10 Metrics to measure customer satisfaction the right way

Improve your product or service with these simple and effective customer satisfaction measurements

Good. Customer. Service. Essential, you know that. But have you also worked out ways to make sure you actually provide it? What about measuring your customer satisfaction?

To validate the work that you’re doing is paying off, to make sure your customers are loyal and continue to buy from you, it is important you know how to measure customer satisfaction. Did you know that 89% of consumers stop doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service? (Numbers via 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report)

And it’s not just about the way you deliver support. It can tell you a lot about your product and how you can improve constantly. It’ll help you to increase satisfaction and, ideally, create returning customers. Especially that last is a good thing! Knowing it costs about 6 to 7 times more to attract new customers than retaining existing ones. (Numbers via White House Office of Consumer Affairs)

When you do a Google search, you’ll come across many various customer satisfaction metrics and tools to measure them. But where to start? What exactly do you need to know? How will you get the insights that are useful?

In this article, you’ll find all necessary info, tips and ways to correctly measure customer satisfaction. So let’s get you started.

The efficient way of measuring customer satisfaction

Depending on your customer base, you can opt for interviews or surveys.

If your customer base is rather small and you have room to conduct interviews, this is a good way to start.

  • It’ll get you a personal contact and insight into your client
  • You can gather information per respondent. Allowing you to help each and every one of them more accurately

The only thing to keep in mind is the difficulty of scaling this data, all feedback is based upon personal opinion and the interpretation of the interviewer.

Even though interviews may seem like the choice to deliver richer and deeper insights, surveys are the most effective way to measure customer satisfaction. And don’t be scared by this format. The days of boring, long and difficult surveys are long gone. More than ever you can work on building an interactive conversation with your customers.

  • Surveys will help you collect data in one format. Easy to analyze, easy to draw conclusions on a larger scale.
  • Respondents who have taken their time to fill in the survey completely can always be contacted to gain more personal insights. And just to build a stronger relationship

Be clear about what you want to measure and accomplish

First things first: before you compose questions and a method of research, you should know where you’re headed. We’ll dig a bit deeper into the possibilities later. The first thing you need to ask yourself is: “What do I want to find out?”

Make a plan, a list of goals you wish to achieve. It might help to focus on one larger subject you wish to work on such as repurchasing goals, the dealing with negative complaints and turning them in repurchases, referrals, … Work out what target audiences you want to reach and what you already know about them.

Then, get started with a very basic survey. Be hard on yourself and ask no more than 5 questions. (We know it’s difficult, but it’ll pay off. Promise!)
These don’t necessarily have to consist of satisfaction metrics yet, they should help you get the first key insights so you can decide what to focus on next.

For example, get started with asking basics such as: “Why did you purchase that specific product or service?”“What made you decide to buy?”, “Were you happy with your purchase?”

The advantages of splitting up this first survey from the more detailed customer satisfaction survey:

  • Starting figures to base your following measurements on
  • First insights into expectations of your audience and most important issues
  • Discover a first core group of responsive customers

10 Metrics you can and should measure

1. Speed of service

Depending on the kind of service or product you provide, support rates vary. The overall response time for delivering support for instance usually lies within 24hrs of receiving the question/complaint.

When inquiring after the speed of service, think of the 3 stages in which your customer could have experienced service: before purchase, during purchase/use, after purchase.

2. Quality of service

Following the speed of service, it’s as least as important to discover how high your customers rate the quality of your delivered service.

A few subjects you could keep in mind are:

  • Attitude of your staff (both support and sales)
  • The availability and knowledge of your representatives
  • How complaints are solved
  • Openness and responsiveness towards inquiries
3. Pricing issues

This one is pretty basic, give your customers room to express how they feel about pricing. Not only the total cost of your product or service, but also value for money and how they see this compared to the market price.

4. Complaints

Always, always, always evaluate complaints thoroughly. Take time to look into unsolicited feedback that you can find online in reviews, comments and social media posts to broaden your analysis.

Make sure you contact users who’ve taken their time to describe a specific issue or complaint. Look for a possible solution with follow-up questions and try to turn that frown upside down.

5. Overall satisfaction with the product or service

A good one to integrate into that first short survey we mentioned above. Have the needs of the customer been answered? “Overall, how satisfied are you with…?” will help you along.

When your audience provides you with responses that result into attributions of quality, you have the first and most important indicator of positive customer satisfaction.

6. Attributional satisfaction

Another type of satisfaction to measure that can be divided in two:

Did you like/dislike the product or service?

This part has to do with certain product benefits or characteristics.

  • Was the product or service useful/meeting expectations?
  • The cognitive half is more about judgment and if the product was of any use to the customer.

Tip: You’re right to be curious and measure attitude towards a product or service that your respondent hasn’t used yet. But be careful not to mix this up with questions measuring satisfaction.

