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What ratings aren't telling you in customer satisfaction surveys

Why are people concerned with what rating scale to use for customer satisfaction surveys and customer loyalty measurement? Sometimes I think we spend too much time on some decisions and not enough time on others.

I’ve been involved in WAY too many conversations where rating scales get more time and attention than how to use the customer feedback or how to take action on it.  Honestly, we can argue importance of rating scales forever, but the real focus should be on how you’re going to improve customer satisfaction and customer loyalty by using the comments.

Why comments you ask? Ratings will give you trends, but you’ll find real value in the comments that tell you what you’re doing well and the changes you need to make to improve services, processes and products.

Here are 5 ways to go beyond the ratings and use the wealth of knowledge in the comments:

  • If you’re doing phone surveys, ‘live’ recorded conversations help everyone understand what the customer really thinks about you right from their mouth.
  • Positive comments within surveys can be used to acknowledge a job well done and highlight
  • Real customer comments can be used in company communication and newsletters to help focus on a goal
  • Use customer comments to help management understand and direct efforts to provide a solution that returns biggest gain in customer loyalty and customer satisfaction
  • Comments help to differentiate where the real customer concern is.  Whether it is related to a product, service, or the technician comments can direct efforts and where to take the appropriate action.

Another way to look at it is, if you go to a restaurant and answer a survey after your meal, the experience is the same whether it’s a 1 - 5 scale, a 1 – 7 scale, a 0 – 10 scale or something else.  

If your true intent is to improve customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, put your focus on taking action on the customer comments.


Written by Iresha Herath

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