• Banks80.0+5.3%
  • Credit Unions82.0+1.2%
  • Federal Government68.0+6.4%
  • Health Insurance72.0+4.3%
  • Internet Investment Services80.0+5.3%
  • Life Insurance79.0+2.6%
  • Local Government72.5+13.3%
  • Property & Casualty Insurance78.0-1.3%
Ambulatory Care77+1.3%
Athletic Shoes80+2.6%
Automobiles & Light Vehicles823.8%
Cellular Telephones79+1.3%
Computer Software819.5%
Consumer Shipping80-1.2%
Cooperative Utilities76-5.0%
Credit Unions82.0+1.2%
Department & Discount Stores74-3.9%
Federal Government68.0+6.4%
Fixed-Line Telephone Service70+1.4%
Food Manufacturing83+9.2%
Full-Service Restaurants81-1.2%
Gasoline Service Stations752.7%
Health & Personal Care Stores73-5.2%
Health Insurance72.0+4.3%
Internet Investment Services80.0+5.3%
Internet Search Engines & Information76-5.0%
Internet News & Opinion73-1.4%
Internet Retail80-2.4%
Internet Service Providers64+1.6%
Internet Social Media744.2%
Internet Travel Services791.3%
Investor-Owned Utilities72-2.7%
Life Insurance79.0+2.6%
Limited-Service Restaurants79+2.6%
Local Government72.5+13.3%
Household Appliances821.2%
Municipal Utilities68-6.8%
Personal Care & Cleaning Products83+7.8%
Personal Computers781.3%
Property & Casualty Insurance78.0-1.3%
Soft Drinks84+6.3%
Specialty Retail Stores77-2.5%
Subscription Television Service65+3.2%
Telephone service72 0.0%
Televisions & Video Players876.1%
U.S. Postal Service73+5.8%
Wireless Telephone Service71+1.4%

Remarkable Knowledge.
Experience That Matters.

Top 10 Customer Satisfaction Survey Best Practices

1. Use Scientific Questionnaire Design. You probably already have a very good idea of what drives customer satisfaction. Customer service professionals can generally create surveys that, on the surface, might closely resemble those created by survey methodologists. However, the words generally, might, and closely are crucial. Familiarity with the day-to-day needs of customers can well inform the content of a survey, but even the best intentions can have unintended consequences on question design. The nation’s only uniform, cross-industry measure of customer satisfaction is the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). CFI Group, the developer of the ACSI, has determined the precise questions, phrasing, and scales to accurately measure customer satisfaction. Rigorous scientific testing and decades of empirical evidence enable this methodology to link satisfaction to financial performance—you won’t need to reinvent the wheel. Without training in the science (and art!) of survey design and writing, survey data will be unreliable and possibly invalid. For example, a common survey mistake is to ask: “Did you find the agent knowledgeable and experienced?” While knowledge and experience may be important, by attempting to address both issues at once, this question fails to capture meaningful information for either. This error is called a ‘double-barreled’ question; it should really be two questions. Another complicated area of questionnaire design are response categories. If a survey asks how often you shop, what is wrong with the following response options: never, occasionally, sometimes, often, and regularly? The problem is that although these are natural answers, they have different meanings to different people. In the aggregate, ‘sometimes’ is devoid of meaning. These response categories are too vague to be useful for analysis. A better, but perhaps counterintuitive, way to phrase response categories is on a mutually-exclusive, numerical scale, with the endpoints of a continuum anchored with text.

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