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Customer Satisfaction Research Defined

A critical aspect of maintaining an edge in a competitive market environment is to hold on to the customers you already have. Veteran business leaders know that it is easier and more cost-efficient to keep an existing customer than it is to find a new one. The challenge is knowing which of your customers are loyal and which ones are at risk of departure.

Anova Consulting Group believes that the best way to find out whether your clients and customers are happy is to ask them through an unbiased and independent third party. It sounds simple, but a surprising number of companies do not employ objective customer satisfaction analysis programs because they don’t understand how they add value or how to implement them.

Defining the Specialty

Customer satisfaction analysis is a highly specialized brand of market research that concentrates on providing companies with in-depth customer feedback on product and service delivery. The process entails surveying customers on a regular basis to collect unfiltered and unbiased feedback on everything from pricing and product/service features to the quality and consistency of the client service a company is delivering. Customer satisfaction projects enable companies to track trends against internal customer servicing benchmarks and to establish the behaviors and actions that must be present to ensure high levels of customer loyalty.

Measuring to Manage

As the business adage goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. Companies that conduct Customer satisfaction analysis gather quantitative data on their service delivery and suite of products and services, enabling them to identify strengths and areas for improvement. By setting a baseline and tracking trends with an annual customer satisfaction survey, your company can strive for continuous improvement and measure the effectiveness of actions taken since the previous survey period. You also can conduct regression analysis to identify the key drivers of customer satisfaction, which can help you prioritize and rationalize the levels of investment you need to make in various aspects of your customer service system.

Hearing the Customer

Customer satisfaction research and analysis also provides rich “voice of the customer” feedback, which frequently can be mined to obtain competitive intelligence and insight on the best practices employed by your competitors. When received directly from a customer in words reflecting their individual situation, both positive and negative feedback can be quite revealing. Receiving negative feedback from a customer can be a rough experience, particularly when it comes as a surprise. However, customer satisfaction projects are not designed to be a “witch hunt” for your service team, but rather an opportunity to spur continuous service improvements. Customer satisfaction feedback is a key coaching tool for client service staff members; after all, who is in a better position to comment on service levels than the customers themselves? Many data-driven organizations that conduct regular customer satisfaction surveys tie a portion of their service team’s compensation to the survey results.

Identifying Those At Risk

Perhaps most importantly, customer satisfaction analysis is a tool that your company can use to identify customers who are at risk of departing for a competitor. It also can provide customer-specific insights to help you determine what kind of turnaround strategy should be implemented. A key feature of Anova’s customer satisfaction methodology is that it not only identifies “at risk” relationships (based on a proprietary composite loyalty metric), but probes to uncover the source of the dissatisfaction and to establish what steps can be taken to reverse it. On the flip side, our customer satisfaction research results also can be used to identify your most loyal customers, and those who are willing to advocate for your company by providing a testimonial or serving as a reference in your future sales situations.

In the end, when it is integrated into your entire sales and customer service process, and deployed with a focus on spurring continuous improvement, Anova Consulting Group’s customer satisfaction program can provide your company with a significant and ongoing competitive edge.

Veteran business leaders know that it is easier and more cost-efficient to keep an existing customer than it is to find a new one.