Understanding Client Sat: An Analyst’s Perspective

blog imageYou’ve spoken to your clients. You’ve collected hundreds or even thousands of individual data points rating the relationship between your organization and your customers. And now you are looking at a spreadsheet filled with open-ended commentary and quantitative scores rating service team members, detailing pain points, and reflecting on the overall relationship between your two organizations.

The most logical question is: What’s next?

Finding the answer to this question may seem overwhelming and you could be scratching your head wondering where to even start. It may help to begin by looking at the most fundamental questions that a client satisfaction study sets out to discover:

  • How satisfied are your clients?
  • Who isn’t satisfied and at risk of leaving you?
  • Which service team members are high performers, and who needs additional training?

Discovering Who’s Happy (and Who’s Not)

While open-ended feedback is a critical component of a successful customer study, most executives still want to know the answer to the most essential reason for conducting client sat: What percentage of the client base is happy with the products and services they are receiving?

Whether you ask for a yes or no response or categorizing values on a numeric scale, a question in your survey should be designed to answer this very question. However, getting the percentage of satisfied clients isn’t necessarily the hard part; it’s understanding that number that can be more challenging.

Say 72% of your client base is satisfied. Is that good? Bad? How does it compare to your competitors? Is satisfaction increasing or decreasing compared to last year?

If you are using a third party to help conduct the study, they should be able to provide some benchmarking information for organizations like yours. However, in the absence of industry benchmarking data, tracking satisfaction over time may be the most useful way to apply context to your satisfaction score. Year-over-year trends can really help an organization understand how effective its service efforts and product enhancements are.

A negative score, one that is either lagging compared to the benchmark or trending downwards over time, is obviously cause for concern. The next step here should be to investigate further by looking at the scores and feedback for individual attributes to identify what aspect of your offering is troubling clients the most. It is also useful to look at these attributes even with a positive overall score, to fully get a sense of your clients’ feedback.

Diving deeper into the responses for individual questions is one way to get more granular with the data. Another is looking at each of your client’s individual responses. Doing this will allow you to understand which clients are satisfied, but more importantly, which are in danger of leaving. In our next blog post we will look at ways to analyze the data to discover which of your clients are “at risk”.