It’s never too late to tune-up your customer satisfaction tactics. And when it comes to satisfaction surveys, 2019 is going to demand some new thinking so that your organization gets maximum value from its customer insights.
We’ve taken the longview on emerging trends and industry developments that should influence how you word, send and time your customer satisfaction surveys in 2019.
Consider CES in your survey methodology
Surveys have come a long way from simply asking customers for their opinion. The basic customer satisfaction (CSAT) methodology is designed to uncover how happy customers are with their experience of your brand so you can track trends over time. CSAT questions work particularly well when you use them directly after a customer event, such as a store visit or support request.
Many brands complement this with NPS (Net Promoter Score) questions that seek to determine, on a scale of 1–10, how likely customers are to recommend you to others. Only the highest scores equate to success, because someone giving you a 5 or 6 is hardly a committed advocate. You also learn a lot from the low scores, when you take the trouble to ask why someone gave you a 2.
The newest methodology on the block is CES, or ‘Customer Effort Score’. This tells you how simple customers found dealing with you. Questions like “How easy was it to find what you needed?” give you both a metric to track, and an insight to act upon. 35% of people thought it was hard to find stuff? Make stuff easier to find!
Understand that customers are time-poor
For all the convenience of modern living, we sure as heck don’t have much time in the day to call our own. People are working longer hours, sleeping less, and generally spending more time doing things they don’t really want to. It’s called ‘Time Poverty’ and you should expect to see more of it in 2019.
A recent poll of 2,000 adults found the average person needs an extra three hours a day to get everything done!
What this means is that you really don’t want to pester your customers with elongated surveys that suck minutes from their day. Long surveys are dying out in favor of single-question surveys. The result is far higher response rates from a more representative sample of your customer base (who, incidentally, won’t hate you for bothering them).
Overcome new compliance rules that make it harder to communicate
GDPR finally came into force in May 2018, with worldwide ramifications for how organizations treat customer data. Whether or not GDPR is something you’ve acted upon, stricter compliance rules around the world are making it harder to communicate proactively with customers.
The nub of the problem is opted-in consent. Whereas, once upon a time, organizations could assume the consent of customers to send them one-off emails to glean their satisfaction rating, today’s climate does not. Unless an individual has given express permission – you could face potentially ruinous fines.
The way around this is to embed your survey question into an email that customers have to receive in order for you to have a relationship with them. For example, a shipping notification or confirmation that their request for assistance has been successfully concluded. Even better would be to embed the question into your customer app. It helps to make the survey question relevant to the communication it is included within, to optimize the result.
Go more conversational, less transactional
Conversational customer interaction is emerging as a new ‘thing’ in customer satisfaction science. It’s simply the ongoing contact between a customer and organization that transcends those transactional events that customer service platforms and processes tend to focus on.
The benefit of this approach is to gain a far more accurate picture of how customers think about you during the lifetime of your relationship – not just in the critical moments when your organization is trying its hardest.
Pushing out surveys in relation to transactional events is easy to plan for. Being able to capture conversational feedback is much more challenging. Once again, the solution involves being as nimble, lightweight and non-disruptive as possible in how you ask questions. All you need is to capture a click, an emoji or the quickest of comments.
Combat switching by keeping your finger on the pulse
Switching suppliers has become a boom industry. In 2017, a record 5.5m people switched their electricity provider in the UK alone, and 2018 is on course to be even higher. The popularity of price comparison sites and online switching services is making it easier than ever for consumers to shift to a rival insurer, bank, utilities provider or telco.
With loyalty at an all time low, this trend is placing increased scrutiny on the only thing that beats price in the eyes of customers: quality of experience. Providers are upping their game to ensure customer satisfaction levels are as high as possible, using intelligent, non-disruptive survey questioning techniques to drive real-time insights. Make sure you’re one of them!
Use these tips to keep your satisfaction surveys relevant for the challenges of 2019 and beyond. A winning strategy will combine the latest methodologies with an up-to-date awareness of trending consumer habits and how to succeed in spite of tightening data regulations.
Looking for a survey to help you face the challenges of getting feedback in 2019? Give Customer Thermometer a try…