How to Gather Useful, Usable Customer Satisfaction Feedback


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Do you know what your customers really think? Many organizations have woefully inadequate processes for gathering customer satisfaction feedback – processes that lead to distortion and misinterpretation rather than useful, usable information. In this presentation, I focus on key issues in planning, designing, gathering and using customer satisfaction feedback, and review some of the most blatant feedback-gathering flaws as well as some of the most subtle ones. I also describe the interesting approaches some organizations have used to gather feedback. This presentation includes numerous examples of what to do – and what not to do – to gather meaningful, actionable feedback.

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  • The purpose of this webinar is to discuss issues that impact the effectiveness of IT organizations. Our discussion will be limited to IT Service Delivery (problem resolution, consultation requests, enhancements and projects). We will not be addressing Infrastructure or Operations Management issues.
  • How to Gather Useful, Usable Customer Satisfaction Feedback

    1. 1. How to Gather Useful, Usable Customer Satisfaction Feedback Naomi Karten [email_address]
    2. 2. About My Services <ul><li>Presentation Skills for Technical Professionals ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Changing How You Manage and Communicate Change ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Managing Expectations ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Communication Gaps and How to Close Them ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>How to Survive, Excel and Advance as an Introvert ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Perceptions & Realities newsletter ( ) </li></ul>I’ve delivered seminars and presentations to more than 100,000 people internationally to help them achieve career-enhancing communication skills. My books, newsletters, and guides supporting this objective include : I’d enjoy having you follow me on twitter:
    3. 3. Topics 1. Key points about feedback gathering 2. Flaws and fixes 3. Case studies of innovative approaches
    4. 4. What I Often Encounter “ We’re going to do a survey.” “ We conducted a client satisfaction survey.” “ We did a survey two years ago.” “ Maybe we ought to do a survey.” “ We just did a survey and we’re waiting for the results.”
    5. 5. Key Point Feedback-gathering is a process. It is not an event.
    6. 6. Ways to Gather Feedback 1. Written: printed, email, and web-based surveys 2. By phone: surveys, interviews and conversations 3. In person: meetings, one-on-ones, discussions, interviews, and... Super So-so UGH!! FBWA
    7. 7. F eedback b y W alking A round “ They tell you things when you’re there that they don’t tell you when you’re not there .”
    8. 8. When to Gather Feedback 1. At the start of a new relationship or project 2. Regularly throughout your working relationship 3. When modifying your processes and practices 4. After receiving negative feedback
    9. 9. Flaws in Basic Assumptions It’s a serious flaw to assume:  That NO complaints means clients are happy  That the complaints you’ve received are ALL there are
    10. 10. Flaws in Basic Assumptions Example: An apparently successful project which wasn’t LESSON: Gather feedback throughout your projects. Don’t wait till it’s too late to take action.
    11. 11. Flaws in Planning #1 Using only surveys, rather than a mix of feedback-gathering methods
    12. 12. Flaws in Planning #2 Requesting ratings and rankings only, rather than inviting open-ended comments
    13. 13. Flaws in Planning #3a Gathering feedback and then doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING with it.
    14. 14. Flaws in Planning #3b Promising to act on the feedback and then doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
    15. 15. Flaws in Gathering Useful Feedback People may not give you useful feedback unless : 1. You make it easy for them. 2. You make it comfortable for them. 3. You focus on the service attributes most important to them.
    16. 16. To Gather Useful Feedback #1 Make it easy for them: 1. Keep your feedback gathering brief . 2. Allow time and space to respond. 3. Don’t require unnecessary steps.
    17. 17. To Gather Useful Feedback #2 Make it comfortable for them: 1. Allow privacy in responding. 2. Make signatures optional. 3. Frame requests appropriately. <ul><li>What are two things we’re doing well and two things you’d like changed? </li></ul><ul><li>Based on your experience, what would you most like us to do differently? </li></ul>
    18. 18. To Gather Useful Feedback #3 Focus on the service attributes most important to them. 1. Don’t assume you know what’s most important to them. 2. If you don’t know what’s important to them, ask.
