customer satisfaction survey | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Change on the Fly - 5/30/23


Situational service requires some advanced engagement skills.  It involves seeing each situation independent of any others, reading the moment, and changing on the fly to create the best possible customer experience and outcomes.  So, what are some keys to situational service?  Keep these guiding principles in mind: Start Open-minded: When Read more

Try an Empathy Exercise - 5/23/23


We often note that empathy is the most important quality to have in order to be great at customer service.  Empathy enables you to view people uniquely.  It helps the customer not to feel like just a number.  And the more we can view people as individuals, the better Read more

Time is of the Essence - 5/16/23


Time is precious.  There’s no time like the present.  Your time is valuable.  Timing is everything.  Children spell “love,” T-I-M-E. There are many great quotes that reference time.  And part of the reason is that time can be considered somewhat finite; at least within the day, it’s a limited resource.  Read more

Perpetuate Positivity with the Customer - 5/9/23


We’ve written many Tips on how to deal with various negative customer emotions.  Those emotions could reflect anger, fear of the unknown, upset, anxiety, or nervousness.  But instead of talking today about how to deal with their negative emotions, let’s talk about how to engender some positive emotions. We want Read more

Are You in a Position? - 5/2/23


Last week’s Tip compared Perspectives and Positions, and we noted that when people have a perspective on a given topic or issue, that’s often useful.  However, when people are more focused on their position, things can get testy. One topic we didn’t fully address last week was the definition of Read more

De-escalating Conflict in Customer Service - 4/25/23


Conflict can be very healthy and productive.  You and your customer are taking different perspectives, but if you have the same goal and you focus on what you’re trying to accomplish, the different perspectives may lead to an interesting approach or a mutually-beneficial solution. If the decision was up to Read more

Why a Home Run Swing Whiffs - 4/18/23


ACME Tree Service showed up at Nancy’s house to provide an estimate for trimming some trees.  The sales consultant looked at the trees and their proximity to the house, and he quickly wrote up a bid.  Heavy trimming on 9 trees.  Heavy price tag.  It was a quick conversation Read more

Communicate Crisply - 4/11/23


I try to make these tips around 300 words, but oftentimes I’m North of 400.  I work hard to pare down the words because I don’t want one or two core points being lost in a barrage of verbosity. Phrases like lost in a barrage of verbosity are the things Read more

Improve Co-worker Rapport to Improve the Customer Experience - 4/4/23


The movers were packing up the house.  It was a stressful time for Janine.  She was having to move her aging parents to a new city in a new State to help care for them.  The parents were leaving behind friends and a community where they’d lived for most Read more

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


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.  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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