Customers are the life blood of every business, so it is important to understand how they perceive you as a supplier. Whatever you do in your organisation will affect your customers. Their perception of your business and your goods and services will influence their actions, in particular their willingness to recommend you to others and their inclination to buy again. If new customers are drawn to you through the recommendations of existing customers and they come back and buy again, you will gain market share and a competitive advantage. In this chapter we investigate the link down this chain.
We will start by providing an understanding of what a customer satisfaction survey should be, defining some of the commonly used terms. We then move on to how you measure satisfaction, finishing with a case study of how a hotel chain used customer feedback to motivate staff and improve their performance.
13.2 WHAT ARE YOU MEASURING?
Customer satisfaction surveys abound. Most people will have completed one at some stage but we will take a closer look at what they are. A common description is:
‘an unbiased sample of customer opinions about your organisation and the goods and services it provides’.
As with any survey, you need to be clear about what you want to achieve and how will you use the information you gain. Once you agree this you will be able to determine the sample size, type of survey and how frequently you measure. Then you will need ...