Frequently asked questions

Why would we have ComSim conduct our surveys instead of doing it ourselves?

Don’t monkey around with your customers. You need professional know-how. Besides, each of your staff already has a job and can be easily diverted from carrying out a secondary or ad hoc responsibility. ComSim’s only focus is customer knowledge. Our professional organization has the experience necessary and assures objectivity. And, above all, customers are more comfortable responding to a third party and will give frank and honest answers.

Why do you use telephone surveys?

Telephone interviews are time-efficient, direct and timely. The response rate is high. Telephone surveys make it possible to reach your global customers and to speak their language. Telephone surveys allow for clarification of meaning and follow-up questions. Unlike a written survey, an interviewer can ask respondents to elaborate on problem areas for better understanding. Unlike focus groups, a survey focuses on the individual and asks for personal opinions — appropriately so, since it is a collection of individuals who are your customers. As opposed to a face-to-face interview, a telephone survey provides a sense of anonymity which makes it easier for your customer to be candid.

When are web surveys appropriate?

Web surveys can be quite cost-effective for large populations of customers, especially if the survey will be repeated. The initial design is more involved than for a telephone survey, but the ongoing cost is based on number of times invitations are launched rather than the number of respondents. If your customer base is tech savvy and has access to the internet, a web survey can be a good choice. Although follow-up questions are possible, they tend to be less specific, and clarification of the question or the response is not possible while the subject is taking the survey. One advantage of web surveys is the visual aspect since respondents can see the company logo, product illustrations, drop-down menus or multiple choices and rating scales.

How do I know what to ask?

Consider the purpose of your survey. What do you need this information for? Who will use it?

Consider the customer touchpoints in your process. What experiences do your customers have with your company?

Consider the “hot buttons” your customers have. What concerns do you believe your customers have?

Consider how your customer compares you to your competition. Are you better than your competitors? What is the competition doing that you are not?

Will your customer recommend your company, your product, your services?

These will provide basic topics for your survey questions.

Do I create the questions, or does ComSim create the questions?

ComSim will meet with your organization to understand your business process and issues. ComSim will create a protocol so that the questions are effective, specific, and appropriate for the survey medium.

How often should I survey?

Regularly. How often you survey will depend on the type of information you need, the number of interactions your customers have with your company, and the size of your customer base. A survey asking about a field service visit should happen soon after the service takes place; whereas a product quality survey is not so time-sensitive. Whether you need to gather information daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even yearly, it is important to ask for customer perceptions on a regular basis. Make continual learning part of growing your business. Gathering customer perceptions and feedback is an ongoing process, since customer perceptions are not static.

How do I know what is important to our customers?

Most business managers believe they know what their customers want. That is a dangerous assumption. Customer needs and applications for your product or service change over time and may be affected by many factors — the economy, technological advances, public opinion, world events, your competition. An excellent way to find out priorities is to ask customers to rate the importance of various aspects of your products or services.

Which customers should we include?

For surveys based on transactions, all customers who have had recent communication with your company about the topics in question make up the potential pool. ComSim uses the sampling method to include a representative number of customers in each survey.

What kinds of reports can I get from ComSim?

Every report is designed specifically to meet a particular organization’s reporting needs. ComSim routinely provides electronic reports. Reports are in English and generally contain the protocol; a summary table showing all individual responses to each question; charts and graphs to show distribution, trends, and/or gaps; and verbatim customer comments. Pareto charts, Net Promoter Score®1, Key Performance Indicators are frequently included. ComSim can code the “voice of the customer” comments and also provide the actual recorded interview. Online dashboards or snapshots give up-to-the-minute status. Raw data can be provided for incorporation into a company’s CRM database or further drilldown.

How fast can I get results?

ComSim can arrange a reporting schedule to fit your needs. Most survey results are viewable online within hours of the interview. ComSim can accommodate the needs of service support organizations for alerting on any instance of customer dissatisfaction. No matter what the scheduled reporting interval, if our interviewer encounters a seriously dissatisfied customer, ComSim will send you a service alert immediately.

Should I choose real-time feedback?

How long are you willing to wait before hearing that your customer has a problem with your service? ComSim’s options for real-time feedback and alerting keep you informed. If you learn of a customer’s difficulties, you can deal with a problematic situation while there is time to have positive results. If not, an unhappy customer may walk and talk. Without your knowing why, you may have lost a good customer and hurt future business.

Will ComSim make recommendations in terms of the data that is presented?

ComSim gathers and presents survey data in a format that is easy to understand and clear so that it will assist and support you in making sound management decisions. If requested, ComSim can summarize report results in an executive overview. ComSim does not make recommendations for action in our survey reports.

How do I know how loyal my customer base is?

Since customer satisfaction alone does not indicate customer loyalty, we ask several key questions about satisfaction, future business, and referrals. Since the introduction of the Net Promoter Score®1, which asks the likelihood of recommending, many of our clients have added that question to their surveys.

Does ComSim perform a benchmarking survey?

Yes. A benchmarking survey provides a reading on current status or it may be designed to measure ideal performance expectations. In either case, it provides data against which future performance can be compared. Benchmarking may be performed simply to capture the status quo, or it may coincide with a product modification or a change in business strategy.

What are the kinds of surveys that ComSim conducts?

ComSim conducts surveys of customers, business partners employees or stakeholders of high-technology businesses. These may focus on technical support, field service, pre-sales, win/loss sales, order administration, product quality, training, corporate image, customer needs, or marketing. They may be broad-spectrum and corporate-wide, or they may be transactional and focus on a single event.

Can ComSim interview our global customers?

Yes. да Oui. 예 Sí. Ja. はい Sim. 是 Ano

We speak their language, so you get the information you need — including detailed customer comments. ComSim conducts web and telephone interviews in the local language of business in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America.

How do I know which kind of survey to use with my customers?

The type of survey will depend on your company’s business processes, points of customer contact, and needs for information. ComSim will understand your unique business before advising your organization of survey types that are appropriate.

What are my costs involved?

ComSim will provide the expertise and energy to propose a survey program for you. Before initiating your survey, ComSim will meet with you to learn of your business and its needs. Following this informational meeting, ComSim will provide a cost proposal. There is no charge for this activity. Your survey costs, as the proposal will show, depend on the number of interviews ComSim completes and the report design when it is telephone-based or the web and report designs and launch fees when it is web-based.

What does ComSim need from us to start the survey process?

The main thing is an accurate customer list in Excel or other electronic format. See Get Started .

How do I learn more?

If you don’t see your answer here, just ask. Fill out all the fields and we will contact you concerning your inquiry. Also feel free to contact us by phone.