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How to measure Customer Experience - best practices

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Customer satisfaction insights - the most important kind of knowledge capital

A while ago, I was asked to define how I would summarize the most important measurable things in terms of knowledge-driven management. I could have thought of listing a large number of concepts related to the formation and management of knowledge capital, but the answer was much simpler. I stated that I would first want to know what my customers want, and secondly, I would want to build a service machine based on Lean management principles that responds to customer needs.

Of course, the truth is more diverse and the definitions and objectives of knowledge-driven management vary from organization to another. Nevertheless, customer needs and their efficient fulfillment are absolutely central to the management of most organizations.

Customer surveys are needed, but with what emphasis?

Of all the ways to measure customer satisfaction, surveys are by far the most effective way to form an overall picture. There are, of course, other ways to measure customer satisfaction, such as point-of-sale interviews or telephone interviews. This survey guide focuses specifically on gathering survey-based knowledge.

One thing that should be immediately noted about customer surveys is that, compared to other types of surveys, they are usually much easier for respondents to answer than, for example, employee or strategy surveys. The customer gives a couple of minutes of her time and is usually offered some benefit in order to encourage answering, for example a discount code or a raffle.

In any case, answering is quick and can be done on any device, either remotely or at physical entry points to the premises. It is also worth noting that measuring customer satisfaction can be automated by integrating a CRM system with the survey tool, so that, for example, new customers can automatically be sent the desired survey. In this way, the feedback process can be fully automated.

Should we use a ready-made template in our next customer survey?

In our own customer work, we categorize customer surveys into four main types, for which we also offer ready-made template:

  1. A quick NPS survey. Quick measuring can be done at any stage of the customer relationship. More sophisticated companies have shifted to continuous measuring throughout the customer journey, whereby the same respondent can answer the NPS question up to 5-7 times during a longer delivery process, as well as potentially an open feedback question each time. In a simpler version, the NPS survey is asked several times throughout the year, but it is not tied to a specific stage of the customer relationship.
  2. A sales-oriented customer experience survey. This type of survey is slightly broader than a typical NPS survey would be. In addition to the NPS, it measures a few key claims about the organization that are important in order to fulfill customer needs. The sales orientation comes into this ready-made survey template from the fact that satisfied respondents are asked for specific recommendations (leads for sales) with contact information, as well as open text comments. On the other hand, negative respondents are asked for corrective feedback to support the development of operations. Free open text comments can be analyzed with NLP powered sentiment analysis to single out relevant negative and positive feedback.
  3. A comprehensive customer satisfaction survey. The survey can also be a broader customer service-related survey, but it is usually quite modest in size compared to, for example, an annual employee survey. Typically about 10 questions gives you enough information about customer satisfaction without overburdening the respondents.
  4. Other types of customer surveys (situational surveys). It can be good to ask customers for feedback also related to a specific stage of the customer journey. Examples include survey templates for course feedback and event feedback, for both of which we offer ready-made survey forms. Situational surveys are always related to a specific point in the customer journey that you have decided to target with more detailed measuring. There are also tailor-made templates for certain types of businesses such as online stores. 

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