Knowing how your customers feel about your business can help to guide important business decisions. The only way to really know whether or not your customers are satisfied is to ask them. But how can you get responses? And how can you measure these responses accurately? These 9 customer satisfaction best practices can help you get the most out of this practice.

9 Customer Satisfaction Best Practices for Accurately Measuring and Comparing Data

1. Use clear questions

One of the most important best practices for customer satisfaction surveys is to create an effective survey from the start. If customers are not sure what exactly your customer feedback questions are asking, your responses will not be accurate. Avoid ambiguous questions, such as “How would you rate our check-out process and staff?” If a customer did not like the process but did like the staff, they will not be sure how to answer.

2. Provide clear answers

If you provide multiple choice responses, make sure all possible answers are represented, and that responses do not overlap. For a demographic question like, “How old are you?” you might see answers like A; 18 to 24 B; 24 to 30 C; 30 to 40. However, a 24-year-old or 30-year-old customer would not know which answer to choose, and a customer older than 40 would not have a response to choose from. Also, these intervals are uneven, which would further skew results.

3. Place it correctly

It’s tempting to use one method for all of your customer satisfaction surveys. However, to implement customer satisfaction best practices properly, it is important to match your questions with your medium. For example, if you are asking your customers about your store, an in-store survey may be most effective. If you are asking about your website or app, consider an automated chat message or pop-up window. If you are asking about overall satisfaction, an email may be best.

4. Keep it short

When it comes to maximizing responses, this may be the most important customer satisfaction best practice to remember. A two-question customer satisfaction survey will allow you to maximize responses while still gathering helpful information. First, use quantitative questions such as NPS or CSAT to give your customer satisfaction level a numeric value you can compare year over year. Then, use a word-based follow-up question. This will show your strengths and weaknesses more specifically.

5. Ask more than once

While you don’t want to annoy your customer, it will take more than one attempt to maximize responses. Try asking three times. This number of polite, non-intrusive customer satisfaction prompts is unlikely to annoy your customers. However, if a customer responds, be sure that they are automatically removed from the email or messaging list, or they may become annoyed.

6. Use pictures

Using pictures for measurements like NPS or CSAT has quickly become a customer satisfaction best practice. Since these measurements ask about a customer’s overall satisfaction, it’s helpful to use pictures or emoji to create immediate recognition and improve the response rate.

7. Ask the same question

Consistency is at the core of the customer satisfaction best practices for comparing responses accurately year over year. To maximize accuracy, phrase your questions in exactly the same way every time you ask.

8. Ask the same way

Just like changing the question can change responses, changing the way that you ask can also change the responses. Once you develop a method that works, stay with it. Or, use multiple methods, but compare them separately.

9. Ask at the same time

Timing can also affect customer satisfaction and the accuracy of your responses. For example, the stress of the holidays can affect your surveys if you suddenly ask at the end of the calendar year. Or, vacations and travel can affect summer surveys. Consider your customer satisfaction survey timing carefully and stick with it to maintain consistency.

These customer satisfaction best practices for your surveys will help you gather more responses and accurately measure and compare your customer satisfaction metrics year over year. When you know what your customers are thinking and what they’re looking for, you can make better business decisions for the future.

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