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Researching and improving customer satisfaction should be part of your day-to-day work. Having a good customer satisfaction process will close customer feedback loop and ensure you understand what/why customers like or dislike about your business. This knowledge will empower you to grow customer satisfaction in the right direction and build memorable experiences.

However, measuring customer satisfaction needs to become a process to make this happen. You can’t expect the long-lasting results if you run a customer satisfaction survey just once.

What is Customer Satisfaction Process

Even if it turns out your customers are 100% satisfied, there is always room for long-term improvement that can make your customer satisfaction score future-proof.

Customers’ habits and expectations change, and your competition constantly works on offering a high quality of customer experience, you might overlook some changes happening in your company, or customer experience trends that define the world-class standards.

This is why you should research customer satisfaction and look for possible improvements.

Before we begin, let me highlight one thing:

When growing customer satisfaction, your strategy should be  focused on outperforming yourself (your previous CSAT score) and become better step by step. Don't to compare yourself against industry benchmarks. - Rome wasn't built overnight!

CSAT industry benchmarks can be misleading, especially when you operate in industries that traditionally report low customer satisfaction, like entertainment (read more about customer satisfaction across industries).

If you reach the CSAT score of 77%, should this make you happy? On the one hand, 77% can put you in front of your direct competition. But on the other, you’re still far away from world-class customer satisfaction standards that are more-less universal for all industries.

Yet, comparing yourself against industry benchmarks can still help you monitor if you maintain a competitive edge.

We even prepared a 2021 NPS benchmark report to help you stack up your Net Promoter Score against industry averages. And the CSAT industry benchmark report is on the go and will be released very soon!

Below you can see free customer satisfaction survey template created by customer satisfaction experts at Survicate. Try it and see how it works before reading further.

Free Customer Satisfaction Survey Template

Customer Satisfaction Process in 6 Actionable Steps

Now, I will guide you through 6 actionable steps of a successful customer satisfaction process.

1. Define Goals and Metrics

Deciding you want to grow customer satisfaction is the easy part. Yet, starting the process demands good planing and understanding your goals.

So be more specific before you create your first customer survey and define a key metric that you are going to track.

You can also set success metrics related to the survey itself - for example, the response rate you want to get or survey completion rates.

Pro tip: The core customer experience metric should be quantitative - either expressed in numbers (like NPS) or answers to a close-ended question. It will make tracking changes over time much easier and reliable.

Open-ended questions are useful for digging deeper into customers’ opinions and collecting valuable insights.

2. Create a Customer Satisfaction Survey

When you already know your goals and metrics it's easier to say what exactly you want to research, then it’s time to create a survey.

But before that happens, think what is the best method for running the survey. Choose the best customer satisfaction tool and identify the right survey distribution channel that will resonate with your target audiences. Should you use targeted website surveys, in-message surveys, mobile app survey, or maybe there is a different way like cold calling your customers.

Any distribution channel happens to be right for you, just keep in mind online channels are usually more efficient and preferred by the customers because this is where they spend time these days.

Once the channel is chosen, it's time to create effective customer satisfaction survey and implementing the right customer satisfaction software.

Pro tip: Keep it as simple and short as it gets to maximize response rates. Also, customer surveys must be relevant, so make sure customers are asked only questions they can actually know answers. It usually means the need for segmenting customers.

Example: New customers new and returning customers should be asked different questions when researching customer satisfaction.

Also post-purchase survey - the one you send immediately after the purchase - should consist of specific survey questions compared to the standard CSAT survey.

3. Collect Answers

People new to analyzing surveys often get excited after collecting a few answers. It’s understandable, but you should wait longer for survey results.

It’s difficult to talk about a minimum sample size because it often depends on the number of customers you survey.

For most of the companies, it’s impossible to reach statistical significance and a few hundreds of answers or even less must be enough. For a very small company, getting more than 100 answers can be challenging yet it shouldn’t discourage you from measuring customer satisfaction.

4. Analyze Results

Analyzing the results makes the key part of the customer satisfaction process. Only good analysis lets you find out how satisfied your customers are really. If you use only closed-ended questions, analyzing answers will be easy because you’ll view a breakdown of answers.

If you used open-ended questions you will need word cloud to quickly make sense of collected answers.

While analyzing answers, think about what they imply.

analyzing results of customer satisfaction surveys
Survicate Results Dashboard

5. Turn Customer Feedback in Action

Analyzing the results not always makes you smarter, but also allows you to make informed decisions on improving customer satisfaction.

Without this step, researching customer satisfaction or running any other customer survey is mostly a waste of time.

If customers complain about the quality of customer service, dive into this issue and think about what exactly can be improved.

Maybe all the people complaining contacted the same customer service agent? If your customer complain about the website - create the plan on what needs to be improved and talk to the IT to see how you can fix the issues.

When improvements are implemented, it’s time to move on to the last point of the customer satisfaction process.

6. Survey Again

Growing customer satisfaction is a process and you need a place for it at your organization. Once customer feedback from one CSAT survey is already implemented run another customer survey after a while to see if they worked.

Customers might not like your solution or its first iteration. In fact, solving one problem can create more frictions that needs to be identified again.

It’s important to stop the old survey campaign and run a new one, even if you use the same survey questions- name your CSAT campaign differently - then you will be sure that answers are not mixed.

Don’t be surprised if changes resonate differently with new vs. returning customers - often returning customers don’t like changes, so this is why you need to implement them slowly.

Conclusion

The described process ensures you will research the satisfaction of your customers in-depth and be able to increase it over time.

Remember that your goal should be to provide a high level of customer satisfaction as possible, not to reach or beat industry benchmarks.

Challenge yourself and analyze how improving customer satisfaction affects your bottom line.

Convinced? Implement the process right away. Here is the CSAT survey you can apply in minutes. ⤵️

Free Customer Satisfaction Survey Template

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