The customer satisfaction survey (CSS) provides a necessary service metric. These surveys can take different forms, styles and shapes depending on the service sector, but the intent is always to gauge customers’ perception of quality.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of these surveys, and treat them as an obligation rather than an opportunity to better connect with, and learn from, your customer. When properly designed and administered, the CSS is a direct customer communication channel which provides valuable insights into satisfaction, challenges and product roadmaps.
SOFTEL has conducted hundreds of IVR (interactive voice response) CSSs for our clients, and we’ve developed our own set of best practices based on our experience of what works best, and what doesn’t work well. We’re sharing them with you so that we all can do a better of job of learning from our customers.
SOFTEL’s Eleven Best Customer Satisfaction Survey Practices
- Have Goals: Before you begin, ask yourself what the business goals are for your CSS, and what mechanisms will be in place to generate actions and assess the results of those actions.
- Simplify: Constrain your survey for completion within 5 minutes, at most.
Use Plain Language: Avoid jargon, abbreviations and sector-specific words which may confuse.
- Enable Feedback: Include at least one free-flow text area as an opportunity for feedback; make sure resources are allocated to review responses and take appropriate action.
- High Visibility: Place your CSS opportunity prominently, immediately after a transaction or service has taken place.
- Ask When the News is Bad: Offer the CSS at every opportunity, whether or not it was a successful transaction; don’t just ask when things went right.
- Correct Response Range: The CSS scale should minimally reflect responses of: high/excellent, mid/good, low/fair, lowest/poor and no opinion.
- Importance Levels: When you need to know how important a question is to your customers, ask a secondary question to find out, using levels of: Very Important, Important, Unimportant, or Very Unimportant.
- Be Aware of Self-Selection: When analyzing the CSS, keep in mind that only people who feel strongly enough about the service or transaction will be moved to participate. The CSS is not a true reflection of your service users, but is a perception from a subset of your customer base.
- Show the Survey Produces Results: The introduction to the survey can be used to describe actions that have been taken as a result of previous surveys. This will encourage participation.
- Enable Honest Opinions: Finally, don’t try to skew the CSS in your favor by limiting negative options. To do so completely negates the purposes of the survey, and is all too obvious to the customer!
For more best practices, hints, tips and guidance on customer satisfaction surveys for your contact center, connect with someone from SOFTEL today!