Customer Satisfaction Market Research

Customer Satisfaction Research and Strategy

Customer Satisfaction market research uncovers insights to acquire and retain customers profitably.

There are many ways to measure attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that comprise Customer satisfaction market research. Each metric provides a different lens to understanding.

When conducting customer satisfaction market research, it’s essential to gauge performance. First, establish baseline measures so that you can see how you do against yourself and your competition over time. An excellent way to begin is to survey a representative sample of current customers. The number of questions does not need to be many. They should, however, allow for follow-up questions by phone or via email to probe into the “whys” behind the responses. Compliments and complaints can be valuable to a company that strives to improve its image, perception, and, of course, sales.

Primary market research questions should focus on critical factors such as quality, performance, price, customer service, or sales force interactions, with a few relating to how you compare to significant competitors.

Here are a few sample questions:

  • How satisfied are you with (my product or service)?
  • How well did it meet your expectations?
  • How reasonable was the price?
  • Did you encounter any customer service problems in the pre or post-sales process?

  • Would you buy it again?
  • Would you recommend it to others?

Of course, the wording and answer choices should be tailored to your precise requirements.

Asking the Right Questions

Always capture Demographics to enable more robust analyses and informed decisions. Try to determine whether age, gender, income, or geographic location correlate in any way, and be prepared to align your marketing communications towards specific segments of your market accordingly. Customer satisfaction market research provides those answers. Although not always asked, in some cases, it would be helpful to know whether a product was purchased for personal use or as a gift. And returning for a moment to the airline industry, knowing whether a passenger travels for business or leisure could likely influence how they react to the extra cost of an aisle seat vs. an onboard movie.

Choosing the Right Methods

Sometimes, qualitative research, such as focus groups, can be conducted to understand what satisfies (or does not satisfy) customers. You can then incorporate your research findings into future survey questions. Since it is hard to deny that it is far more cost-effective to keep a current customer than to replace one, it is not only essential to maintain satisfied customers who make repeat purchases but to realize that these very same people may help to attract new customers via positive word of mouth and social network comments.

Next Steps

Begin to develop a customer satisfaction market research plan to gain initial and ongoing feedback that can positively impact your customers’ perceptions of your company and its products or services. Consider tracking your results at least once a year. You may eventually decide to integrate Customer Loyalty, Voice of the Customer (VOC), and other related methods that provide complementary insights into an overarching program aimed at knowing your customers better.

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