5 Customer Satisfaction KPIs You Need to Use

iStock_000038131526SmallThe customer is always right. Right? But is a customer who is always right always a satisfied customer? Not necessarily.

Even if you’ve gotten into the customer mindset and you’re listening to their complaints on social media (and meeting their needs at every customer touchpoint) you may be missing the boat if you’re not paying attention to the numbers behind your efforts.

And when it comes right down to it, satisfied customers are the key to sustainability and growth for any business. The more satisfied your customers are, the more likely your company will be successful–as much as six times more successful, in fact.

How to get the data for your customer satisfaction KPIs

So how do you, or for that matter, any business–Fortune 500 or corner store–gauge customer satisfaction? The answer is simple and business owners and managers have been doing it for centuries: Ask. Then, ask again, and ask some more.

You know it as a customer satisfaction survey. Because customer satisfaction is a moving target, you must continually survey your customers to find out what it takes to satisfy them today, tomorrow, and the next day. Deploying customer surveys at regular intervals to measure satisfaction over time will help you figure out how you’re doing.

For example, you can send recurring quarterly or annual surveys to your customers with your CRM to understand how your performance changes over time.

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Most important customer satisfaction KPIs

Customer satisfaction is one of many key performance indicators (KPIs) that enterprises–whether for-profit, nonprofit, public, or private–routinely measure. Your customer satisfaction KPI is like a vital sign for your business; improve it and you improve the overall health of your venture.

But the customer satisfaction KPI is itself comprised of several KPIs. Here are some of the customer satisfaction KPIs you need to measure to make sure your customers change their tune:

1. Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Basically, NPS is a measure of how many of your customers like your brand enough to recommend (or promote) it to others. If more people recommend you than not, you’re score is positive and generally doing well. If an equal amount promote as do not, you’ve got some work to do to push that needle from neutral into the plus column. If more people don’t promote your business than do, you need to find out why. Referrals, after all, are the best form of advertising any enterprise can have. Create an NPS survey to see where you rank.

2. Extremely Satisfied or Very Satisfied

The percent of customers who rate their experience with your brand as “Extremely” or “Very” Satisfied is another good barometer of your business’s performance. If you can determine why these people are so satisfied, you can apply those lessons to more of your customer base.

3. Overall Satisfaction

Every business would like all of its customers 100 percent satisfied 100 percent of the time–but that’s not realistic. What’s important is that this customer satisfaction KPI should always be rising. If you’re overall satisfaction number is going up, you’re headed in the right direction. You can track whether or not your rating is going up by setting internal benchmarks. How? Make sure you’re repeating the same customer satisfaction survey so you can measure each set of new results against the old. That way, you can set goals, target problem areas, and make improvements to your customer satisfaction rating the smart way. While this approach is super useful, don’t forget to look at specific touchpoints to figure out what’s working and what’s not.

If you use a CRM like Salesforce, a great way to take your customers’ temperature is to trigger surveys when they reach certain milestones, like when they sign up, when they renew, or when they contact customer support.

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4. External, Industry Benchmarks

Speaking of benchmarking, it’s also important to understand where your brand stands compared to the competition. Even the highest-rated companies only get it ‘right’ about 88 percent of the time, so everybody has plenty of room for improvement. Get external benchmarking survey data to compare your brand to your closest competitors.

If you collect feedback with surveys, SurveyMonkey Benchmarks are a simple way to compare yourself against the competition.

5. Brand Attributes

Make sure you and your customers are on the same page when it comes to what they expect from your company. Do customers see your startup company as “unique” and “innovative”? If they don’t, but you do, you need to find a way to bridge that gap. Send a brand attributes survey or brand equity survey to customers to get a sense of how they view your company—so you can continue to work hard to meet their expectations or work harder to change your brand image. When your company’s and your customers’ perceptions of your attributes align, you’re much more likely to keep customers happy and coming back for more.