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Here are the results of every Customer Satisfaction survey ever.

If you’re thinking of implementing some Customer Surveys, I’m going to save you some time…

Here are the results of every single Customer Satisfaction survey ever completed:

  1. Be easy to deal with you.
  2. Don’t make mistakes.
  3. Take ownership and fix my problem if you do make a mistake.
  4. Make it easy to understand your products.
  5. Make it easy to understand the value you provide me.

Done! Heaps cheaper than an actual survey too 🙂

Ok – so I’m being glib. Of course there is huge value in measuring customer satisfaction and gathering customer feedback. But you’re probably going to get some version of the above in your responses.

The really important bit is then acting on that information. But more and more – what I see from organisations is that the scores are the most important output from a survey.

“Our Customer Satisfaction scores are 54% for March! We’ve gone up 1% – well done everyone for their efforts. Let’s see if we can get to 60% by the end of the next quarter!”

But of course – who really cares? And then there are the excuses for when it goes down.

“Well, it’s a seasonal peak for us – we’re always going to struggle to maintain high scores this time of year. I’m sure it will bounce back next month”

If your Customer Satisfaction programme is all about the numbers, you’re missing the point. The point is to understand what your customers like (and do more of that) and what they don’t like (and do much less of that). One of the most insightful parts of the process is the customer verbatims that are provided. You know – where the customer is telling you exactly why they view you the way they do.

I know of organisations that don’t even bother to read these (takes too long). Much easier to aggregate the scores and report on that.

Taking time to read, understand, sort and categorise the verbatim is such a time consuming and boring activity. Who’s got time for that?

Then there’s the organisations that know exactly why their customers are frustrated but make the conscious decision to do nothing about it. For instance:

A bank might be told over and over that their overdrawn fee policy is unfair – customers are even leaving because of it but we’ve decided that the small amount of money it contributes to the overall profit is more important than a fair and balanced approach. Besides, changing it is too much work.

Or an insurance company might be told over and over that their Liability Policy is too difficult to understand – but do you know how much effort it would be to re-write these things?! Not to mention expensive….

But – did our CSAT scores go up this month? Awesome! High fives everyone.

It’s not limited to Customer Satisfaction either – Employee Satisfaction suffers from the same problem.

If you’re not going to do anything about the underlying reasons for dissatisfaction, for customers or employees, stop wasting their time and your money asking them.

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