Why Customer Satisfaction Research Needs to Remain a Priority Even in a Recession

In times of recession one of the first things that many organisations cut is their market research budget, and along with that their customer satisfaction research.

However when the economy goes into recession your business should be ramping up their customer satisfaction research. Why?  Because consumers and businesses don’t stop spending during a recession they just spend less, and they become choosier about what they are spending their money on.  Just one bad experience could be enough to make them reconsider which products to buy or services to use.

There are two types of customer satisfaction studies, transactional studies and relational studies.  A transactional study would be carried out among customers who have had a recent interaction with your company, for example after they have received a product or service from you.  Relational research is carried out among a random selection of your customer base regardless of whether they have had a recent interaction with your business or not, to understand whether these customers still feel positively towards your brand.

Most businesses need to do both transactional and relational satisfaction studies. In an organisation I worked with recently we carried out a relational research study among a random sample of customers and competitors customers to understand what drives satisfaction and of course what drives dissatisfaction among customers.  We used these findings to implement changes to our service offering.  Then we set up an ongoing transactional study to measure the effects of the new service changes on customer’s satisfaction. We also included some relational questions to measure on going loyalty and, detect any potential issues that may arise at a later date.

Even when you have an ongoing customer satisfaction study it is good practice to carry out a relational study every one or two years (depending on your business) to check in with customers that do not have regular interactions with your business, because markets constantly change and new competitors come in with their own unique offerings.

There are four key research objectives that every customer satisfaction study regardless of whether it is transactional or relational should answer.

  •                 How satisfied are customers with the level of service they received?
  •                 How does this compare to their initial expectations?
  •                 How likely are they to do business with you again?
  •                 What could be done to improve their experiences in the future?

Ongoing customer satisfaction studies that address the above four questions not only highlight potential product or service issues quickly; they also give you an insight into customers’ needs now and in the future.

To find out more about how to run your own customer satisfaction research, download my free whitepaper, How to Measure Customer Satisfaction, by clicking the button below.

 

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