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Survey-Based Customer Satisfaction Tool

enge-eric
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There is a wealth of great tools for Web marketers. Learning which tools help you address the problems most important to you is one of the aspects of running a Web-based business. Frankly, it's hard simply to keep up with all the options, let alone understand the value of each one, and how its relative value compare with the others.

I came across a very interesting tool recently that provides some fascinating insights. It's a service offered by New York-based iPerceptions that is designed to help you learn what customers think about your Web site, and which areas are in need of an upgrade. After learning about the company and the product a couple of months ago, I saw a demo and was intrigued by what I saw.

Non-Intrusive Customer Satisfaction Tool

This tool provides a survey-based approach to measuring customer satisfaction. Before you scoff at the notion of surveys because of how intrusive they can be, this company has done an elegant job of making this a process that has minimal impact on the visitors' experience with your site.

iPerceptions takes a sampling of your visitors, asking them one question upon initial arrival at your site -- whether or not they would be willing to take a short survey at the end of their site experience. If the user is not interested, s/he can get rid of the survey with a single click. The survey does not come up until after the session with your site is complete.

Five Survey Dimensions

Once the user's visit on your site is completed, s/he is given the opportunity to complete the survey. The survey asks questions that fit into five different dimensions:

  1. Navigation: Can the user find what s/he is looking for?
  2. Content: Is the content of high quality?
  3. Interactivity: Does the user have enough tools on the site to accomplish his/her goal?
  4. Motivation: Does the site meet the user's needs?
  5. Adoption: Involves elements of branding and the likelihood the user will come back.

All of these dimensions are measured and rated on a scale of 0 to 10. The resulting scores are referred to as the iPerceptions Satisfaction Index (iPSI). The company believes that a gap of 0.1 (e.g., 7.2 vs. 7.1) is statistically significant at a 95 percent level of confidence.

Clearly, this service is not for everyone, but a number of high-volume Web sites, such as e-commerce sites, could benefit from using it. Insight into what your customers really think would be an invaluable asset for any Web site owner.

Traffic Distribution

Having learned about the product, I asked iPerceptions to provide me with some aggregated market data for presentation in this column. This data is based on 25,890 people who responded to surveys across 11 leading e-commerce sites. The surveys measured consumer satisfaction across all types of Web traffic, which was distributed as follows:

Path to Site%
Typed in URL38%
Search Engine18%
Online link/Advertising16%
From brand/home page9%
Bookmark9%
Other6%
Offline link/Advertising4%


Survey Data

What I saw next was a bit of a shock. It was a table showing the aggregate overall satisfaction across all metrics but traffic source (that's what the iPSI number in the table below shows). Here is that table, complete with the iPSI ratings for each of the five categories:

Path to SiteiPSINavigationContentInteractivityMotivationAdoption
Offline link/Advertising
7.7
7.7
7.6
7.7
7.8
7.7
Bookmark
7.6
7.6
7.6
7.6
7.8
7.7
Online link/Advertising
7.6
7.5
7.6
7.5
7.7
7.5
Typed in URL
7.2
7.1
7.1
7.1
7.3
7.1
From brand/home page
6.8
6.8
6.7
6.7
7.1
6.8
Search Engine
6.7
6.7
6.7
6.7
6.8
6.6
Other
6.3
6.3
6.3
6.3
6.5
6.2

The satisfaction related to search engine traffic was the lowest scoring, with the sole exception of the "Other" category of data. Offline link/Advertising categories scored highest, and Online link/Advertising categories scored third highest. Interestingly enough, Bookmark scored only second, and Typed in URL (which implies some brand knowledge) scored only fourth.

Implications for Organic Search Marketing

Of course, one thing that's true about organic search traffic is that you can't control the landing page. This is determined solely by the search engine based on an analysis of your content. This means you can't really control the customer experience quite as well. If the search engine did not choose the best landing page related to a search query, you are stuck with the results.

It also serves as a reminder to organic search marketers just how important it is to structure sites that provide the most link juice to the right pages, to avoid duplicate content, and to provide pages that match the quality of an end user's experience with a page, to that of the search engine crawler's experience with a page.


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