And The Survey Says...

Advice from experts · 6/19/2024 · 1 min read

And The Survey Says...

How Companies Use Surveys to Measure Customer Success

For many of us, the first time we heard the term "survey" was likely while watching the television game show Family Feud. On the show, two families compete to guess the most popular answers to survey questions to win cash and prizes. The responses were often hilarious and always entertaining.

Unleashing the Power of Customer Surveys

While not as entertaining as Family Feud, surveys can be powerful tools that allow companies to delve deep into their customers' minds. They uncover what drives satisfaction, what causes frustration, and how well customers are achieving their desired outcomes with a product or service. Here are a few ways businesses leverage surveys to measure and enhance customer success:

Gauging Customer Satisfaction and Experience

Understanding customer feelings about your product or service is crucial for both customer success and business growth. Three key metrics help evaluate customer success:

  1. Net Promoter Score (NPS): This metric asks customers, "How likely are you to recommend our product or service to others?" To calculate NPS, total the percentage of promoters and subtract the percentage of detractors. For instance, if 60% of respondents are promoters, 10% are detractors, and 30% are passive, your NPS would be 60-10=50.

  2. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT): Customers rate their overall satisfaction with your product or service, providing a straightforward measure of customer contentment.

  3. Customer Effort Score (CES): This score measures the ease with which customers interact with your company or use your product. A lower effort score suggests a smoother, more customer-friendly experience.

These metrics work together to offer a comprehensive view. It's essential for your organization to experiment with different combinations to find the most effective approach for you.

Identifying Areas for Improvement

Surveys are instrumental in pinpointing specific areas where a product or service may not meet customer expectations. This feedback is vital for continuous improvement. Typical survey questions might include:

  • Product Quality: How reliable and functional is the product? What aspects could be improved?

  • Service Quality: How effective and helpful is customer support? Are there areas where service can be enhanced?

  • Feature Requests and Usability: What new features would customers like to see? How can the product be made more user-friendly?

Tracking Customer Outcomes and Success

Customer success isn't just about satisfaction; it's about ensuring customers achieve their goals with your product or service. Surveys can explore:

  • Goal Achievement: Did the product help the customer meet their personal or business objectives?

  • Benefit Realization: Are customers perceiving the value and benefits they expected from your product?

  • Usage and Adoption: How are customers using your product? Are they utilizing all its features to the fullest?

Enhancing Customer Retention and Loyalty

Surveys provide insights that help prevent customer churn and foster long-term loyalty. Companies use surveys to:

  • Identify Churn Risks: What issues might cause customers to stop using the product? Addressing these proactively can reduce churn.

  • Uncover Loyalty Drivers: What aspects of the product or service do loyal customers value most? Enhancing these areas can strengthen loyalty.

  • Evaluate Retention Strategies: How effective are loyalty programs or special offers in retaining customers?

Benchmarking and Performance Tracking

Regular surveys allow businesses to benchmark their performance and track improvements over time. Key activities include:

  • Trend Analysis: Monitoring changes in customer satisfaction and success metrics to identify patterns and trends.

  • Competitive Analysis: Comparing customer feedback against industry benchmarks or competitors to assess relative performance.

  • KPI Monitoring: Setting and tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) related to customer success helps in measuring progress and making necessary adjustments.

Driving Data-Driven Decisions

Survey data is invaluable for making strategic, data-driven decisions. Companies can use this information to:

  • Prioritize Initiatives: Focus on product development or service improvements that align with customer needs and preferences.

  • Tailor Marketing and Communication: Adjust marketing messages and communication strategies based on what resonates most with customers.

  • Customize Offerings: Develop personalized offerings or solutions informed by insights into customer preferences and behavior.

Implementing Effective Customer Surveys

Survey Types and Delivery Methods

Choose survey methods that best suit your clients:

  • Email Surveys: Sent directly to customers, typically after a purchase or service interaction.

  • In-App Surveys: Integrated into the product or app to capture feedback during or after use.

  • Web-Based Surveys: Hosted online and accessible via a link, suitable for reaching a broader audience.

  • SMS Surveys: Delivered via text message, ideal for quick, short-response surveys.

  • Phone Surveys: Conducted by customer service teams, allowing for detailed, conversational feedback.

  • AI Chatbots: Enhanced with AI capabilities to ask survey questions, gather information, and provide analytics.

Survey Design Best Practices

To maximize effectiveness, follow these best practices:

  • Keep It Short and Focused: Long surveys typically have lower response rates. Focus on key questions that provide actionable insights.

  • Use Clear and Simple Language: Ensure questions are easy to understand to avoid confusion and improve response accuracy.

  • Mix Question Types: Utilize a variety of question types (e.g., multiple choice, open-ended, Likert scale) to gather both quantitative and qualitative data.

  • Pilot Testing: Test surveys with a small group to identify any issues before full deployment.

  • Ensure Anonymity and Confidentiality: Assure respondents that their feedback is confidential to encourage honest and open responses.

Benefits of Using Surveys for Customer Success

Surveys offer numerous benefits, including:

  • Customer Insights: Direct feedback provides valuable insights into customer needs, preferences, and pain points.

  • Informed Decision-Making: Survey data helps in making informed, customer-centric decisions that align with their expectations.

  • Improved Products and Services: Feedback highlights areas for improvement, driving continuous enhancement of offerings.

  • Increased Customer Loyalty: Acting on feedback fosters trust and loyalty, as customers feel their opinions are valued.

  • Competitive Advantage: Understanding and addressing customer needs better than competitors can lead to a stronger market position.

What Now?

  • Start: If you are not sending surveys, start now.

  • Follow-up: Thank participants for their feedback (positive or negative) and follow up with the next steps when applicable.

  • Respond: When you receive an NPS or CSAT survey in your inbox, respond. It takes around 3 minutes to share your thoughts or concerns.

  • Be Honest: Honest and constructive feedback is powerful. Don't hold back.

  • Give a shout-out: If you want to thank someone for their great work, a compliment in a survey goes a long way and provides positive feedback.

Three years ago, RocketPower prioritized implementing quarterly NPS and CSAT surveys. We recognized this as an important step, but we couldn't have predicted the profound positive impact and benefits it has brought to our organization.

We are grateful to our partners for their feedback (both positive and negative), and we are thrilled to maintain an annual average NPS score of 83%.