On a scale of 1 – 10, how satisfied are you?

It seems everybody we buy from wants to know how happy we are with the quality of the service. From a paper form to a text message to your mobile phone, big businesses are running out of ideas on how to rate and improve the customer experience.

Most businesses are content if they score a 7 or above; it is acceptable, not amazing, but also not bad. The problem with most generic surveys is that they are quite unsatisfying to fill in and are perceived to result in a meaningless statistic which does not sum up the experience.

There are benefits to a satisfaction survey, which is why it is the weapon of choice. Primarily, they can canvas the views of a large population in a quick and cost-effective manner. However, what is then done with the data is where the process breaks down.

Businesses can carry out satisfaction surveys in ways that engage with the customer to the mutual benefit of both parties.

One way of achieving this is to segment the respondents into three categories:

  1. Green – the most satisfied customers.
  2. Amber – customers that showed some dissatisfaction
  3. Red – customers who were the most unhappy

You could use the opportunity set up an incentivised workshop (free wine and nibbles usually works) and invite the amber and red respondents to take part. So some unhappy customers may not attend, but you might win some customers back and learn something in the process. Listening to your most unhappy customers can give you really powerful feedback.

Alternatively, why not ask customers on the form if you don’t mind them being contacted by the customer service team to ‘make things better?’. A simple callback to talk the issue through and offer some kind of compensation for their time and feedback wouldn’t be too much to ask. Perhaps a large discount on their next order?

You might win back a customer, save them from advocating a competitor and improve your service along the way. Win-Win.

A happy customer tells one friend, an unhappy customer tells EVERYBODY!


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