    19. 19. To Gather Useful Feedback #3 CUSTOMER SURVEY What aspect(s) of our service are most important to you? Regarding the above, how are we doing?
    20. 20. What’s Wrong Here? Please indicate how many times you have used this tool: <ul><li>This is my first time </li></ul><ul><li>2-5 times </li></ul><ul><li>6-10 times </li></ul><ul><li>10 or more times </li></ul>
    21. 21. What’s Counterproductive Here? Please indicate how well our staff resolved your problem: Much Better Than Expected Better Than Expected As Expected Worse Than Expected Much Worse Than Expected
    22. 22. What’s Inconsistent Here? What do you think of the price for our service? <ul><li>About right </li></ul><ul><li>Lower than expected </li></ul><ul><li>Too high </li></ul>
    23. 23. What’s Off-Kilter Here? Class Evaluation 10 = excellent, 1 = poor 1. How well did this class meet your expectations? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 . . . 7. Did the topic description match the presentation content? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
    24. 24. What’s Missing Here? Why would you be likely not to rent from us again? <ul><li>Cost </li></ul><ul><li>Wait time in line </li></ul><ul><li>Cleanliness of car </li></ul><ul><li>Functioning of car </li></ul><ul><li>Other </li></ul>
    25. 25. Survey Flaw #1 (1) The presentation was organized and the presenters were prepared. Yes No (2) The information was consistent and accurate. Yes No
    26. 26. Fix for Flaw #1 LESSON: Split “and” items into separate items. (1) The presentation was organized. The presenters were prepared. Yes Yes No No (2) The information was consistent. The information was accurate. Yes Yes No No
    27. 27. Survey Flaw #2 How informative or enjoyable have you found our newsletter? Extremely Very Somewhat Not at all
    28. 28. Fix for Flaw #2 How informative have you found our newsletter? Extremely Very Somewhat Not at all How enjoyable have you found our newsletter? Extremely Very Somewhat Not at all LESSON: Split “or” items into separate items.
    29. 29. Survey Flaw #3 The information met my expectations. Yes No If not, why not?
    30. 30. Fix for Flaw #3 The information met my expectations. Yes No If so, how? If not, why not?
    31. 31. Survey Flaw #4 Please rate the quality of the food (1=low, 5=high). 1 2 3 4 5
    32. 32. Fix for Flaw #4 Lesson: Be specific about what is being rated, so you can take action based on the results. Quality of Food Low High Served at appropriate temperature Attractively presented Offers a variety of food choices Meets your dietary requirements 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 1 2 3 4 5
    33. 33. Survey Flaw #5 How would you rate your experience? FIX: Use words or numbers, but not both. People interpret words differently. Outrageous Poor Fair Good Superb 1 2 3 4 5     
    34. 34. A Better Fix for Flaw #5 Unsatisfactory Poor Satisfactory Good Excellent -- - + - + + + Speed of response -- - +- + ++ Accuracy -- - +- + ++ Ease of use -- - +- + ++
    35. 35. Survey Flaw #6 FIX: Allow space for open-ended comments so you know what respondents really think. Rate our on-time delivery Rate our friendliness Rate the watchacallit Rate the this’n’that Rate the blah-blah-bah Rate every little thing Rate everything else SURVEY
    36. 36. How to Request Comments <ul><li>Comments </li></ul><ul><li>Please explain your rating. </li></ul><ul><li>We welcome any comments you’d like to provide. </li></ul>Open-ended comments : Directed comments : <ul><li>Please describe 2 or 3 positive encounters you’ve had with XYZ and 2 or 3 negative encounters. </li></ul>
    37. 37. How NOT to Request Comments <ul><li>Any additional comments </li></ul><ul><li>We sincerely appreciate any written comments you have about our performance, including the names of staff members who were particularly helpful or friendly. </li></ul>
    38. 38. Sample Web-Based Survey Please enter the User ID and Password found on your receipt. User ID: 25908 58131 Password: 4451 6801 Please include the space in the middle of the User ID and Password as on your receipt. User ID: Password: 2590858131 44516801
    39. 39. Sample Web-Based Survey “ The User ID and Password must be entered exactly as printed on your receipt. Please be sure to include the spaces in the middle of the User ID and Password. You may try to enter the User ID and Password 3 times. If you're still having trouble, please try again the next time you visit the store.”
