There's a simple but powerful technique I think should be part of every customer survey to make it much more valuable for business decisions: every customer survey should be linked to a record of the customer's buying behavior.
Most companies already have this data available, and some companies are making a significant effort on "big data" analysis projects to try to tease out what it all means.
Taking the small extra step of including this data in the customer survey report makes use of the fact that, if you have a customer survey, your customers are already telling you how they feel about you. In many ways that's a lot easier than hunting for subtle statistical clues in a tsunami of behavior.
For example, one of our clients found that, compared to "Very Satisfied" customers, customers who were "Somewhat Satisfied" or worse with a customer service call were about 4x more likely to take their business elsewhere within the next six months.
That's not a small difference. Those customers are telling you directly that they are not loyal. Chances are, if you dig even a little you will find that they also told you (directly, in response to your survey question) why.
Are you listening?