The basic idea of business-to-business CRM is frequently identified as allowing the larger business to be as responsive to the needs of its customer as a small business. In the past of CRM this became translated from “responsive” to “reactive”. Effective larger businesses recognise that they have to be pro-active in finding [paying attention to] the views, concerns, needs and levels of satisfaction from their customers. Paper-based surveys, including those left in hotel bedrooms, tend to have a low response rate and are usually completed by customers who have a grievance. Telephone-based interviews tend to be influenced by the Cassandra phenomenon. Face-to-face interviews are expensive and can be led by the interviewer.
A big, international hotel chain desired to attract more business travellers. They chose to conduct a consumer satisfaction survey to discover whatever they necessary to improve their services for this sort of guest. A written survey was placed in each room and guests were required to fill it up out. However, once the survey period was complete, your accommodation discovered that the sole individuals who had filled in the surveys were children as well as their grandparents!
A big manufacturing company conducted the first year of the items was created to get Customer survey. The very first year, the satisfaction score was 94%. The next year, with the same basic survey topics, but using another survey vendor, the satisfaction score dropped to 64%. Ironically, at the same time, their overall revenues doubled!
The questions were simpler and phrased differently. The transaction from the questions was different. The format from the survey was different. The targeted respondents were with a different management level. The General Satisfaction question was placed at the conclusion of the survey.
Although all client satisfaction surveys can be used for gathering peoples’ opinions, survey designs vary dramatically in length, content and format. Analysis techniques may utilize a wide variety of charts, graphs and narrative interpretations. Companies often make use of a survey to test their business strategies, and several base their entire business strategy upon their survey’s results. BUT…troubling questions often emerge.
Are the results always accurate? …Sometimes accurate? …Whatsoever accurate? Exist “hidden pockets of customer discontent” which a survey overlooks? Can the survey information be trusted enough to adopt major action with assurance?
As the examples above show, different survey designs, methodologies and population characteristics will dramatically change the outcomes of market research. Therefore, it behoves an organization to create absolutely certain that their survey process is accurate enough to create a real representation of the customers’ opinions. Failing to do so, there is absolutely no way the company can use the results for precise action planning.
The characteristics of the survey’s design, as well as the data collection methodologies employed to conduct the survey, require careful forethought to make sure comprehensive, accurate, and correct results. The discussion on the next page summarizes several key “rules of thumb” that really must be followed if a survey is to become company’s most valued strategic business tool.
Survey questions ought to be categorized into three types: Overall Satisfaction question – “How satisfied are you currently overall with XYZ Company?” Key Attributes – satisfaction with key parts of business, e.g. Sales, Marketing, Operations, etc. Drill Down – satisfaction with problems that are unique to each and every attribute, and upon which action may be come to directly remedy that Key Attribute’s issues.
The Entire Satisfaction question is placed at the conclusion of the survey so that its answer will likely be impacted by a much more comprehensive thinking, allowing respondents to possess first considered answers to other questions. A survey, if constructed properly, will yield a wealth of information. These elements of design should be taken into consideration: First, the survey must be kept to some reasonable length. Over 60 questions in a written survey will become tiring. Anything over 8-12 questions begins taxing mdycyz patience of participants in a phone survey.
Second, the questions should utilize simple sentences with short words. Third, questions should demand an opinion on just one topic at a time. For example, the question, “how satisfied are you with this services and products?” cannot be effectively answered because a respondent may have conflicting opinions on products versus services.
Fourth, superlatives like “excellent” or “very” must not be utilized in questions. Such words often lead a respondent toward an opinion.
Fifth, “feel happy” questions yield subjective answers which little specific action could be taken. For instance, the question “how can you feel about XYZ company’s industry position?” produces responses which can be of no practical value in terms of improving a surgical procedure.
Though the fill-in-the-dots format is one of the most common types of survey, there are significant flaws, which may discredit the results. As an example, all prior answers are visible, which results in comparisons with current questions, undermining candour. Second, some respondents subconsciously tend to find symmetry in their responses and become guided by the pattern of the responses, not their true feelings. Third, because paper surveys are usually categorized into topic sections, a respondent is much more likely to fill down a column of dots inside a category while giving little consideration to every question. Some INTERNET surveys, constructed in the same “dots” format, often cause the same tendencies, particularly if inconvenient sideways scrolling is essential to reply to a matter.
In a survey conducted by Xerox Corporation, over 1 / 3rd of all responses were discarded because the participants had clearly run on the columns in each category rather than carefully considering each question.
TELEPHONE SURVEYS Though a telephone survey yields a much more accurate response compared to a paper survey, they might also have inherent flaws that impede quality results, such as:
First, each time a respondent’s identity is clearly known, concern over the chance of being challenged or confronted with negative responses at a later date creates a strong positive bias within their replies (the so-called “Cassandra Phenomenon”.)
