Use a customer survey to increase customer loyalty

How good is your company at helping customers solve their problems quickly and easily? That’s, essentially, the question a customer service survey is set to answer. So how do you go about setting up a customer service questionnaire? What are the best practices? Which questions do you need to ask? And, more importantly, how to follow up on the incoming data? The key is to come up with a system that allows you to easily monitor and implement customer feedback into your services. Time to increase customer loyalty. We’ll tell you how to achieve this …

Customer satisfaction vs customer loyalty

Companies tend to believe that when they can delight their customers with outstanding service, they’ll increase customer loyalty. In fact, research shows that’s not true. “Going the extra mile” does very little to reduce customer churn; instead customer service departments should focus on reducing “friction”. Customers should be able to quickly and easily find a solution to their problem. Customers who are confident that their problems will be taken care of effectively, without them needing to do much effort, are loyal customers.

Unlike outstanding customer service, bad service is definitely a contributing factor to churn. Airlines that lose bags, cellular network reps that put customers on permanent hold, … These are the things that drive customers out of the door. Therefore, it’s imperative that companies know where customer service is lacking, and that they fix it before customers churn or talk about it on social media.

This implies, of course, that you do more than merely measuring customer metrics – for your company to grow, you’ll need to act on customer feedback, too! Unfortunately, this is where many companies fall short. Most of them still make business decisions based on “gut feeling”.  It’s a real shame, especially because there are great tools available that make measuring and following up on survey data very easy and effective (more on that later).

The Customer Effort Score (CES)

The Customer Effort Score is the most effective metric to measure the “amount of friction” your customers are experiencing when trying to solve their problems.

The question you should ask is this:

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: the company made it easy for me to handle my issue.

Respondents pick one from 7 options:

Strongly disagree – Disagree – Somewhat disagree – Neither agree nor disagree – Somewhat agree – Agree – Strongly agree

After aggregating the replies, a high average indicates that your company is making things easy for your customers. A very low number means that customers are putting in too much effort to interact with your company. As stated earlier, effective customer service is all about removing friction and making the experience as smooth as possible for the customer.

Here’s a survey example:

Although often complementary with the Customer Effort Score the Net Promoter ScoreSM (NPS®) is less applicable. The question (“On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?”) is too generic for our purposes – its scope too wide. We are only interested in one small fraction of the overall customer satisfaction, namely customer service.

Attack the customer service data!

What good are grades when you don’t know the motivation behind them? That’s why you should always ask a follow-up question. “Why did you give this score?” is a simple question but the feedback you’ll receive will give you the insights you need to improve your service and reduce churn. And that’s what it’s all about.

In order to stay on top of customer feedback, CheckMarket has developed a number of tools. Survey notifications make it really easy to identify unsatisfied customers or underachieving staff members. How it works? Simply set conditions based on how respondents answer the customer service survey. When these conditions are met they trigger actions, such as sending an email, text message, Zendesk ticket or update your CRM. This way you can automatically and quickly identify disappointed customers and get the right feedback to the right people.

Dashboards are great to make the data concrete and easy to interpret for everyone – dashboards can be connected to live data, arranged on a single web page for easy access. For instance, place a large LCD screen right in the call-center showing the top 5 agents of the day and their average score.

When a great number of your customers indicate that they’re unhappy with part of your support service, it’s crucial to get that feedback to the people responsible as quickly as possible. Only then will the team be able to make a change. If all goes well, you should see your Customer Effort Score improve. If not, you still need more work. Either way, your support team will know what to do because they are acting on concrete customer feedback.

Set up a Customer Effort system to track and fix service issues

It’s important to come up with a system that allows you to effectively and structurally follow-up on customer feedback. Setting up a ticketing system, for instance, helps to assign each issue to someone who is responsible for fixing it. Deadlines and regular progress reports will create a sense of urgency, helping your teams tackle the issues and improve the Customer Effort score.


Build your customer service survey!


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