Dude, I’ve been doing customer satisfaction surveys all wrong for decades!!!

RNC "Satisfaction" Poll

Last weekend, the Republican National Committee (RNC) distributed a survey concerning President Trump’s “job performance,” with the only poll options being: “Great,” “Good,” “Okay,” or “Other.”

While they may learn something about their candidate, I certainly learned something about how to frame satisfaction surveys … simply don’t provide an answer you DON’T want to hear!!!

In all seriousness, satisfaction surveys are too important to pull this kind of crap. Especially in the financial industry today.

Regional banks lead customer satisfaction, with National Banks showing largest gain.Credit unions used to be sitting pretty in member satisfaction, but in 2016, according to a survey from American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), community banks have surged ahead of credit unions in overall satisfaction. But, even as credit unions and community banks slug it out for the top tier of satisfaction, don’t lose sight of the big banks. In the same 2016 survey, “National Banks” had the largest gains in customer satisfaction, with an increase of 6.9%.  Among the “Big Four,” Citi had the largest gain, jumping 9%, with Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America all doing better as well.

2015 vs 2016 Satisfaction among 4 largest banksSmaller institutions really need to refocus their spotlight on their only true competitive advantage … customer satisfaction. It is vital to ask the hard questions and be ready to react to the honest answers.

5 Tips to Better Satisfaction Surveys

  1. Keep it short: As with any questionnaire, the shorter it is, the more likely people are to complete it.
  2. Keep it focused: Each question should have a specific purpose toward your end goal (however, don’t make the ANSWERS suit your end goal, I[‘m looking at YOU RNC!)
  3. Include open ended options: some of your best insights will come from your customer’s actual words.
  4. Be consistent: When you chose a rating system, stick with it – or your data is bound to have errors. If “1” means “’Hate It,” keep it that way throughout.
  5. Be fair to the process: Avoid asking leading or loaded questions … see the RNC example for what NOT to do.

Before you waste your time or your customers’, be clear about WHY you need a survey, understand WHAT you truly want to learn from it and be ready to make HONEST changes based on the data.

Despite the RNC’s laughable study, this is not a self-love exercise. What doesn’t challenge us, doesn’t change us.

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