What is the Customer Happiness Score and why should you be measuring it?

Gary Bartley
Gary Bartley
August 16th 2019 - 8 Minute Read

The Customer Happiness Score ® is the revolutionary new way to measure and manage customer happiness as a means to drive business growth.

It’s a simple number between 0-100 that gives you a single high level metric of how well your business is delivering happiness to your customers. It’s all in the name really, the score dictates how happy your customers are.


Why does customer happiness matter?

It pays to care how your customers feel. Why? Because happy customers spend more, buy more often and tell their friends. Happiness has a strong correlation to the health of your bottom line.

No brand is above their customers. No matter how big they are. We see countless examples in our high streets and our newspapers where businesses have failed to deliver on the customers’ needs.

It’s knowing, not guessing, how your customers feel that sets you apart from the competition. If you know how they feel you’re better equipped to meet their needs and secure their custom long term.

Knowing what makes your customers happy helps you deliver a top class customer experience that will keep them coming back again and again.
A solid understanding of the level of customer happiness in your business is important for two key reasons.

In the day to day running of a business there are plenty of metrics and KPI’s that are there to help, however, the one that is always missing is the Customer Happiness Score.


1. Customer happiness will improve the performance of your business

An efficiently running business uses a myriad of metrics and KPI’s on a day to day basis, however, the one that is always missing is the Customer Happiness Score. If you have an army of actively happy customers then all those other metrics start to take care of themselves, leaving you the time to improve and grow your business.


2. Customer happiness dictates future actions

Knowing how customers feel and why they feel that way means you can predict what they’ll do next. That allows you to take action to boost buying behaviours and reach a wider audience of prospective new customers.

Knowing who feels what empowers you to:

  • Invite happy customers to tell their friends on and offline.
  • Turn around any unhappy customers before they decide to give their business to a competitor
  • Strengthen your customer relationships
  • Understand how to improve your products and services
  • Get better marketing results
  • Personalise customer messages based on how they feel.


How do you measure customer happiness?

When Bain & Co recently surveyed 362 firms, they found that 80% of businesses believed they delivered a “superior experience” to their customers. However, when they asked the customers of those businesses for their own perceptions, they heard a very different story. The customers said that only 8% of companies were really delivering. So unless you directly ask your customers how they feel, aren’t you just second guessing how happy they are, and this just fuels the delivery gap.

Surveys are by far the easiest and most efficient way to collect this data. Don’t panic, this isn’t like the long form surveys of old. Reams of paper, excessive questions and tedium that could put an insomniac to sleep are the enemy of businesses and their customers. The Customer Happiness Score®, operates in a different way.

Your Customer Happiness Score is generated by real-time customer feedback. This feedback secures exceptionally high response rates because the survey doesn’t ask too much of the customer. The results are comprised from the answer to just one question: The One Question.

A simple one question survey asking how your customers feel will garner all the information you need to establish if you’ve met their expectations or missed the mark.
A collection method of clickable emoji faces ranging from ‘Actively Happy’ to ‘Actively Unhappy’ means you will hear from the silent majority. This provides accurate actionable results.

Why faces? Emojis have become part of daily life. They’re simple, accessible and engaging. Emojis are universal, no matter the language spoken, they’re easily understood. There’s no guesswork by whoever’s looking at the results, nor does the customer have to choose from a wide ranging scale of numbers, or have to decide whether or not they would recommend you to a friend or colleague.

The question is so effective because it asks the customer to self-certify their happiness. Whether the customer spares you 10 seconds or 10 minutes they’re able to contribute to your business because they know how they feel and the survey makes it easy for them to tell you.

This system collects both how they feel, and why they feel that way, to give you a 360 view of your business. The ‘Tell us more’ follow up allows the respondent to expand on their feelings if they want, but doesn’t strong-arm them into doing so. This means the highest possible number of people fill in the survey. Thereby you finally hear from the silent majority rather than just those really upset customers or your biggest brand advocates.