7. Customer loyalty

If there’s one good starting point for insights into customer satisfaction, it’s customer loyalty. The behavior of returning customers and new customers providing you with good reviews is your first insight into their loyalty.

Of course, this can also be integrated with questions in a survey after purchase. But keep in mind that actual behavior tells you more than the intention a person expresses.

Customer loyalty also provides the base for Net Promotor Score. This term is often used in research and specifically in how to measure customer satisfaction. It comes down to one question:

“Would you recommend the product or service to your friends or family?”

A respondent is usually asked to indicate the intent to refer your product to someone else with a number from 0 to 10. (Where 10 is very likely and 0 not at all.)

Curious to see what the current benchmarks are for your industry? Great to keep in mind when you collect your own data. Have a look at them here.

The score clearly shows us the chance of your customer repurchasing the products.

Loyalty should be used in combination with other metrics. A few questions to combine it with:

  • Satisfaction with the product or brand
  • Likeliness of repurchasing
8. Intention to repurchase

Together with customer loyalty, the intent to repurchase a product or service is an indication of customer satisfaction. It validates the customer’s past satisfaction with your brand and increases the likeliness for the respondent to communicate to others about your product.

A simple question to include this into your customer satisfaction metrics:
“Do you intend to repurchase the product or service within the next month when you need it?”

9. Other needed services

A small extra, but one that can make all the difference to the satisfaction of your customers:
“Is there anything else we can do for you?”

Customer satisfaction can be increased by keeping an open mind towards questions or remarks a respondent might have, apart from the product or service you’ve delivered.

10. Your employee’s happiness

Another ‘extra’ that is often overlooked is the happiness of your closest brand ambassadors: your sales and customer service team. When working on customer satisfaction, allocate some time specifically to your employees, because their happiness about working for your company shows in the way they work and enables them to deliver a higher level of customer satisfaction.

Improve on this by making sure your team feels appreciated and value their work. Positive effect for your company and your customers guaranteed.

Know the differences between the qualitative and quantitative approach

Of course, this is nothing new, but it never hurts to be reminded. Both Qualitative and Quantitative methods have specific strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the kind of data you need, choose what applies best. Try to combine the best of both to get the most useful insights.

Qualitative research is subjective but insightful

“What did you think of the product when you first purchased it?” (An example of an open-ended question)

  • In this type of research, there’s room for personal opinions, emotions, and more subjective responses
  • It’ll give you clearer insights of the perception of your customer
  • Best in combination with personal contact, like interviews, personal follow up, focus groups, …
  • The information is harder to process and requires more resources from your end
  • The data might not answer a few specific questions you have
Quantitative research has scale but misses details
“Will you buy the product again in the next month?” (An example of a closed-ended question)
  • This approach provides you with to the point information, but only answers to what you asked
  • There’s little to no room for nuance and context
  • Data is more objective and easier to measure
  • Works well if you’re researching larger groups of customers

Don’t just measure, benchmark!

When you’ve gathered your first insights, you can start creating strategies on how to improve customer satisfaction. Establish a satisfaction benchmark, based on past results and insights that you can measure up to. Earlier in the article, we talked about the NPS, easily look at your industry benchmarks here. Don’t forget about your competitors either, add their figures to your mix to create a reasonable benchmark.

Motivate your customers to participate

After setting up your ways to measure customer satisfaction, it’s nice if you have customers that participate. Asking for your audience’s opinion will make them feel valued and helps them in sharing:

  • Approach your customers with phrases like “Help us provide you with a better service”, “We’d like to know what you think about …”.
  • Adding incentives like rewards, coupons or even a fun bit of information increases the willingness to cooperate and do it qualitatively
  • Start up a conversation rather than just pushing out a survey, get in contact with your users via social media for example. Let social media and surveys work together!

The tool you use makes all the difference

No matter how versatile you make your approach, if you can combine all of it into one single tool, that’ll help you save up time, money and a lot of effort!

With Pointerpro you’re able to have both the data collection part and the analytics, all in one tool. And never lose sight of what’s important to your customers. Especially when working with customer satisfaction, there’s only one brand that should be communicated – yours. The option to create white label surveys in our application will help you out in that department.

On top of many available functionalities, we like to add a special focus on the engaging part of surveys. By adding fun elements, widgets and possibilities to interact, you have a better shot at genuine responses, more responses, and a stronger brand perception. Entertaining surveys can improve much more than satisfaction.

Let’s start measuring your customer satisfaction

This article is a great checklist to work with when you get started. And when you being creating your survey, instead of starting from scratch, take a look at our template survey for customer satisfaction to really kickstart your research. 
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About the author:
Sofie Nelen

Sofie Nelen

Sofie was Pointerpro's very own Digital Marketer in a previous life and now advises Wijnegem's local board around communication-related topics. She is fond of experimental marketing and growth hacking. Oh, and she hates boring assessments!

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