5 Methods to Help Measure Customer Satisfaction

By Chris Ryba

We spend a lot of time talking about customer satisfaction. As an industry, it’s really our bread and butter, so it makes sense that we would be constantly focused on ensuring customers are happy and satisfied. Yet it goes deeper than simple satisfaction, doesn’t it? Setting the gauge for customer retention on the concept of “customer satisfaction” falls short if we don’t really dig in to determine what we’re measuring that allows us to say, “Yes, our customers are satisfied.”

It would be nice to think that, if customers aren’t complaining, they’re satisfied, but that’s a pretty terrible thought isn’t it? That maybe they aren’t really happy, but they are satisfied “enough” and that’s all we care about.

So what should we be measuring? Where do we begin when it comes to customer satisfaction to know, first and foremost, if our customers are satisfied and then, just how satisfied and perhaps even what we can do to further increase their satisfaction.

1. Speed of response/resolution   

How long did it take your team to respond to a customer’s outreach? Understanding from their perspective what their interaction with your team looks like can help you to evaluate how effectively the team is doing their job and how satisfied your customers are. It’s important to measure this factor by individual platform as well. Are you more efficient via phone or website? Knowing this can help you to find gaps in service and identify places for improvement.

When we talk about speed, consider not only how long are they on the phone or web with your team but also how long till a replacement is sent, how long till money is refunded or other solution is provided. The customer’s experience with your team doesn’t end when the contact is disconnected, it’s the entire process to resolution.

2. What kind of satisfaction rating would your customers give your team?

Wanna know how satisfied your customers are with your services? Ask them. You can actually build loyalty to your brand simply by showing that you care about your customers, their opinions and  that you are listening. So ask them questions. Make these questions short and anonymous but also thorough. Ask for more than just an overall rating when possible. Questioning specific facets of their experience can help to pinpoint areas for improvement. So spend the time to determine what you want to find out more about and how you can target those areas in your customer questionnaires. Always remember your customer’s time is valuable though, so ask the questions but keep it brief.

3. Customer loyalty

Satisfied customers are, historically, loyal. So if you want to know how you’re doing, consider the use of a Net Promoter Score. Essentially this is the test that asks the question, “Would you recommend this product or service to friends or family?”

It’s a true measure of a customer’s loyalty when they like you so much, they would recommend you to a friend. It’s one thing to keep a customer because it’s easier for them, or because they think your service, “Isn’t terrible”, it’s another to have them trust you enough to tell their mom to use your services.

Along with the referral question, it’s worth asking customers about their likelihood to repurchase your product or service. This question alone often uncovers opportunities to connect with your customers, problem solve for them and better your overall relationship and their satisfaction.

4. Spend the time to review complaints thoroughly

While at first glance this doesn’t seem to fit as a tactic for measuring customer satisfaction, it can offer a larger perspective on clients’ happiness and offer ways to build upon potential weaknesses within your organization or processes and create strengths.

After issues are resolved, make sure you have a separate team that is reviewing these complaints. They should be looking to identify consistent areas of concern, factors that could be prevented in the first place and other areas where improvement is needed in your processes or customer service pipeline.  

They should also focus on social media. There are plenty of social listening tactics available that, along with direct interactions with your brand, can give your team insider tips on what’s making customers happy and what needs improvement. Consider it your cheat sheet for improving customer satisfaction.

5. Wish lists

What are the things your customers wish you did? Services they wish you offered? These may not always be possible but worst case they offer insight into your customer’s needs and the potential to partner with a provider of those needs. Best case scenario, your customers just did your product/service viability testing for you and you have a whole new service line to offer.

So again, ask them the questions. Most customers are happy to give you their two cents and it can provide invaluable ROI to spend the time and resources to ask the question.

Proactively measuring your customers satisfaction can be a useful tool as you work to continuously improve your company. In today’s highly competitive marketplace it can be difficult to retain customers, let alone attract new ones. So giving yourself the upper hand by understanding what makes your customers happy can go a long way in keeping them happy and in attracting new customers to your business. 

The real key to customer satisfaction measurement is to keep doing it. This is a continuous process that allows you to survey and measure, review response, evaluate that response and then make adjustments based on that data. It’s a never-ending circle that can work to keep your customers in a circle of never-ending satisfaction with your brand.