The forensic analysis of a customer satisfaction survey report.


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For this blog I am going to refer you to the sample customer satisfaction survey report on the Downloads page – item 6

I’m lucky in that I work with two computer screens – a client’s Finance Director showed me how he’d increased productivity not just in his department but in all the administrative sections by investing in two screens per person – and I tried it and found it worked.

The assumptions here are that you don’t have thousands of customers; that you do have Key Account Managers (KAMs); and that the KAMs will review the customer list prior to the survey and make a best guess as to the share of wallet or percentage penetration that you have with each of your most important customers (see

I have seen this done several times now. It doesn’t suit everyone’s management style, but where it does it is highly effective.

1. Take the Problem Identification – By Account Potential section (pages 46 – 47) from the report to have as a reference.


2. Take Section 5 – Individual Customer Response Detail (pages 49 – 97) from the report. Towards the top right of each page is the Sales Rep’s name (or Key Account Manager). Section 5 needs to be split out between the various Sales Reps – in the example they are A. Giusto, J. Andersen, J. Bolin and so on.


3. Now take section 6, the written comments, and divide these between the various account managers.


4. Each account manager will now have the detailed responses of each of their accounts to up-to 60 questions and statements that were on cards in the InfoQuest box, plus a couple of open questions that were on the Supplemental Information Form (SIF), plus a reminder of what they said was the account potential for each customer.

5. Now ask each account manager to produce an action plan for each account, detailing who needs to do what in your organisation in order to secure that magical 100% penetration for each account. Where the customers already love you, the action plan will be relatively short.

One word of warning before doing this; look for signs within the responses that there could be personality clashes between a customer and their account manager. We will help you with this – they appear in approximately 1 in 4 reports that we produce. There is nothing wrong with this (unless you choose to ignore the warning) if you believe that a) people buy from people and b) there are some strong characters in your industry. Where this is the case, the first action to be taken is to swap the account to a different account manager – perhaps even taking responsibility for it yourself for a few months. Then watch the revenues grow.

John Coldwell
From an operations background, John's attitude towards B2B customer satisfaction surveys is that they must be useful. Interesting doesn't interest him. You should be able to grab the feedback by the scruff of the neck and do something with it. For the past 15 years John has been running InfoQuest's full-day senior-team post-survey workshops around the world.


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