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July 20, 2011

No-nonsense Customer Surveys

Part two of Ann’s look at customer surveys: Time to take your temperature! 

Ann PadleyDo you ever take your customers’ temperature? I’m not talking about the 98.6Ëš human body temperature, but your customers feelings toward your brand. Are they feeling good, great, overjoyed? Or, has a recent bad experience left them boiling hot?

I’m talking about a customer satisfaction survey.

Me, I’m usually a SurveyMonkeyâ„¢ kind of girl. I love digging into a brand new set of survey data, analyzing and cross tabulating until I extract every yummy morsel of feedback. So this morning, when I ran across a survey tool claiming to be a ‘one click, real time customer satisfaction survey’ I was completely thrown off balance.

The tool is called Customer Thermometer and is self proclaimed to be designed for the ‘service-obsessed.’ You can upload a survey email list and add your own branding. But here’s the kicker, it is a one question survey, with no comments. At first glance, the product seemed like a survey geek’s worst nightmare, but I am starting to warm up to it – slightly.

On one hand, it’s quick. It really is like a temperature reading. A hair salon might use it to email new clients to measure how much they love their new dos ex post facto. A mechanic could follow up on how a new set of tires is performing. Still, the survey is missing one very important thing: the why. If you only know your customer is satisfied or unsatisfied – but you don’t know why – how does the information help your business?

Feedback welcome (no pun intended).