You may be under the impression that your customers are satisfied with your business, but how do you really know for sure?
There are a variety of methods used for measuring customer satisfaction, and each of them provides a slightly different insight into how your customers feel about their interactions with your business.
First Step: Know your Customers
Businesses used to practice under the assumption that a buying customer was a happy customer, and that a happy customer was a satisfied customer, but we know now that isn’t necessarily true. Customers judge our businesses by much more than the products or services we have available, so it’s important to appreciate what they like and dislike about our business as a whole. After all, customer retention (more here) is a key piece of keeping a business running successfully for a long time.
So how do we measure customer satisfaction? Take a look at some of the options, and what they’ll tell you about your customer’s state of mind.
How To Find Out How Satisfied Your Customers Are?
There’s really only one way to find out how happy your customers are with their interaction with your business: Ask!
Customer surveys used to be something business owners avoided, but today, they can make or break a fledgling business. Online commerce has made it so that business owners need to know what aspects of their site, store, or service require attention in order to survive. Therefore, the customer satisfaction survey has become something nearly everyone expects when they make a purchase or transaction online.
There are several ways to administer this sort of survey. Some are presented immediately after a customer has completed a purchase, with the survey being triggered as soon as the confirmation page loads. Others are sent via email once the product has been delivered or the service completed, which means tracking shipments or schedules.
And some surveys are sent throughout the year via email. This method allows you to send different surveys to those who make multiple purchases throughout the year, to those who made one purchase and vanished.
So what are some metrics that you can use to determine how happy your customers are?
The CSAT Score
CSAT is probably the simplest way to gauge how your customers feel about their transactions. In fact, CSAT stands for “Customer Satisfaction,” which makes it easy enough to remember.
The best way to discover your CSAT score is to ask questions directly to your customers via email survey or even a pop up following a transaction.
“On a scale of 1-5, with one being very displeased, and 5 being very pleased, how would you rate your experience today?”
The customer should answer honestly, which will allow you to calculate your overall CSAT score over a period of time. To do so, divide the number of highly satisfied respondents by the number of total responses received, then multiple by 100.
CSAT = (Highly Satisfied Respondents / Total Responses) X 100
So, if you received 200 responses in a month, and 100 of those responses indicated the customer was “very pleased”, your satisfaction score would be 50%.
However, this score leaves a lot of things open ended. For example, did they simply enjoy the transaction, or are they actually very interested in your business and your products? To determine their level of interest, you’ll need to calculate the Net Promoter Score.
The Net Promoter Score
Interestingly enough, more people are willing to share negative feedback than positive feedback, which is where the Net Promoter Score comes in.
To gauge brand loyalty, you’ll want to ask questions such as:
“On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being extremely unlikely, and 10 being extremely likely, how likely are you to recommend this business to a friend?”
This figure digs a little deeper into the overall experience. It is very possible to be very displeased with one particular transaction, yet recommend the business overall. The opposite is true, as well. Customers may begrudgingly return because they like the product, but loathe the overall experience.
The calculation of this score is very similar to that of the CSAT. The number of responses you receive in the 8-10 range indicate customers who are quite willing to share their positive experience. A higher percentage of positive responses directly correlates to the overall satisfaction of your customers.
One caveat here is that you may wish to provide an open-ended question box to allow for feedback, since the customer’s feelings about the experience may hinge on a particular part of the interaction.
For example, you could ask “what about your experience with (Business) prompted your response?” A customer could then type in “customer service was great, but the product malfunctioned”, or “everything was fantastic, from start to finish”.
Getting People to Answer
As mentioned earlier, those customers who have had an unpleasant experience are more likely to speak right up and share their feelings.
In fact, this is why all business owners should have a method of contact displayed on their website. You want to know about these terrible experiences just as much as the customers want to share them, because the sooner you know about it, the faster you can fix it!
You may also wish to offer a small incentive for responses, especially if you’re asking for them long after the purchase. For example, you could offer a discount code for $10 off a next purchase, or enter the responding parties in a drawing for an amazing offer (some more ideas here).
The important thing is that you take action on any negative feedback you receive. Yes, it will be difficult to hear some of the more creatively worded, emotional responses of some customers, but try to focus on their complaint more than their use of language.
Make sure you take the time to respond to those who submit their feedback, and get to work right away on any sore or sticky points. After all, measuring customer satisfaction is meaningless unless you actually work on the areas that need improvement!
As a business owner, you know that there are times that things will go sideways, but managing customer satisfaction should be your number one priority. In order to address the problems or challenges that may arise over the course of your business’ life, you need to gauge customer satisfaction.
The best way to do this is to ask directly, but be prepared to analyze and act upon the responses you receive. Your business’s long term success may depend upon it!