As a service oriented business, customer satisfaction is extremely important. I'm often communicating with customers and partners either online, through emails and social media or offline at conferences and events. Because of this I get the privilege to hear firsthand, their experience and feedback.
I make an effort to share feedback received (good or bad) with the team, however, these are often subjective, especially when trying to gauge the emotion and sentiment associated to feedback gathered online. When it comes down to measuring just how satisfied our customers are, it becomes a more challenging and thought-out process. One that requires specific measures.
I'll discuss the three measures we use to measure Customer Satisfaction:
In my opinion, when it comes to measuring customer satisfaction from an aggregate perspective, it is important to consider the stages in which we 'touch' a customer. Most of the reinsurance administration and underwriting services we offer are longer term, which means the duration of time we interact with our customers can span over a number of months or even years. Often times, service providers are keen on conducting an 'end of project' survey to determine the success of the project or customer satisfaction. However, in our scenario, there runs the risk of omitting valuable feedback from the onset of the project through to completion.
Therefore, there are 3 types of surveys we conduct to evaluate customer satisfaction that considers the entire life cycle of a customer (and beyond).
1. Customer Satisfaction Survey
I won't belabor this, I know we've all completed a customer satisfaction survey in some form or another. These are great to conduct on a periodic but regular basis, whether that means every quarter, once a year, or at the end of an engagement. These should include a series of questions that measure quality of your product/service, timeliness of your delivery, staff competency and friendliness, and in some questions, a measure of how you do against a competitor. Therefore, adding bits to do with pricing and flexibility will give you some insight into that.
However you should be cautious on the number of questions you ask and also the answer selection you offer in order to consistently and accurately measure how one survey response stacks up to another. Here are a few best practices I follow when designing and conducting our customer satisfaction surveys:
- If using a rating scale, apply a consistent scale for questions in the same category,
- On the same note for a rating scale, use an even number for response options, i.e. Rate my service from 1 to 4, as oppose to 1 to 5 as people generally gravitate to the mid way point which will be tough for you to determine their what a 3 or neutral means,
- I stick to no more than 20 questions in total, anything beyond that become laborsome to complete,
- I give multiple options for customers to complete their surveys - either through an online survey tool, through a phone interview, or an in-person meeting. After I conduct the first one, I always ask which preferred method they wish to conduct the next survey with. This way, you're not allowing the survey process to hinder you from obtaining optimal results,
- In terms of how I select which clients to survey and when, we survey the same number of clients per quarter (I literally take the total number of clients and divide them per quarter). We typically don't survey a client more than once a year, unless they are working on multiple projects that span across different lines of business. Spreading out the client base across the year, gives us the ability to report out on surveys every quarter as opposed to only a big bump during one period of time.
2. Net Promoter Score
|Natalie Ho is Vice President Sales & Marketing at LOGiQ3
NPS is a simple 10 point measure that determines how likely your customer (or maybe not even a customer) is to recommend your business to another. NPS is a good indicator for the company's reputation and influence in the marketplace. NPS score is derived by subtracting the percentage of respondents that rate between 0-6 from the ones that rate 9-10. In any business, you should strive to have more promoters (9-10) than Detractors (0-6).
When it comes to frequency of conducting NPS surveys, we follow the same frequency as the customer service satisfaction survey. This NPS question is typically included within the survey above. However, since we survey a shortlist of clients per quarter, to widen the number or responses, we will also run a semi-annual NPS campaign, where we will survey our entire contact base. After all, NPS measures the reputation of the business, which in most cases reaches beyond the current customer base.
To increase the response rate, here are some suggestions:
- Offer an incentive to complete, i.e. to enter a draw for a $5 gift card
- Make it super easy, a simple web landing page where you're not collecting additional data
- Discrete pop-ups on company website
3. Instantaneous Feedback
Now that we've covered methods to obtain periodic feedback, what about instant feedback? What if a client is having a great or terrible experience in this very second - what are some things we can put in place to give them the opportunity to tell us, but in a measurable fashion?
We've toyed around with the idea that is similar to the Facebook Like button. What if every time you send an email, a client can simply click like or rate it from 1-10? Overtime, this type of instantaneous feedback collected can become extremely powerful in terms of improving email quality and frequency.
We've not yet integrated a solution that allows us to capture instantaneous feedback...just yet! So please stay tuned, something is in the works.
In the meantime, here are some that may give you an idea or two:
Of course the reason why we track and measure our performance is so that we can continue to improve our level of service. Therefore, it is equally important to set goals for each of these metrics and consistently report out results so that the rest of the team can see just how well the organization is doing.
Furthermore, I'm a big fan of sharing results publicly. Now, I'm not suggesting to publish the entire set of customer satisfaction results on the company website, but I do believe, if there is a customer success story, these should be shared in the form of client testimonials and client case studies. It is a terrific celebration for both the customer and service provider.
Hope you were able to get a few insights on measuring customer satisfaction. If you have any questions, feel free to leave me a comment and I'd be happy to discuss.