    40. 40. Sample Web-Based Survey Do you have any positive feedback regarding your visit? Do you have any negative feedback regarding your visit? 1000 character limit 1000 character limit
    41. 41. Sample Web-Based Survey With regard to [xyz], which of the following did you experience? Select all that apply: Option 1 Option 2 Option 10 None of the above . . .
    42. 42. Sample Web-Based Survey With regard to [xyz], which of the following did you experience? Select all that apply: Option 1 Option 2 Option 10 None of the above . .. Other (Please specify)
    43. 43. Sample Web-Based Survey % of Survey Completed
    44. 44. CASE STUDY #1 : Written Survey Situation: 1. Insurance company: internal clients 2. Objective: To obtain a baseline for assessing improvements 3. Survey created and administered by the Marketing Communications Department 4. Extensive feedback received
    45. 45. CASE STUDY #1 : Written Survey Survey questions: 1. How would you rate your satisfaction with XYZ and what are your reasons for this rating? 2. In terms of your needs, how well is XYZ responding? 3. What would you describe as XYZ’s strengths? 4. What do you see as opportunities for improvement?
    46. 46. CASE STUDY #2 : Team Interviews Situation: 1. Bank: internal clients 2. Major service assessment 3. Joint client/IT feedback-gathering process 4. One-hour team-led interviews 5. Questions submitted in advance
    47. 47. CASE STUDY #2 : Team interviews Interview question: <ul><li>Systems development </li></ul><ul><li>Systems support </li></ul><ul><li>Acquisition support </li></ul><ul><li>Consulting services </li></ul><ul><li>Help desk </li></ul>For the services listed, describe what you see as strengths and weaknesses in how they are being provided:
    48. 48. CASE STUDY #2 : Team interviews Outcome: 1. Clients were forthright in offering both positive and negative comments. 2. The interview team captured all comments. 3. The team then: <ul><li>analyzed the feedback, </li></ul><ul><li>organized responses into categories, </li></ul><ul><li>established priorities, and </li></ul><ul><li>recommended action to be taken </li></ul>
    49. 49. CASE STUDY #3 : Telephone Survey Situation: 1. Software company: external clients 2. Every client surveyed every six months 3. Surveys conducted by a survey administrator 4. Same questions used in every survey 5. Unusual rating process (stay tuned….)
    50. 50. CASE STUDY #3 : Telephone Survey Objectives: 1. To identify common problem areas 2. To generate ideas for improvements 3. To surface grievances that may otherwise not be voiced 4. To identify complaints that can be acted on immediately 5. To communicate that “we’re listening”
    51. 51. CASE STUDY #3 : Telephone Survey Sample survey questions: 1. How has the response time been to software problems and questions? 2. What is your level of confidence in the competence of our staff? 3. How would you describe our ability to resolve problems? 4. Can you suggest one improvement you would find helpful?
    52. 52. CASE STUDY #3 : Telephone Survey Unusual rating process 1. Gathering of client comments 2. Assignment of ratings 3. Client review and validation 4. Escalation and follow-up 5. Distribution of survey results
    53. 53. Final Fix #1 Guard against conflicting interpretations. <ul><li>Not sufficiently results-oriented... </li></ul><ul><li>Often inconsistent service... </li></ul><ul><li>Extremely cooperative ... </li></ul><ul><li>Very responsive to our needs... </li></ul>LANGUAGE A D V I S O R Y
    54. 54. Final Fix #2 Close the feedback loop. 1. Summary of responses 2. Commitment to action 3. Periodic updates on action taken (very important!) But beware the Perceptual Lag
    55. 55. DO NOT forget the power of the naked eye to determine what needs attention! Final Fix #3
    56. 56. Reminder Feedback-gathering is a process. It is not an event.
    57. 57. My Articles on Feedback Gathering
    58. 58. Cartoons by Mark Tatro
    59. 59. Thanks so much for viewing this presentation. I wish you success with your feedback-gathering. Naomi Karten [email_address]