The Easy Way to Start Measuring Customer Satisfaction

Did you know that Americans spend nearly 5 billion dollars a year on frozen pizza? That’s a pretty astounding number. We’re not here to argue the merits of pizza. (In fact, we’re actually here to talk about measuring customer satisfaction…back to that in a moment). We’re fans of frozen pizza. That said, we don’t know a single person who would say frozen pizza is their favorite.

In today’s world where we’re obsessed with having the best of everything, why would we settle for anything other than the highest quality artisanal slice? There’s a really simple explanation: it’s easy

Research shows that our brains tend to favor simpler options–the fancy term is cognitive bias. The lower the effort, the better. You could go out and grab some stellar ‘za but that–at the very least–means calling a pizza place and then waiting for them to bring the pizza. In more extreme cases you might have to get dressed to enjoy a slice. 

Or you could just pop a frozen pie in the oven and let it cook while you binge-watch your favorite new show. The path of least resistance reveals itself. So, what does this all have to do with starting to measure customer satisfaction? Well, we’re far more likely to start something simple.

The best thing you can do to start measuring customer satisfaction at your company is to make it easy – for you, your company and your customers. In this article, we’re going to cover four tactics you can use to kickstart your customer satisfaction efforts. 

  1. Start small
  2. Use existing resources
  3. Have a goal
  4. Get buy-in

Start Small

Measuring customer satisfaction is a large undertaking. There are any number of channels to pick from–social, email, in-app, etc. Then there’s the question of how you’re going to measure satisfaction. You could use customer satisfaction surveys (CSAT) which is good for specific interactions. Or maybe you should use a Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) survey. That’s a popular option, right?

With all those choices the idea of starting at all can be paralyzing. Though having an abundance of options may seem like a good thing, it’s usually not. Luckily, you can decide to limit your options, which is exactly what we suggest you do. Basically, forget the forest and find your tree. 

If you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed, here’s a quick rundown of three of the most popular customer support metrics for measuring satisfaction: 

CSAT – Customer satisfaction surveys, as mentioned earlier, are typically sent as a follow-up to an interaction a customer has with an agent. Though they are meant for a specific interaction, at a macro-level they can also give insight into how well your team is doing overall. 

NPS – Net Promoter Score surveys are a measure of sentiment, not a specific interaction. These surveys contain two questions. The first is a question asking how likely the respondent is–on a scale from 1-10– to recommend your company to someone else. The second question is a text-based question asking why they gave the number score they did. NPS surveys are great because they’re short and also offer both structured and unstructured data.  

CES – Customer effort score is also a measure of sentiment like NPS. Its goal is to find points of friction in the customer journey. If you’re interested to learn how easy–or difficult– a certain action is for your customers, then CES could be a great option to start with. 

Use Existing Resources

Getting a budget for new software can be difficult. Any additional cost needs to be warranted and with a new project. It can be difficult to show the value to leadership to get their stamp of approval. Their hesitancy isn’t unwarranted. One study found that companies spend 30 billion dollars annually on unused–or underused–software

To get around any potential objections about cost, it would be smart to use resources you already have. In the case of customer satisfaction, if you have help desk software chances are good that it has some sort of customer satisfaction function built-in. In most cases it is CSAT, but it’s possible there are other options, too. 

By using the existing software you can get a baseline understanding of the value it can bring. It could serve as your proof-of-concept for when–or if–you reach a stage where you want to invest in a more specialized product. 

Have a Specific Goal

There are any number of reasons someone might fail to meet a goal but one major one is that they fail to make the goal specific. 

Not having a specific goal also means that you’re not able to measure your success. Without those markers of success, you could see your motivation wane. According to research goal clarity not only helped with overall motivation but satisfaction as well. 

So, how can you use those principles to your advantage? Instead of setting a goal like, “we want to start measuring customer satisfaction” set a goal that is more tangible. Consider adding in a timeline. Having a specific date can help your team prioritize different tasks to get the project up-and-running. 

Get Buy-In

A study by Google found that teams with strong managers had a better overall performance. It makes sense. If you don’t have support, it can be quite difficult to do your best work. So, when you’re going into a large project like starting a customer satisfaction program, it’s all the more important you have the backing of those above you. 

Along with your leadership buying in, your team as a whole needs to get on board, too. Without the support of peers, it will be difficult to execute on all the different aspects of your project. Though there’s no one surefire way to motivate others, there are a few tactics you can try. 

  1. Empower Others – It can be difficult to get excited about a project when you don’t have any agency over it. People like to use their skills, so give them the opportunity to. Also, having a side-project can be invigorating and contribute to an overall increase in performance. 
  2. Show the Value – We’ve all been part of a project that really ends up feeling like busywork. Today’s workers want more than to just punch a clock. In fact, one study found that younger workers want to have an impact. Showing how the project contributes to company and team success will let them see first-hand the impact they can have. 
  3. Be Transparent – No one likes feeling out of the loop on projects. When something is shrouded in mystery, it can cause team members to lose trust, which in turn can hurt performance. However, when you’re transparent you help build trust which benefits everyone. 

Start Simply to Improve Customer Happiness

Starting any new project is difficult, but a big project like beginning to measure customer satisfaction can seem even more daunting than the norm. To remove some of that anxiety, you should do everything in your power to make it as easy as possible to get started. 

With that in mind, start small. Editing down what you’re trying to accomplish can make the task more manageable. Next, use resources you already have. Getting budget approval for new software is added stress you don’t need. 

From there make sure you’re setting specific goals. If you’re not able to see progress, it might be difficult to stay motivated. Last, make sure you get buy-in from others. Their support can be the difference-maker. There will be obstacles, but if you stay focused you’ll be on your way to success.