Measuring customer satisfaction

Measuring customer satisfaction is an important part of the ISO 9001 standard. For many, the requirement from the standard is not entirely clear, which leads people to believe that it is compulsory to carry out a survey.

What does ISO 9001 require from a customer satisfaction questionnaire?

The ISO 9001 standard requires organisations to monitor the perception of customers regarding the extent to which the organisation meets the agreements made and expectations. Monitoring means that various sources can be used, as long as a conclusion can be drawn from them. Think of the contacts with customers, feedback from customers such as complaints, warranty provisions, meetings with customers, repeat purchases, credit notes and questionnaires.

How to conduct a customer satisfaction survey?

The above shows that it is not compulsory to send the customer a standard questionnaire. This while this is still by far the most used method, with a very low response rate. It is not an obligation to use the same method every year. An organisation can choose to use different methods in a three-year cycle in order to obtain as much information as possible.

Below we list three possibilities for surveying customer satisfaction without using a survey form.

Analysis of existing sources

Part of ISO 9001 is the registration and follow-up of complaints. This information can then also be used to analyse whether customers are satisfied. The rule: “No complaints = satisfied customers” is often used in this context. However, this is not entirely correct. A significant proportion of customers who do not return have never had a complaint, but still do not buy from the organisation again. An analysis of repeat purchases, for example, is then a good method of supplementing this information, provided it is not a one-off purchase.

Another source that is often used are credit invoices. Credit invoices show that something has gone wrong somewhere. This information can then be used to analyse customer satisfaction.

As a last source, standard contact with the customer can be used to monitor customer satisfaction. Make an internal agreement that positive or negative reports are forwarded to a certain person responsible, who stores and analyses this information. In this way, satisfaction quickly becomes apparent.

Visit report

In most companies, customers are visited by account managers and visit reports or action lists are made. By including a few short questions in the fixed format of visit reports that are asked verbally during the visit (or by phone if necessary) and then reported in the report, you get the most honest and clear information. A big advantage: the account manager generally asks about this anyway. However, it often doesn’t get registered.

E-mail a survey with 2 simple questions

A good working method that KAM Consultants B.V. advises its customers is to send a personal e-mail to a regular contact person at the customer with 2 questions:

  • What grade do you give us on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is the lowest and 10 the highest?
  • What do we have to do to score half a point higher?

Because these questions are asked in the mail and not in a separate questionnaire that requires more actions, the response rate is high. People experience it as ‘not appropriate’ not to respond to a personal e-mail. Furthermore, the questions are not pre-coded in a certain direction, which means that the perfect information is obtained from the customer. It also takes the customer little time to respond.

Tools to create surveys for your customer satisfaction research

These questions can be included in the visit report. Do you want to ask more questions? Make sure the customer does not have to do too many things to give a reaction. Saving, filling in, printing, signing, scanning and then returning a form is too much work. Use a tool like Surveymonkey to send the questionnaire to the customer.

A lot of information that you can work with by yourself. Do you need more information or support? Then contact us for an introductory meeting, no obligations.