customer satisfaction survey | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

“You’re the Boss” - 2/20/24


Terrence is excellent at what he does.  From a technical standpoint, he knows how to keep the facility clean.  He’s the lead custodian, and he knows that keeping things straight does not necessarily mean keeping things sanitary.  He knows what chemicals to use and not to use, how to Read more

Customer Understanding Leads to Relationship Growth - 2/13/24


We’ve worked with educational organizations at all grade levels over the years.  One special and unique characteristic about the staff who work in these organizations is that there’s a clear intent to know about the students as individuals, to focus on them rather than purely focusing on what’s delivered Read more

Define Customer Service Success Differently - 2/6/24


When I’m watching television, listening to the radio, or listening to a podcast, it’s always interesting when the topic moves to the question:  How can you be a success?  The speakers often discuss the process of becoming a success with the assumption that people believe success is defined by Read more

Care Enough to Give Them a Heads Up - 1/30/24


Nothing bad at all might happen.  Every day in the office could seem like every other day.  Sights and sounds and smells might continue to be the same.  But we have a lot of construction going on around our offices, and the building manager knows the type of work Read more

Be Better than AI Customer Service - 1/23/24


There was a recent CBS Sunday Morning Show story called: How artificial intelligence is revamping customer call centers. The journalist described how artificial intelligence is being used in customer service, and he noted the millions of pieces of information that can be processed in a matter of seconds. There are clear Read more

Recognize the Situation, and Pivot - 1/16/24


The customer has a complaint, or they may have an important question about an order or their account.  You may be talking to them in an emergency room, in the lobby of the government building, on the phone, or in a video conversation.  And in many of these Moments Read more

Sharpen Your Service Delivery - 1/9/24


You work so hard at being responsive and providing high quality information.  You work hard at fixing problems.  But is your delivery…dull? I’m not saying that it has to be exciting, but let’s think of the word “exciting.”  It means that something’s interesting, has energy, is positive.  Just by its Read more

Make Empathy Your Superpower - 1/2/24


I was facilitating a Service Excellence Training class for a Higher Ed client in the Northeast several years back.  As I was walking through the portions of our technique for defusing the angry customer, I talked about empathy.  I talked about accepting responsibility. Immediately, one of the hands in the Read more

Holiday Poem 2023 - 12/26/23


The days are getting longer, The skies are getting brighter. Festivities behind us, And festivities before us.   There’s ups and downs and change coming, And we can’t predict when or where. There’s challenges and joys and opportunities around, Of which you may or may not be aware.   But one thing we know as we look at each Read more

Refresh, Rejuvenate, Refocus - 12/19/23


It’s that time of year.  We’re going 100 miles an hour, and holiday time is upon us.  We not only have all the work to do, but we somehow have less time to do it.  We somehow have other things that are of competing interest, and even though those Read more

G.A.B. – The Survey Guiding Principles – 3/28/23

Posted on in Customer Service Tip of the Week Please leave a comment

You’re excited!  The company has okayed your conducting a survey, and you immediately think of a half dozen questions you want to ask every customer.  You document your questions, get input from others, and all of a sudden you have a Word document with 36 questions instead of 6.  Now, what do you do?

Some clients engage us before they get into the particulars of the survey instrument.  Other clients come to us after they’ve already created that 36 question survey.  In either case, before you dive into the details of the survey questions, here are 3 Guiding Principles that could govern your decision-making about the overall design of the survey:

Goal-driven – Make sure that the questions are addressing your overall goals for the research.  The goals should drive what information you seek, which should drive the structure of the survey and the wording of the questions – it shouldn’t be the other way around.  Create the survey instrument around your goals, and when you have that draft put together, make sure each question aligns with what you’re trying to accomplish.

Actionable – For each question, give consideration to what would be done with the information.  Could you act upon the results?  What will the metrics potentially tell you? Are you evaluating attributes against each other, against historical data, against national benchmarks?  And how are you going to act differently based on ratings?  For the open-ended questions, are you going to utilize the common themes to improve operations, change strategies, reward and recognize others?  If the question is not actionable, why would you even ask?

Balanced – Ensure that there is a relatively even mix of questions seeking positives as well as questions seeking opportunities for improvement.  This is something that few of our clients consider.  Some clients are primarily looking for constructive feedback – and the tone of the survey can get the customer thinking too negatively and elicit too many negative stories.  Others are looking just for positives to use to market themselves internally or make themselves look good.  Instead, the survey should be balanced.  Research should help you to identify what is not working well while also helping understand where you can strengthen your strengths.

Let the goals of the survey drive the focus of the questions.  Ensure that the questions are structured to be actionable.  Create an overall balance of identifying what could be better as well as knowing what already is providing a great customer experience.

Design your survey to align to the G.A.B. Guiding Principles.

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In Survey Development, Think in Reverse – 1/11/22

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We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer!

And when we review their questions and start to see the direction they’re heading with the topics, we invariably pause the conversation and ask them to take a step back.  Overall:  What is the goal of the research?  What are they hoping to learn?  How will they act on the results?

Even for their drafted questions, we ask them to take a step back and think about each question:

  • What do you expect to learn from the responses?
  • If the customers say they want “A,” are they going to expect that we act on their response?
  • If the responses say “this doesn’t work,” what are we going to do with that information?
  • How are we going to use the response for prioritizing some operations improvement, helping with strategic planning, or enhancing the customer experience?
  • What’s the goal of asking that question?

 
When clients start with their questions in-hand, we make inquiries like those above.  Essentially, we are trying to get the client to reverse their thinking.  Instead of starting with their questions, we want to them to (1) Start with the Goal, then (2) Go back to how they would Act on the Results, then (3) Go back to the Data they Need, and finally (4) Determine how to Word the Question.

If they work through this process correctly, it will result in a question worded to get actionable data to achieve the goal.  If they start with the question, it may result in an unusable set of answers.

Develop surveys in reverse.  Start with your goal and gradually work your way back to the question.

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It Matters How They Heard About You – 8/10/21

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In the 1,000+ surveys that CSS has conducted over the past 20 years, it’s interesting to read how our clients’ customers heard about them.  This question is typically asked of first-time customers, and it’s especially helpful for those customers because you don’t typically have a lot of information on them, so it’s hard to categorize them, align them with your customer personas, or get a feel for what they expect.

So, it’s great when those first-time customers will answer that question, because how they heard about you matters.  It gives you a strong sense of what they expect.

It tells you what method of communication (website, an advertisement, word-of-mouth, etc.) made an impression in the customer’s mind – a positive enough impression for them to contact your business.

It also helps you to understand what expectation the customer has of the experience they’re about to have with your business.  If it’s a website referral, your site has certain expectations it’s setting about the products you have or what the customer is about to experience.  If it’s a word-of-mouth referral, they have expectations based on a friend who actually experienced your business.  If it’s an ad, it’s an expectation based on the product or event or characteristic that you promoted and what expectation your ad set.

To take this analysis a step further, ask the customer “What about the – ad, friend’s referral, website – brought you in today?”  This will encourage them to tell you more specifically what they expect.  And the more precisely you know the customer’s expectations, the more precisely you can meet and exceed them.

Ask the customer where they heard of your business; ask what brought them to your business.  Then exceed that expectation.

Uncover your first-time customers’ expectations.

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