Every client and every project has its own unique set of goals and drivers. Understanding what a client hopes to accomplish through a survey is essential to providing a meaningful presentation and analysis of the data.
There are, to be sure, some clients who do customer surveys just for the sake of doing surveys—usually because someone (a senior executive or a consultant) told them that they had to collect customer feedback. These clients are likely to feel that the process isn’t delivering value because they didn’t go into it with a clear idea of what they wanted to get out.
Some common goals for customer service surveys are:
- Track changes in customer opinions over time.
- Identify (and validate) ways to improve customer service.
- Incentivize people or groups to improve service levels.
- Compare different service delivery strategies to determine which is best.
- Inform strategic decision making about how to allocate resources to service delivery.
- Coach employees on how to deliver better service.
- Persuade other parts of the organization to focus on some particular issue.
- Discover ways to improve the product or service unrelated to customer service (i.e. are there frequent complaints, or issues that may drive customers away).
- Serve as a “reality check” on internal statistics (i.e. do customers feel that their issue was resolved when the CSR noted that it was resolved?).
In the design phase of the survey, the most important goals should have been clearly identified. This list of goals may change over time—if the survey is successful, other groups may want to leverage it—but the script will address them from a data collection perspective.
These goals also need to be addressed from a reporting and analysis perspective. That’s where you translate the data into action and the project either succeeds or fails.