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Measure and Evaluate Customer Satisfaction Survey Successes

In order to fully evaluate the impact of customer satisfaction surveys, it is necessary to undertake, where possible, a quantitative assessment of their impact and assign calculable values. Measuring the positive impact on the business will help to determine whether the methods used to undertake a customer satisfaction survey have been effective, what still needs improving etc.

The following provide some ideas on how customer satisfaction surveys can be assessed as well as providing some ideas on metrics that can be assessed from the survey results:

Survey Related Measures:

  • Survey size e.g. No. of samples (respondents) per survey. This measure gives an indication of the credibility of the survey results - the larger the sample size, the more reliable the results.
  • Number of survey questions e.g. No. of questions asked in survey. This measure can be a useful benchmarking question. When linked to the survey response rate or perceived success it can be valuable in terms of the design and development of future surveys.
  • Survey response rate e.g. No. of customer surveys returned as a % of total surveys sent out. This measure provides an indication of how well the customer survey was designed and implemented, and may also reflect on the importance placed on the survey issues by customers.
  • Survey frequency e.g. the frequency with which surveys are carried out. This measure indicates whether customer satisfaction surveys are regularly being undertaken. Leading organisations use this sort of information to help assess the efficiency of an organisations Customer Service Management process.
  • Communication of survey responses e.g. the frequency of customer satisfaction survey feedback distribution to employees. This measure provides an input for the analysis of a Customer Service Management process. This measure is more appropriate when an organisation surveys its customers on a regular and frequent basis.
  • Frequency of measurement of internal customer satisfaction e.g. the frequency with which internal customer satisfaction is measured within an organisation. This measure provides an input for the analysis of organisational health and provides a measure of the level of customer focus within an organisation.
  • Survey costs e.g. the costs associated with carrying out a single one-off customer satisfaction survey. This measure quantifies the cost of an individual survey. Results may be dependent upon survey design, but could be used in helping to assess efficiency within the customer satisfaction measurement process. It measures the cost of undertaking the survey in terms of the time taken to develop, distribute, and collate returned surveys, and analyse the results. The resulting cost can then be benchmarked against other organisations or used to assess whether or not to hire specialist consultants to manage the survey process.
  • Customer satisfaction index e,g, a final figure of customer satisfaction resulting from a series of appropriate and weighted measures or indicators. It may be expressed as a percentage (%) or other numerical number. The index, an overall indicator can be calculated from measures or surveys of retention, service standards, perceived value, perceived quality, it may also include measures from other indexes. It is important to ensure that all measures included are linked to goals and strategies ie there must be an agreed reason to measure them.

One of the key benefits of the customer satisfaction index is that if a standard model is used to derive its value, it represents a uniform and comparable system of measurement. Values derived from standard models are frequently published in a number of popular magazines and journals. This facilitates systematic and meaningful benchmarking over time against other organisations by highlighting their success at what is a critical success factor common in almost every organisation. Within the organisation it very simply and clearly analyses strengths and weaknesses, supplementing conventional measures, such as productivity and price indices.

Survey Data Measures: 

  • Customer satisfaction e.g. quantified customer satisfaction survey results. This is a measure of the level of customers' satisfaction with the purchased product or service and may be referred to as the Customer Satisfaction Index. It may be expressed as a percentage (%) or other numerical number.
  • Perceived product quality e.g. quantification of survey results. This is a measure of the customers' perception of the quality of the product or service and may be expressed as a percentage (%) or other numerical number. 
  • Loyal customers e.g. no. of current customers not purchasing or intending not to purchase new competitor product as a % of total current customers, or % of customers of a particular duration or longer. This measure provides an indication of customer retention/loyalty. The first formula could be used where repeat purchase is not measurable due to the nature of the product or service offered. Typically this can be measured by a survey. 
  • Rate of customer referral e.g. Number of sales or contracts won through referrals as a % of total number of sales or contracts, per period or,  of customers who recommend the supplier to friends or colleagues or,
    Average number of recommendations made per existing customer or,
    % of customers who are willing to recommend the supplier to friends or colleagues or,
    % of new customers (by number and value) that result from recommendations.

The measurement of referral sales or work awarded through referrals relates directly to the proportion of existing customers who can be classed as satisfied or more than satisfied. World-class organisations use this measure because they recognise the importance of a high customer focus, and that therefore the high volume of work or sales gained in this manner is highly desired. Measurement could be made at point of sale, in surveys, or included as question in product/warranty/guarantee registration.

  • Value of customer satisfaction e.g. % overall value of customer satisfaction. This measure has no standard method for quantification, all organisations will stress some areas differently. However, formulae commonly include the weighted product of all the deployed customer satisfaction effectiveness measures.
  • Financial value of customer satisfaction e.g. revenue increase or decrease against % customer satisfaction increase / decrease. This measure quantifies in dollars the impact and therefore value of the level customer satisfaction. This information has been used by leading organisations to aid in their Strategy Development process.
  • Projected customer retention e.g. no. of customers over the past year who intend to repurchase as a % of total no. of customers. This measure provides an indication of projected customer retention/loyalty. This can be effective in the measurement of current customer satisfaction as opposed to measurements such as that of customers already lost. It is commonly measured via survey.


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