Customer satisfaction typically is a way for companies to measure the number or percentage of consumers who continually purchase goods or services offered by the business. The tools used to measure customer satisfaction include surveys, field reports, data mining and similar methods. All companies can create a system of customer satisfaction tools for determining the various degrees of satisfaction from consumers. The purpose of the reports is to help companies discover where they succeed and what improvements are necessary to improve customer relations.
Surveys are among the most common customer satisfaction tools. The reason behind this popularity is the lower costs sometimes associated with surveys, the ease of gathering information and the ability to reach a large group of consumers at a single time. Traditional surveys were paper forms sent through the mail. Technology allows companies to send surveys via email or to direct consumers to a website. Computerized surveys are highly customizable and allow companies to change or alter the surveys for specific consumer groups.
Field reports generally are customer satisfaction tools that require companies to have a physical presence in a specific location. For example, a company might send mystery shoppers into its retail locations. These shoppers fill out forms and describe their experience while in the store and when making a purchase. Field reports are often quite expensive and in some ways less informative than surveys. The reports are less informative because they involve a smaller number of people from whom the company collects information.
Data mining often requires the use of technology to gather consumer information. Customer satisfaction tools that use data mining often gather information at the point of purchase in retail stores. The collected data goes to a database located within the company’s physical location. Workers then take the data and create reports on customer satisfaction using the information. Data mining might need additional customer satisfaction tools to complement the gathered data.
Companies often need to take a hard look at their operations and consumer types when making a selection from among the different customer satisfaction tools. In some cases, a tool that worked previously might no longer work under current business conditions. A company’s management team must be aware of the various conditions that can alter gathered consumer data. Adjusting data collection methods or survey questions will typically overcome the shortfalls of previous collection methods. Different methods might also be necessary for the various regions or locations in which a company operates.