Every now and again, we come across clients who are very nervous about conducting independent customer satisfaction research. This can be influenced by a number of factors:
- Previous bad experiences
- Staff being concerned about how senior management would react to any negative feedback
- Staff viewing the customers as theirs rather than their company’s, so being unwilling to share contacts details for any research
- Instances where feedback has not been used constructively to drive improvements, and instead used simply as a stick to beat up under-performing departments or regions
- Not envisaging that such research would be beneficial as “we already know what our customers think about us.”
Delivering excellent customer service is crucial to sustainable business performance. Today’s customers are more savvy, discerning and have higher service expectations. They have greater choice and more ability to switch to different providers.
As such, many leading brands recognise that they cannot afford to be complacent, and conduct independent customer satisfaction research on a regular basis to monitor performance and identify potential areas for improvement to differentiate their service fro
m the competition and boost acquisition and retention levels.
There are a number of key benefits to using an independent market research agency to conduct customer satisfaction research:
- It removes the element of bias from the results that can occur if you use your own staff to undertake this research.
- It shows commitment to the customer; that you are prepared to listen and take account of their views.
- It allows customers to be completely open and honest in sharing their views, thus increasing the likelihood of identifying problems that you may not be aware of.
- You can draw upon their research design and analysis expertise to ensure that you get the most out of the feedback gathered from customers. There are many different questioning and statistical techniques that can be used to help you to better understand your clients’ priorities and where you need to focus your effort and resources to most significantly improve overall satisfaction levels.
Also you can’t ignore that fact that your competitors are doing this to identify areas where they can establish a competitive advantage. Consequently, we recommend that you conduct independent research to get an up to date assessment of how you are performing from your customers’ perspective. If conducted properly, it will provide clear direction on where to develop your service proposition to truly differentiate your service from the competition.
Colin, Managing Director at Mustard.
Feel free to drop Colin an email if you’d like to discuss customer satisfaction research further, or of course just give us a ring!