Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
How to measure customer satisfaction and employee performanceAugust 18th, 2019 by
Whether or not you’re a numbers person, it’s hard to deny that businesses advance and improve with data. You don’t need to measure everything—just what really matters. And for residential contractors and home service providers, what matters is efficient internal processes and satisfied customers.
But how do you measure something as subjective as customer satisfaction? Can you really measure how your employees are performing?
You can definitely measure customer satisfaction, and yes, you really can measure employee performance—particularly when it comes to meeting customer expectations.
The information you gather from tracking employee performance and customer satisfaction levels is essential to developing an outstanding customer experience. And an outstanding customer experience is the key to a business that is successful for the long haul.
Not sure how to begin? We’ll talk first about internal performance tracking and how to get started. Scroll down to learn about the ins and outs of measuring customer satisfaction. Download our whitepaper to learn more about customer communication best practices and creating customers for life.
Tracking internal performance metrics
Great customer experiences don’t happen if your internal processes are out of whack. You need to be able to track internal metrics and how they relate to customer satisfaction. Consider the following questions:
- Are project managers adhering to the company’s standard processes for projects?
- Does your front desk staff return calls and route messages in a timely manner?
- Are form submissions via your website being handled and followed up with appropriately?
For an internal performance tracking initiative to succeed, your entire staff needs to understand why it’s so important and be fully on board.
If employee performance tracking is a brand-new venture for your company, you may encounter some resistance from your team members. This is totally normal, but it doesn’t mean you’re going down the wrong path.
GuildQuality is an advocate for transparent business practices, both in terms of how we interact with our members and our staff. Use our guidelines below to help ensure a smooth transition to a system of internal reporting and employee performance tracking.
1. Be as transparent as possible at all times.
The goal of putting an internal measurement system in place is to set clear expectations and goals and make your company even more successful than it already is.
Keeping things under wraps can make measuring performance and other internal metrics feel punitive, which isn’t what anyone wants—and it defeats the purpose of the whole plan.
2. Involve your staff.
Show your employees just how much of an impact they have on a customer’s overall experience with your company. Survey your clients and include specific questions in your surveys about their interaction with your employees.
Once you receive the completed survey, share the results with your staff. It’ll be a wakeup call for some, and a shot of confidence for others.
3. Set clear goals.
Employees can’t do their jobs effectively without understanding exactly what their objectives are. Everyone in your company should have specific goals to strive toward. Keep your team members engaged by asking them to develop their own goals (with guidance from you or their supervisor, when needed, of course).
Don’t forget to define goals for the company as a whole, too. This is an important part of staying transparent, and it helps each employee see how their individual objectives fit into the company-wide goals.
Here are some tips to make the goal-setting process as straightforward as possible:
- Make sure each objective is SMART. SMART objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
- Keep each person’s list of goals to a reasonable length. Aim for three to four major goals per quarter, for example.
- Review goals often. Team meetings are a good time to review company- and department-wide goals; review individual objectives on a quarterly basis.
How to measure customer satisfaction
Meeting and exceeding customer expectations is vital to the success of your business, but without a way to measure customer satisfaction, you won’t have an accurate picture of what’s working (and what isn’t).
Your polite but conflict-averse client may not feel comfortable bringing up any constructive criticism to you directly. But they may pass along their thoughts to family, friends, and neighbors, potentially putting you at a disadvantage with future clientele.
In fact, studies show that 95 percent of people take some sort of action following a negative experience with a company. In most cases, that action is to tell other people about their experience. You may not ever hear that criticism directly, but over time, you will feel the impact on your bottom line.
So how do you gauge the satisfaction levels of your clients before it’s too late? Using a third-party service to conduct customer surveys on your behalf is the number one way to open the door to effective communication.
As you develop your survey, carefully consider the questions you’ll ask. Ultimately, each question should provide insight into your client’s experience.
A best practice to follow is to address every aspect of the project—from the initial sales process, design, and construction—through to the punch list.
- Did your client meet with your employees or subcontractors? Ask specific questions about how they were treated. Every interaction your client has with your company affects their overall level of satisfaction.
- Are you and your team meeting their expectations around important project elements such as budget, communication, schedule, material quality, and cleanliness?
- What else is important to your clients? Include questions about these aspects of the job in your survey.
It’s also important to have a balance of open-ended and scaled questions featured on your survey. Open-ended questions allow for more candid qualitative feedback from your clients, while scaled questions provide you with concrete quantitative feedback. Additionally, you can use scaled and open-ended feedback to easily identify satisfaction patterns.
Setting a satisfaction benchmark
Once you have your survey process in place, it’s time to put some metrics around your client feedback. Many companies calculate their net promoter score (NPS) to measure client satisfaction and brand loyalty.
The core of NPS is the “likely to recommend” score.
Within GuildQuality’s customer satisfaction surveys, a similar likely to recommend question is asked and measured on a 0 to 4 scale.
The satisfaction metric that most of our members use is the percentage of 4s received, or, in some cases, the percentage of 3s and 4s. They focus on the likely to recommend question but also zone in on other questions that are important to their business or highlight problems they need to address.
Monitoring customer satisfaction trends
You’ve surveyed your clients and determined your satisfaction benchmark—don’t stop there! Continue to monitor your company’s performance. Review each survey response you receive and compare those results to other client feedback.
- Look for trends in aspects that you’re excelling at and promote those.
- Look for items that could use some improvement and begin work to improve them.
Reviewing survey feedback and analyzing trends in your company’s performance holds you and your team accountable and empowers you to deliver a better experience to your clients.
Beyond your company, do some research on the performance of others in your area within the same industry. Would your company be considered a leader in customer satisfaction?
GuildQuality enables our members to see how their scores match up compared to companies with similar profiles. The peer comparison capability is reassuring for some and a motivator for most.
Customer satisfaction has a huge influence on the success of your company. Being proactive and identifying how well your company pleases clients is critical.
Satisfaction measurement checklist
- Develop a customer satisfaction survey.
- Determine which questions need to be asked, and find a third party to administer them.
- Once you begin to receive customer feedback, decide on the satisfaction benchmark your company.
- Monitor your company’s performance trends continuously as well as the performance trends of your competitors.