So do they love you? And how do you know? Quite simply there’s really only one way to find out – ask them! Good communication with your customers is one of the most important tools in understanding and developing your business. It starts with asking what they want in the first place, and then checking to see if you succeeded. Asking them how you could have done it better continues the cycle.
Not only is this an obvious way to ensure that you provide what the market wants, it also forms the basis of continuous improvement of your business. In a competitive market it literally pays to perform better than everyone else and an effective way to find out how you are doing is to ask the people who know best – your customers.
How you go about this rather depends on what you are selling and to whom. A short and well thought out questionnaire is probably best if you have vast quantities of customers. Create a questionnaire that is easy and painless to complete and return, and maybe even offer an incentive to do so. A brief Internet search will reveal companies who provide online questionnaire services.
If you have fewer clients to whom you provide a more specialised service, you might prefer to question them in person. Schedule a chat or a meeting and build in some searching questions about their experience with you. Ask them what they love about your service and what you can do better. Engage them in a conversation that is all about them and their needs. It’s important though to record the findings.
Whatever form your customer survey takes, the key is to listen to the answers. Record all the information and determine what it means to your business. Act on your findings to create real, targeted improvements. Then, when you next ask them how you are doing, you can measure the success of your actions.
Continuous improvement is an essential element of ISO9000, but measuring customer satisfaction is important, regardless of whether you have ISO9000 or not. In simple terms it means listen to your customers, give them what they want through follow-up, through the appropriate means suitable for your business and customers, and record and measure the results.
To find out more about Customer Satisfaction Surveys click here for our factsheet, or email us for a copy of our factsheet.