How to ... Assess Customer Satisfaction Levels by Going beyond the Standard Satisfaction Survey

Article excerpt

It's no secret that customer satisfaction levels directly affect brand loyalty, but getting a realistic understanding of your customers' sentiment can be tricky, especially when using antiquated survey methods. Consider these tips for assessing customer satisfaction levels by going beyond the standard satisfaction survey.

Deliver on the brand promise

Efficiency and basic levels of courtesy have become the benchmark for many organizations when measuring customer satisfaction, but times are changing. "Those have become necessary conditions to be in the game--it's not enough anymore," says Rich Schreuer, senior vice president of Chadwick Martin Bailey, a market research company.

To distinguish themselves, companies need to do better. That's why Schreuer says "delivering on brand promises is a way to look unique. If you then accept the premise that when customers interact with you directly they are experiencing the brand, that's what you should use to measure the success of your customer-facing touch point. That's what's driving loyalty and profits."

Define value drivers

"One of the problems with the customer satisfaction movement is that it led to everyone looking alike, because the measurements and feedback were all very similar. It was measuring minimum standards. If you measure to a minimum standard you can only manage to a minimum standard," Schreuer says. So stay focused on three to five things that agents can do better than the competitors.

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Examine value drivers other than the usual agent courtesy and time to resolution goals. To do this, define value metrics that go beyond the norm, such as flexibility, or the ability to resolve unexpected difficulties. Come up with procedures that enable agents to exceed the usual parameters of service and measure their effectiveness. …