Do we know the satisfaction of our customers? Do we evaluate it following an adequate methodology?
The globalization of markets and new technologies allow us to access customers more easily, but let’s not forget, it is also allowed to do so to the competition.
Several studies show that the effort to get a new client is considerably higher than maintaining a relationship with an existing customer. On the other hand, it is essential to bear in mind that a dissatisfied customer communicates to the rest of the market or potential clients much more negative experiences than positive ones and the data is especially significant.
Due to this, knowing the “Customer Satisfaction” is a very important capital for the preparation of the strategic plan of any company. In addition, as an added value, satisfied and loyal customers often no longer ask for quotes from other competing companies and are even willing to pay a somewhat higher price in exchange for a good quality of service, although it is true that At the time of crisis, customer loyalty is lower and the price is particularly important to satisfy the desire to cut budgets of the General Directorate. Think of the day to day of a Marketing Director of a large company with an agenda full of jobs to solve. If you are satisfied with your current provider that you know and enjoy your confidence … will you waste time with new presentations and analyzing new budgets? Taking on that risk can make you waste a lot of time and money.
The analysis of customer satisfaction not only shows the strengths of an organization, but also shows the weak points. Therefore, the results obtained in the research will be key when making decisions with the aim of optimizing and restructuring both the relationships with internal and external customers, so it is essential that all those involved in the analysis results of the study are informed and involved in the preliminary project by making them participate in a workshop.
The selection of the sample and the elaboration of the questionnaire is not a simple matter. Many companies copy the questions of their competence or elaborate a questionnaire without fulfilling the basic notions for the elaboration of a study of customer satisfaction, leaving the elaboration of the questionnaire to a person without experience in market studies.
Determination of the target and selection of the sample
In a “Customer Satisfaction” study, you can work with a representative sample of all customers or with a segmentation of the different customer categories; it is also possible (and recommendable) to include the competition. The results in the area of the competition area are especially interesting. If our company has a high quality score and we do not compare ourselves with anyone, how do we know if our competition does not have it even higher?
If we only do the measurement with the clients themselves, we will know the strengths and weaknesses within the company, but they will not be able to be interpreted within the scope of the competition.
Aspects to analyze
Taking into account that the satisfaction of a client is made up of satisfaction in different areas or competences, we can speak of the “Principle oriented towards competition”. In this principle, different dimensions are defined on which the relationship with the client is based, such as:
- Company Profile.
- Product or Service
- Development and realization of budgets.
- Development and execution of orders.
- Service and maintenance
and, within these sections, it is possible to define “sub-dimensions”, such as, for example, the interlocutor:
- Easy / hard to find.
Each of these dimensions is evaluated by the client, using a scale from 1 to 10, where 10 means “totally satisfied” and 1 means “not at all satisfied”.
On the other hand, we ask with the same scale from 1 to 10, the importance of each of these dimensions in order to see clearly the potential for improvement.
Example with fictitious values
Although satisfaction is the fulfillment or over-fulfillment of customer expectations, we must also bear in mind that satisfaction with a service or product has emotional components and is very influenced by events and events.
For example, if something positive happens, such as receiving a detail from the supplier or an added value of the product / service, this will increase overall satisfaction and also decrease the willingness to communicate and disseminate small imperfections. On the other hand, a negative experience (such as unpleasant personnel, defective products, etc.) can lead to the end that all the supplier’s activities are negatively qualified. Because of them, we can know what exactly leads to customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction by collecting critical incidents. (Critical incidents)
Continuity in the study
To carry out a successful management of customer management, it is necessary not only to measure the starting point, but also to continuously check the improvements achieved (or not achieved).
After the first wave, benchmarks have to be defined, which should be solved before the completion of the 2nd wave. From the 2nd wave, these values appear in the graphs, which allows the permanent control of what has been achieved / not achieved.
The most suitable method for a study of “Customer Satisfaction” is undoubtedly the CATI, computer assisted telephone interviews since it offers numerous advantages:
- Centralized field, which allows continuous and direct supervision of all field work.
- Mandatory and automatic follow-up of the questionnaire through pre-established filters.
- Automatic insertion of previous answers. The interviewer can concentrate completely on the dialogue.
- Rotation of attributes, brands or sets of questions (different categories), avoiding biases.
- Substitution of very extensive lists of brands, product categories, etc. through “search tree”, for example: the names of the products, etc., which speeds up the interview and insists on the accuracy of the answers.
- Coding and direct data entry, eliminating transcription errors. Possibility of partial results at any time during the study.
In conclusion, not analyzing customer satisfaction in a professional manner can be very expensive in the medium / long term and can greatly increase the happiness of our competitors.