How to get the most from Customer Thermometer

As with many things in life, the real power lies not in the information you have but what you do with it.

We asked our customers for their top 10 tips on getting the most out of the service. Here’s what they said:

1) Alert customers before you start sending them Thermometers

Explain why you’re sending it and what you will do with the results.

Send them a brief email or letter explaining when the surveys will start happening and how helpful it will be to your company if they could take the time to respond. There’s an example for you to use here: (Right click and download).

If you’re embedding Customer Thermometer buttons into your CRM, helpdesk or other system, remember to explain to the team why you’re adding them and what will happen when the feedback starts to come in.

2) Emphasize that you only want one click

Some customer questionnaire emails drive customers through to a long-winded questionnaire.

Tell them that it won’t happen – you just need them to click a single button, and that they can provide a few simple comments to back up their click, if they want to.

For Email Thermometer surveys, you can ask “How are we doing?”and for Embedded Thermometer buttons, try “How was our service today?” or “Got 2 seconds to let us know how we did?”

Use phrases that emphasize you just want a single click, or a few seconds of your customers’ time.

3) Have a very explicit process for what happens next

Before you start, know what you will do with the results as they come in.

If a customer clicks a red light, what will you do?

For example:

  • Red = senior manager calls customer within 4 hours
  • Yellow = manager calls customer with 8 hours
  • Green = no action
  • Gold = customer rep or team are mentioned in team meeting

Some of the best turnarounds have happened when a senior person has very swiftly personally called or emailed the unhappy customer to gather their feedback. It defuses the situation and the customer thinks “wow, they really care about me”.

The opportunity for them to unload and allow you to fix the issue will often make them more loyal than they were before anything went wrong. This is known as the service recovery paradox.

Have a timescale in which you will respond – call the unhappy customer within an hour for example, or promise to fix their issue within a day. Whatever’s right for you, but make sure it’s a commitment that you can keep and organize your people to deliver against it.

More positively, if you receive lots of gold stars,what then? Have gold star celebrations when you get one and reward the person/team who gave the great service.

Some customers have told us they video or photograph these celebrations for publication on intranets or social media. You could allow staff to have a number of stars after their name, (like eBay) for the number of gold stars they are given by customers. Do what’s right for your company, and brand.

Remember that you can use our League Tables in the Reporting section to look at how agents, teams, territories etc performed, and you can see how any customer has responded to you over time using our unique TempTrack graphing:


4) Time it right

Our customers report that timeliness really helps response rate and feedback gathered.

Look at when you are going to send your survey – your customer will need to have their experience fresh in their mind.

If they worked with you or bought from you earlier this week they’ll remember. 2 months ago and their feedback might be hazy or colored by a more recent experience.

5) Publicize results inside your company or department

Don’t keep the results locked away – share the results on your intranet, at weekly meetings – make it everyone’s business to improve customer service.

The results make fantastic KPIs and can be generated weekly, monthly, quarterly or whenever makes sense for you. Use them in board reports and personal development plans – consider where appropriate incentivizing staff to improve the results.

Gold stars are the expression of truly great customer service, ask staff how they think they can personally contribute to getting more of them.

You can use the Customer Thermometer widgets available in the Reporting section of the app to display a real time live chart onto your website. These charts can show your last 100 responses, your happiness rating, your Net Promoter Score, or even pull through (anonymously) your most recent customer comments.

Here’s a great example of it being used by US facilities group, Lisa’s Cleaning Services:

6) Incentivize or reward customers for clicking and giving you feedback

Some customers send quarterly handwritten ‘thank you’s’ from the person in charge, especially if they are regular customers being asked to respond fairly frequently.

Other customers have a free draw for a prize or experience, or access to a voucher code on our thank you page, once a button has been clicked.

7) Start small

Most customers start small and build up the size of their surveys as they see the power of the feedback – it’s pretty addictive as the results roll in!

Some of our customers have told us they start by sending inter-departmental emails to their internal customers to try it out. So for example, the marketing team might send a monthly Blast to the sales team asking how they were doing on delivering leads.

8) Think big

Customer Thermometer isn’t just for your customers!

Once you have an account you might want to use it for all sorts of things – event follow up, partner feedback, rating the boss’s dancing at the company party… Many of our customers use it to measure their employee experience and satisfaction.

9) Use the results to differentiate you

Share the results on your website and through social media, it will highlight your service focus and reinforce a culture of transparency.

Talk about your commitment to service and share the way you will use Customer Thermometer with existing and potential customers. Showing historical ratings is a great sales tool.

10) Get personal

Gartner has said that 80% of your future profits will come from just 20% of your existing customers. If they’re right, it makes sense to follow up as much of the feedback as you can in a personal way.

Get on the phone and book meetings if you see a trend or want to understand the detail behind the headline. Have a strategy for turning reds and yellows into greens, and greens into gold stars. Your customers will love you for it.

BONUS:  Track improvements over time

If you’re tracking satisfaction each week, month or quarter, you can use our Report By Date function to view a graph of satisfaction over time. This will show you whether or not overall customer satisfaction is improving: