Since 2003, MAS have undertaken a annual Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS) missing only one year.
This has been used internally as a means to measure and score ourselves and benchmark feedback over the years. More importantly this has been a great method of gaining useful and often instinctive feedback from clients. Typically, this survey is a quick telephone call, made using either a temporary member of staff or a non-client facing member of our staff. Historically, we have also had new starters doing this as one of their key jobs to enable them to further understand our own use of CRM.
This year we scored an average of 4.89 out of 6 but more detail on these results and our plans to improve our service will be sent out in our next Customer newsletter.
However, for today, whilst not in itself a key justification for installing CRM, the CSS does help to demonstrate a simple method for obtaining extra usage benefits from installing CRM, which for most systems would need only minimal customization if at all.
For instance, when MAS only used GoldMine internally, we started off using the ‘Other ‘ Activity’ type with a supporting script asking clients when called to “gives us your feeling of how we have done over the last 3-6 months”, this is scored and then we ask the client to add any extra comments within the ‘notes’ area for how we can improve.
This approach is a fast and easy way of obtaining a quick snapshot and possibly some real emotional information from clients without taking up too much of their time. The “Activity Code” was updated between 1 (very poor) and 6 (Excellent). This Likert scoring method means that it is easy to evaluate responses, anything at 3 or below is seen as worrying since it suggests from a clients perspective that we are only doing “just enough”.
Client comments are then reviewed and classified and over the years, we have found that the Survey can provide extra ideas on how to improve our service.
But what about an email survey?
Well, for 2 years, we conducted the CSS as an email survey, but our response rates were lower, we had to await feedback and we also found we then had to do reminders!. So the expected time saving was a lot less than anticipated and the feedback was then based on a smaller sample.
This year, we reverted back to the tried and tested ‘instant’ response telephone survey which take less than a minute or two to complete. Extra comments can then be added to the ‘notes’ section. Extracting data and benchmarking is thus also easy to do and client comments are now visible to all!
So it was that this year almost 49% of our clients had completed the survey question compared to the typical 10% to maybe 15% response for the Email surveys.
To maintain interest and encourage participation from clients, we aim to communicate these results and our planned actions within 4 weeks of the end of the Survey. This is done via our regular Client newsletter together with regular Account Management calls.
Our annual CRM based Customer Satisfaction Survey thus provides us with a number of benefits including:-
- An excellent and quick way of getting useful raw feedback from clients
- A useful means for motivating staff
- A useful means of training new starters in CRM
- Survey helps to extend the usage of the internal CRM system
- Another means of improving our communications with customers
- Management visibility and the ability to take action
But crucially , the biggest benefit is to MAS since the annual survey gives us a customer inspired and prioritised roadmap for how we can continue to improve our own services and performance.