Relational Customer Satisfaction Surveys and Their Importance to Your Livelihood in 2024

Relational Customer Satisfaction Surveys and Their Importance to Your Livelihood in 2024

Over the past 44 years in this wonderful industry, you’ve heard me dwell on the importance of customer interaction and satisfaction. You simply can’t have one without the other. MacGuard has conducted numerous client satisfaction surveys for our clients, but some integrators have resisted conducting relational or annual surveys, called CSAT surveys. They tell us that they conduct transactional surveys, and they are under the misconception that these are sufficient. Transactional surveys are ones performed at the specific time of a customer interaction, such as an installation or service call. They indicate a consumer’s perception for a short period of time, but they are not a good indicator on how your customers perceive your brand and will they stick with you through thick and thin. We call this your customers Likelihood to Stay™ Score.

We’ve uncovered the top two reasons why integrators-dealers resist conducting CSAT surveys.

1. They are concerned about what their customers may say about the company.

2. If they move forward and perform a CSAT survey, the company is unsure about how to make necessary changes, prioritization of these changes and measurement tools needed to quantify the metrics. After all, the goal is to get better year over year.

Let’s address the first concern-what customer may say. They are thinking it already, so get them to open and share it with you. We uncover more positives than negatives. Our clients then work with their marketing teams to accentuate the positives in their sales campaigns, and we then move quickly to address lingering issues uncovered during the surveys. The onion is peeled back department by department and a plan is developed to rectify the issue(s).

The second issue is what separates good companies from great ones. A good strategic survey will demonstrate areas of strengths within the company and areas that need addressing or improvements.

A great strategic survey provides a comprehensive list of items to address along with priorities and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that are tied to the improvement metrics.

For instance, an area of improvement uncovered during the survey is communication with customers about service schedule and arrival times. The issue is communication with subscribers and the ability to adjust technicians’ schedules to align with customer needs. The solution is communication and a way to track calls, including arrival and departure times, any upselling activities, and a systematic way to measure if the KPI’s are being met. KPI’s should be in alignment with company goals as well as compensation targets. Once the KPI’s are established, developing a plan around compensation should be instituted.

Here’s a real-world example- Company “A” learned during Covid, that their customers were open to upselling, so they continued that trend post Covid. They quickly uncovered that upselling during a traditional service call extends the technicians on site time, thus throwing the service schedule out the window for the day upsetting the remaining scheduled customers. And as technicians are harder to find, it placed a burden on the company and the customers impacted by scheduling conflicts. Working with our client, we were able develop a solution of a 4-6 wireless sensor package add on per location that could be accomplished in under and hour, aligned technician compensation to the KPI, increased customer satisfaction and improved attrition metrics. As part of the solution, an internal team was trained to handle “service inquiries” such as battery change instruction, adding or deleting a sensor in a trouble condition, thus reducing service calls, and producing a more manageable service schedule.

A customer satisfaction survey is much more than asking how the alarm integrator performed on a service call or how likely is that customer to refer a friend.

A great customer satisfaction survey asks the appropriate questions and dissects the answers by peeling back the onion, uncovering hidden opportunities for improvement, prioritizing, and then developing a plan to address each one.

Let’s make 2024 the year where we develop customer experience benchmarks by conducting strategic customer surveys with the goal of improving our company metrics year over year. Happy 2024!