External Surveys – Internal Considerations

In working with clients to develop and execute customer surveys, the initial focus tends to be external.  That makes perfect sense since the primary goal is to gauge what the outside world thinks of your products and services. However, there are a whole bunch of internal considerations that deserve a close look before launching this type of external program, especially if you are just starting to survey.
The list below, while not all-inclusive – covers some of the main questions to ask and answer before launching a customer satisfaction program:
  • Overall, how will the survey process sync with your corporate culture?  Does it, for instance, support your mission statement?
  • How will you communicate the goals of the survey to your team? Will they buy into a program that may, for instance, ask potentially sensitive questions about the performance of their department?
  • How will you communicate the results to your team? Will you be transparent in sharing them across the organization, even if they may reflect poorly on some departments or processes?
  • Will you offer training and/or coaching to departments/teams where the surveys uncover room for improvement?
  • How will you act upon potentially negative information emanating from the survey? Positive information?
  • Will the survey be tied to individual performance reviews?
  • What is the chain of command to resolve issues highlighted by the survey results? In other words, who “owns” the action items that the survey may uncover?

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