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Marketing, customer satisfaction and loyalty
Satisfied customers will follow you everywhere

4 advices to remember when measuring customer satisfaction

The Heathrow airport has installed devices to measure satisfaction after the security checks. Yet, we think did not get customer satisfaction right.

The biggest mistake they did was to put the device too far away from the lane, making it out of reach for most customers. Hence only customers with a good reason will find the motivation (or need) to walk the extra steps to the device to give an input. As a result you see only extremely dissatisfied customers slashing the red button.



Advice for your marketing strategy


If you decide to measure satisfaction, here are a few advices to make sure your efforts are rewarded

Use a 4-point satisfaction scale

It doesn’t make sense to measure satisfaction on a too “broad” scale. Sometimes we see companies measuring satisfaction on a 7-point or even 10-point scale. What is the purpose of it? Do you really think respondents are able to make the difference between the 4th and 5th level on the satisfaction scale? Heathrow did it pretty well by measuring satisfaction on a 4-point scale.

Easy and enjoyable

Make it easy and enjoyable for people to give their input. Why should you ask people to answer lengthy and boring questionnaire? It may be easier for you to collect data that way but do you, as a consumer, like to answer them? If the answer is know, you should be thinking about why you are asking it from your customer.

Once again, a good way to overcome that problem is to use devices like the ones installed at Heathrow. They are simple, colorful and not boring.

Use idle time to collect feedback

People have enough things to do in life and you should keep in mind that they don’t want their time to be stolen from you. Hence, don’t ask a feedback when people have other things to do. Why wouldn’t you identify idle time for consumers when they interact with your company, and use that idle time to collect feedback. If you take the example of the Heathrow airport, the issue is really easy to solve. Instead of installing the customer satisfaction devices far away from the security lane, just install them after the metal detector when people are waiting for their belongings to come out of the X-Ray machine. They have nothing else to do and will be delighted to press a button if asked

Focus on unbiased feedback

Heathrow airport will certainly not able to collect an unbiased measurement of customer satisfaction. For the reasons explained above, what they are collecting are extreme feedbacks: either extremely satisfied or extremely dissatisfied (we believe however that the results will be likely to be of the latter type). You should therefore make sure that you collect feedback from a “statistically significant” customer base, i.e. from as many customers as possible. In the case of Heathrow this would have been possible of the device had be put in the security lane directly and a cue had been used to trigger attention and response from the passengers.

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Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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