The success of any customer satisfaction survey program comes from the actions that take place after the data is collected. Many organizations spend a tremendous amount of time honing the appropriate questions but spend little time on how the results will be acted upon. Satisfaction data is more than a topic of discussion for the water cooler.
Manufacturers should establish detailed guidelines and procedures for acting on satisfaction data. Some ways to use the satisfaction data you collect include product quality remediation, sales and service quality improvement, strategic planning insight, identifying advocates and generating advocacy, repurposing ratings and reviews for marketing, and employee motivation, appraisals, and awards.
Product Quality Remediation
Satisfaction data can be used to identify and remedy product design, engineering, or manufacturing issues that can lead to customer dissatisfaction. Ideally, product design, engineering, and manufacturing management will review satisfaction data on a regular basis and create issue lists that can be prioritized and addressed. Most issues will require further investigation before an action plan can be fully developed, but your customer service department needs to be regularly notified about the status of all high-priority issues.
Sales and Service Quality Improvement
Sales and service satisfaction are also critical to developing high levels of customer retention. Sales and service satisfaction data should also be reviewed on a regular basis, prioritized, and acted upon by respective management. Too often, management is driven solely by customer service complaints, and so many companies miss the big picture by not analyzing sales and service satisfaction data.
Strategic Planning Insight
Survey data can lead to answers to many questions, allowing you to make strategic business decisions for future efforts. For example, you may be able to forecast sales over the coming months or years based on changes in your customer’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI). Or, your marketing department could act on survey results by promoting aspects of a product that customers find most satisfying. The uses of customer satisfaction data are only limited by your imagination.
Identifying Advocates and Generating Advocacy
Advocates are perhaps the most powerful influences on how others perceive your product. Customer satisfaction data is an ideal way of identifying satisfied customers who are willing to promote your product to their friends and family.
It’s important to identify and approach advocates in a delicate way, ensuring that their endorsement can be spread as far as possible. For example, you may identify a satisfied customer that’s also an “online celebrity” – someone who has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media channels like Instagram and TikTok. It would make a lot of sense to invite consumers like this to your next event or give them exclusive access to try out a new product. The likelihood of influencer-advocates spreading the word about their experience with your brand is high.
Use Ratings and Reviews in your Marketing
It’s no surprise that online reviews have a proven impact on sales. Econsultancy reported on a study by Reevoo showing that reviews can produce an average 18% lift in sales. This is why marketers should actively seek out highly-satisfied customers and encourage them to post product or service reviews on their social channels or brand website. In addition to sales, there are significant SEO benefits of implementing a ratings and reviews strategy, such as:
- Supplying your website with fresh user-generated content and increasing your chances of ranking higher in Search Engine Results Pages.
- Improving the likelihood consumers will find your website when searching for your “product name + reviews”
- Improved conversion rates.
Employee Motivation, Appraisals, and Rewards
Your product team, whether design, manufacturing or engineering, works hard to make your product perform well for your customers. Product satisfaction data should be shared beyond the executive suite, allowing all employees who directly contribute to product quality know how well they’re doing in the customer’s eyes. Closing the feedback loop empowers employees to take actions that can directly impact product quality, ultimately improving customer retention and advocacy.
Here are a few examples of how satisfaction data can be used with employees:
- Post satisfaction scores in key areas of the workplace.
- Communicate key satisfaction scores and customer comments throughout the company via newsletters, and emails.
- Encourage management to conspicuously celebrate positive CSI results with employees as frequently as warranted
- Reward employees with small tokens of appreciation such as time off, free lunches, awards or even gifts
- Use CSI scores in performance appraisals and employee compensation formulas
When used wisely, measuring and acting on customer satisfaction data can be a game-changer for your company. I’d love to hear other ways you use this valuable information with your brand or dealership.
About the Author
Jeff Coffman is the SVP of Enterprise Solutions and Marketing for Rollick, a platform transforming the outdoor recreational product retailing experience. Rollick’s OEM solutions include new customer acquisition, enterprise lead management, customer experience/loyalty, and marketing automation. Rollick’s Aimbase Marketing Technology solution combines enterprise lead management, marketing automation, and customer lifecycle management in one platform.
This was part two of a two-part series from Coffman. To access part one click here.