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How Do I Measure Customer Satisfaction?

Conducting customer surveys is one method of determining customer satisfaction.
Surveys are sometimes used to measure customer satisfaction.
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  • Written By: Matt Brady
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 March 2014
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There are many ways to measure customer satisfaction. Holding focus groups, asking customers to fill out surveys and providing a hotline or e-mail address for customers to voice their opinions are all ways of measuring customer satisfaction. Providing tools for customers to express their satisfaction, or lack thereof, however, is only half the battle—there has to be a system for analyzing the data, otherwise companies will find it difficult to tailor business to customer needs. Companies often hire advertising teams and business consultants to design customer feedback systems that, on one end, give customers the tools to voice their opinions of a company and, on the other end, equip the company with a system to analyze and implement the data.

Depending on the business, different companies will rely more heavily on different tactics. For example, a business that primarily relates to customers through a website may rely more on pop-up surveys, whereas a restaurant may focus more on handing out comment cards to customers. Before deciding which set of customer satisfaction measurements to implement, it's important to ensure there's a way to effectively measure customer data.

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Businesses today spend more money than ever before on hiring advertisers and business consultants to help craft ways to get customers to voice their opinions, and then to measure the responses. Perhaps, for example, a business receives numerous complaints that a phone payment system is confusing and frustrating. Without devising a way to pinpoint exactly what about the payment system irritates customers, that business will have no useful idea of how to fix it. The right questions must be posed, and the right response system must in place to deal with the responses.

In the food service industry, businesses might seek to measure customer satisfaction primarily through employees. Comment cards passed out during meals at a restaurant might seek to figure out what guests enjoyed and disliked most. Businesses may also rely on employees to improve customer satisfaction, to the extent that they attach incentives to employees who can measurably improve customers’ experiences. A restaurant, for example, might reward an employee who received a favorable review from a guest. In the world of sales, employees who successfully sell products and make a favorable impression on customers—thus increasing the chance of repeat sales—may be rewarded with extra compensation.

Many companies have turned to offering rewards programs to better measure customer satisfaction. By giving the customer an incentive to sign up to a database, a company can find it easier to receive valuable customer feedback. Some movie rental services, for example, offer rewards programs that require customers' e-mails. This enables the company to make customers happier by rewarding their loyalty, and it helps to increase customer feedback by encouraging added communication between a business and its customer base.

In a world with ever-shrinking markets, and not by coincidence, more marketing campaigns than ever before, many companies go to great lengths to measure customer satisfaction. The science of customer satisfaction has come to include everything from measuring quality of service to measuring how guests prefer to communicate their opinions. Accent training for tech support centers, for example, is an outgrowth of measuring customer satisfaction; employees living in India, helping North Americans troubleshoot personal computers, are often trained in the accent of their clients so as to establish the most effective business relationship with their clients.

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