Study Finds Over Half of People Completing Satisfaction Surveys Seek to Share a Positive Experience or Improve the Company

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As customer satisfaction surveys become commonplace for nearly all companies, a study by Chadwick Martin Bailey examines who and why people complete them.

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Our research shows that companies currently managing customer satisfaction or ‘Voice of the Customer’ programs have a huge opportunity to cultivate and nurture key customers.

A recent study of over 1,400 U.S. consumers conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey finds over one quarter of U.S. consumers have completed a customer satisfaction survey in the last twelve months. Most people complete satisfaction surveys because they have the company’s best interest at heart: over half say they fill out customer satisfaction surveys to share a good experience (57%) or to improve the company (50%).

“Our research shows that companies currently managing customer satisfaction or ‘Voice of the Customer’ programs have a huge opportunity to cultivate and nurture key customers,” says Jeff McKenna, senior consultant and director of customer satisfaction solutions at Chadwick Martin Bailey. “Overall, they are showing devotion to a company and, at the very least, companies should be thanking the customers who provide insightful comments, whether they are problems or praises.”

Unlike the common perception that people respond to satisfaction surveys only because they are upset with the experience, the research finds that 81% respond equally for positive and negative experiences. Just 4% say they respond only when they have had a bad experience, whereas 13% say they typically do it only when they have a very positive experience.

“Looking more deeply at the results, we see some unique segments of people responding to these surveys. This indicates to me an opportunity for companies to tailor post-survey messaging and interactions if companies choose to engage these people more fully,” adds Mr. McKenna.

For instance, men and women have different motivations; 60% of women participate in customer satisfaction surveys to share a good experience, compared to 52% of men. Most men (53%) fill them out to improve the company compared to 47% of women. The biggest gender differences are around discounts, 50% of women participate to receive a discount compared to 40% of men.

About This Research
This study was done as part of Chadwick Martin Bailey’s self-funded CMB Consumer Pulse program. An executive summary report with additional findings from this study is available as a free download from Chadwick Martin Bailey. Data was collected from 1,491 adults (aged 18 and over) via a nationally representative online survey questionnaire within the United States by Chadwick Martin Bailey the week of January 20, 2011.

About Chadwick Martin Bailey
Chadwick Martin Bailey is a Boston-based custom market research firm who works with many of the most successful companies and best known brands in the world to help them acquire, maintain, and grow their customer base. In 2009 they were listed on the Honomichl Top 50 and continue to demonstrate their thought leadership at numerous conferences worldwide. Chadwick Martin Bailey focuses on using leading-edge research techniques to collect and translate the data into simple, business decision-focused deliverables.


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Kristen Garvey
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