out how service is perceived by customers. Appropriate measures can then be taken to increase customer satisfaction. This can also change the attitude of employees, who will begin to care about the opinion of consumers.

Through customer satisfaction surveys, it is also possible to study how the various communication channels are perceived and whether they meet buyers' requirements. Such knowledge allows you to improve communication with customers, which is the basis of buyer satisfaction and contributes to improving the image of the company.

In conclusion, customer satisfaction surveys provide companies with a unique opportunity to learn about buyers' opinions. This allows companies to tailor their goods and services to consumers' preferences, and thus create a stronger bond with them. Nowadays, they are the ones who dictate terms, so the knowledge gained through customer satisfaction surveys can prove to be a key factor leading to company growth.

Jakub Michalak

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