Why customer satisfaction surveys fail
I read with interest the recent study in Research magazine on what motivates
consumers to take part in market research. Significantly, 82% do it
because they want to influence the products and services they
receive. So it's a no-brainer that organisations should listen to
their customers and adapt their offerings accordingly. But this is
where, in my opinion, so many customer satisfaction surveys fail.
While they may provide organisations with useful data they don't
generate an action forcing them to improve or change the way things
A lot of businesses invest significant time and money on surveys
every year in a bid to measure customer satisfaction. They review
the results, have a discussion about the areas in which they have
done well and not so well and reach a general conclusion. But more
often than not the report then sits on a shelf and nothing is done
with it, until the following year when it might be used to compare
with the latest survey report. And so it goes on...
What's the solution? It all comes down to getting the right data
to the right people within the organisation and 'closing the loop'.
Organisations need a robust Voice of the Customer system for
managing the survey data. This will enable them to analyse the
feedback thoroughly, if necessary creating projects to investigate
the issues raised and integrating best practice operations to make
the changes that the customers have asked for. It's also important
that organisations go back to the customer and tell them what has
been done. Acting upon the feedback is what really matters. Only
then can a customer feel truly valued, and the satisfaction survey
deemed a success.