Sunday, October 16, 2011

Five Powerful Little Questions For Customer Satisfaction Research

Whenever I come across an idea that promises to dramatically simplify a complex marketing routine, I want to know more. Recently, a blog post written by Geoff Vincent got my attention. Its title, "Measuring Customer Satisfaction — This simple 5 question survey is all you need" made me wonder whether it is really possible to evaluate overall customer satisfaction by asking only five questions.

In his post, Vincent is really saying that it is better to ask five simple questions than to never ask any questions at all. As he notes, "The premise for this methodology is that even having a `minimalist' measurement of customer satisfaction is better than none. But even a simple program can yield impactful, actionable information."

Vincent's questions are not quite as "simple" as they appear at first glimpse. Let's take a closer look:

Question #1: "How likely are you to continue to be a customer of our company for another year?" This question does double-duty, by assessing current satisfaction and predicting customer retention at the same time.

Question #2: "Over the coming year, do you expect your business with our company to increase, stay the same, or decrease?" Vincent notes that this question, while related to the previous one, "peels back the onion" and yields information on the customers' spending levels during the coming year.

Question #3: "How likely are you to recommend our company to others?" This question is also more subtle than it seems, because it measures a customer's level of loyalty and engagement with your company.

Question #4: "What is your overall customer satisfaction level with our company?" This question gets customers to sum up their overall satisfaction after they have answered the preceding questions that "forced" them to consider retention, intention, and engagement.

Question #5: "Please provide any comments, feedback or suggestions regarding any aspect of your dealings with our company. If you would like to be contacted, please provide your name and phone number or email." This open-ended, free-form section invites any and all comments. According to Vincent, "This is qualitative information within a quantitative structure and will provide added insight to the survey."

So, are these really the only questions that you ever need to ask your customers? Well, maybe not. But they are thoughtfully constructed to elicit several levels of information at once, so they may well be worth adapting for your customers.

Thanks to Diana Pohly / Step By Step Marketing


No comments: