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Customer Feedback Management: Measuring Customer Satisfaction

April 16, 2012 by Dr. Jon Warner in Customer Service

Customers are the ultimate recipients of the goods or services provided by any organizational team. If customers were consistent in their expectations and could describe their needs openly, then the team’s task would be extremely simple. Customer needs would be known and the service delivered accordingly.

Unfortunately, customer needs not only keep changing but are often kept well hidden from the organizations trying to satisfy them. For any team or organization trying to meet and exceed their customers’ expectations, the only place to start is to set up several customer ‘listening posts’.

Capture customer feedback using ‘listening posts’

A customer ‘listening post’ is a deliberate mechanism that is set up to capture customer feedback in whatever form that it may be expressed. These mechanisms can take many forms. An organization may establish a simple customer survey to be carried out on a regular basis. Surveys require careful design to be useful, but are one of the best methods for obtaining feedback. Customer complaint logging is an equally useful feedback method. Apart from training staff to resolve complaints received, they are also categorized and analyzed on a collective basis to help spot trends or particularly common issues that may be recurring.

Programmed customer visits are a less structured but potentially very rich source of feedback. Visits need to focus upon how the customer uses a product or service and upon any problems or difficulties that may have been encountered in recent times.

Customer surveys and segmentation

When carrying out surveys it is common practice to segment customers. Unfortunately, many organizations use convenient or pre-existing segments for their customers. Segments like ‘government’ or ‘end consumers’ or ‘retail’ are overly broad. As a result, these segments are likely to not only contain considerable overlap, but hide a much more interesting sub-classification of customers at the micro level.

Rather than use pre-existing or commonly used customer segments, it is much more beneficial to segment customers in more meaningful ways. This entails careful analysis of customer needs and the collating of these needs into a sensible number of segments according to common expectations.

The featured video clip is a short excerpt from the ReadyToManage, Rapid Skill Builder eLearning program, Improving Customer Service: An RSB eLearning Course.

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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