Second, studies have shown that folks become friendlier being a conversation grows longer, thus influencing question responses.
Third, human nature says that people like to be liked. Therefore, gender biases, accents, perceived intelligence, or compassion all influence responses. Similarly, senior management egos often emerge when trying to convey their wisdom.
Fourth, telephone surveys are intrusive over a senior manager’s time. An unannounced call may create a preliminary negative impression of the survey. Many respondents could be partially focused on the clock rather than the questions. Optimum responses are based mostly on a respondents’ clear mind and spare time, a couple of things that senior management often lacks. In a recent multi-national survey where targeted respondents were offered the choice of a phone or any other methods, ALL chose the other methods.
Taking precautionary steps, including keeping the survey brief and making use of only highly-trained callers who minimize idle conversation, will help minimize the previously mentioned issues, and can not eliminate them.
The goal of a survey is to capture a representative cross-part of opinions throughout a team of people. Unfortunately, unless most of the folks participate, two factors will influence the results:
First, negative people have a tendency to answer market research more often than positive because human nature encourages “venting” negative emotions. A small response rate will normally produce more negative results (see drawing).
Second, a lesser portion of a population is less associated with the entire. As an example, if 12 people are motivated to take a survey and 25% respond, then your opinions from the other nine individuals are unknown and could be entirely different. However, if 75% respond, then only three opinions are unknown. Another nine may well be more likely to represent the opinions in the whole group. One can assume that the higher the response rate, the more accurate the snap-shot of opinions.
Totally Satisfied vs. Very Satisfied ……Debates have raged on the scales employed to depict amounts of customer care. In recent years, however, reports have definitively proven which a “totally satisfied” customer is between 3 and 10 times more likely to initiate a repurchase, and that measuring this “top-box” category is quite a bit more precise than some other means. Moreover, surveys which measure percentages of “totally satisfied” customers as opposed to the traditional sum of “very satisfied” and “somewhat satisfied,” provide a much more accurate indicator of economic growth.
Other Scale issues…..There are more rules of thumb that are often used to ensure more valuable results:
Many surveys give you a “neutral” choice over a five-point scale for individuals who may not want to answer a matter, or for those who are unable to create a decision. This “bail-out” option decreases the amount of opinions, thus diminishing the survey’s validity. Surveys which use “insufficient information,” being a more definitive middle-box choice persuade a respondent to create a decision, unless they just have too little knowledge to respond to the question.
Scales of 1-10 (or 1-100%) are perceived differently between age ranges. Individuals who were schooled utilizing a percentage grading system often consider a 59% to get “flunking.” These deep-rooted tendencies often skew different peoples’ perceptions of survey results.
There are some additional details that can boost the overall polish of a survey. While a survey ought to be a workout in communications excellence, the event of taking a survey should also be positive for the respondent, as well as valuable for that survey sponsor.
First, People – Those accountable for acting upon issues revealed within the survey needs to be fully engaged in the survey development process. A “team leader” should be accountable for ensuring that all pertinent business categories are included (approximately 10 is ideal), and this designated individuals assume responsibilty for answering the results for each Key Attribute.
Second, Respondent Validation – Once the names of potential survey respondents have been selected, they may be individually called and “invited” to participate. This step ensures the person is willing to accept survey, and elicits a binding agreement to do this, thus improving the response rate. Additionally, it ensures the person’s name, title, and address are correct, an area by which inaccuracies are commonplace.
Third, Questions – Open-ended questions are typically best avoided in favour of simple, concise, one subject questions. The questions should also be randomised, mixing up the topics, forcing the respondent to be continually thinking about an alternative subject, rather than building upon a response from the previous question. Finally, questions should be presented in positive tones, which not only helps maintain an objective and uniform attitude while answering the survey questions, but allows for uniform interpretation of the results.
Fourth, Results – Each respondent gets a synopsis in the survey results, either in writing or – preferably – face-to-face. By giving at the outset to discuss the results from the survey with every respondent, interest is generated along the way, the response rate increases, and the clients are left with a standing invitation to return for the customer later and close the communication loop. Not only does which provide a means of dealing and exploring identified issues on the personal level, nevertheless it often increases an individual’s willingness to participate in later surveys.
A well structured client satisfaction survey provides an abundance of invaluable market intelligence that human nature is not going to otherwise allow access to. Properly done, it may be a method of establishing performance benchmarks, measuring improvement over time, building individual customer relationships, identifying customers in danger of loss, and improving overall client satisfaction, loyalty and revenues. If a clients are not careful, however, it may turn into a source of misguided direction, wrong decisions and wasted money.