There are many ways to gauge customer satisfaction, from tracking complaints to calculating service scores for each employee. Unfortunately, compiling data takes a lot of time, and it can be tricky to analyze all the information. Some companies are now tracking customer satisfaction using simple analytics, making it easy to identify areas for improvement.
If you think you need expensive programs to compile and analyze customer-service data, think again. In some cases, all you need is a spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel. Using data effectively is much easier if you already have a data-analysis program in place, but it doesn't take much extra effort to start a program from scratch.
Before you start analyzing customer behavior, you need to collect some basic information. Big companies often use customer-relationship management systems to gather data and create detailed reports. At minimum, you need to know each customer's age and shopping preferences. It's also a good idea to collect data related to past purchases, preferred shopping times and postal codes. Not only does this information help you assess customer satisfaction, but it can also help you track your marketing efforts.
As you collect data, you need a process for analyzing it properly. Piyanka Jain recommends the BADIR process, which stands for business question, analysis plan, data, insights and recommendations. First, you need to determine your main reason for analyzing the data. For example, you may want to determine what undermines customer satisfaction in your retail store. This is known as your business question. An analysis plan helps you validate your data and separate the essential information from the nice-to-have information.
If you're trying to determine why some of your customers are dissatisfied, your analysis plan might involve coming up with several reasons for dissatisfaction. Long wait times, unresolved service issues and lack of professionalism on the part of your service representatives are just some of the reasons customer satisfaction might start to dip. You need to use these hypotheses to collect data for analysis. Depending on your needs, you might need to conduct customer surveys or refer to historical data.
Once you have an analytics system in place, it's important to practice using the system. It doesn't matter how robust the system is if you never get a chance to use it. Train other people to use the analytics system so you always have the right data on hand to run detailed reports and solve serious business problems.
If you're currently struggling with the volume of customer data generated by your company, think about using simple analytics to get an idea of where you are and where you're going. The right data makes it easier to increase customer satisfaction and help customer-service professionals improve their skills.
Photo courtesy of pannawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net