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What’s the best way to survey customers?

Giving your customers a voice is as easy as putting the question where they are. The Customer Happiness Score can be calculated by using The One Question Platform. This feelings-led system is as easy to use as it is versatile, allowing you to gather feedback in a number of ways.

  • Email: If you already have your customers’ email addresses you can use these to collect feedback from your existing customers. Simply upload your lists and send customers the survey.
  • Tablet app: A good option for bricks and mortar businesses. Download The One Question app to a tablet device. Hand this to customers after a transaction or mount it where they can access it near the exit.
  • Landing page: Direct customers to a landing page survey using physical prompts such as business cards or posters. Invite your customers to access these surveys by following a linked address or using NFC or a QR code accessible on their phone.

Unlike other industry standard systems that are overly concerned with a referral or settle for ‘satisfaction’, CHS ® puts customer happiness at the heart of your business. See how it compares to the Fortune 500’s method of choice Net Promoter Score.


How is the score calculated?

It’s really simple – if all of your customers are Actively Happy, your Customer Happiness Score will be 100. if all of your customers are Actively Unhappy (we hope not!), your score is Zero. It’s so easy to explain to your team, and will get them working together towards achieving an even higher score.

The score updates with each piece of feedback and is visible on the dashboard of The One Question system. This means business owners and managers can respond to events as they happen and make small improvements when they need to. The feedback is also really useful in wider team meetings – encourage and motivate your team by asking them for their ideas, based on the customers’ feedback, as to how to improve your customer experience.


How can you use the Customer Happiness Score to manage happiness?

Knowing how your customers feel about your business is the first step to building good relationships. That includes strengthening relationships with happy customers and taking action to win unhappy ones back. There are a number of ways you can use the information to help your business improve and grow.


Make informed business decisions

The Customer Happiness Score acts as a health check. It allows you to identify and rectify the problems that are losing you customers. Low scores aren’t ideal but all is not lost as it means there’s huge potential to improve your business. Once you have made those changes, you will also have the means to measure the results when your score starts to change. It can also be used when deciding priorities for your planning strategy.

The simple and logical nature of the score means it’s easy to communicate at all levels of the business. It makes discussing customer happiness accessible to everyone whether they’re on the frontline or sat in the boardroom.

The score operates on The One Question which is a SaaS platform. This means you can access the score anytime, anywhere on any device with an internet connection allowing you to manage customer happiness even when you’re away.


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Test the waters

Why not test the success of customer initiatives without the expense of rolling out long term? We all love to save money, but we don’t want to lose customers in doing so.

Let’s say that a new supplier has approached your business with a less expensive alternative to a product you’re already using. Choose a time period, we’ll say two weeks, and ask your customers a specific question relating to the product you are looking to change. For the next two weeks, swap the existing product for the alternative and ask the same question. Has your Customer Happiness Score increased or decreased in the two weeks of trialling the new product?

Therein lies your answer as to whether you choose the newer, less expensive option to save your business money because your Customer Happiness Score hasn’t been affected, or stick with the existing option that makes your customers happy.


Create brand advocates to reach new audiences

Making business improvements will have a strong bearing on customer retention. Giving your customers a voice inside your business positively encourages them to use it outside of it as well. The power of word of mouth marketing has grown exponentially now it’s migrated online, extending the reach of happy (and unhappy) references to your business.

Having a score dedicated to customer happiness shows your customers your commitment to their needs. The fact it’s summed up in the name means it needs no explanation. Use the score on your website, reference it on your social media and apply it to your marketing materials as valuable social proof.


Set the bar high, keep standards up

Listening to and acting on feedback will see your business grow, but once you’ve reached the pinnacle of customer happiness it’s not enough to rest on your laurels. Your Customer Happiness Score is not fixed. If standards drop so will your score. Having an accurate measure of happiness makes managing it infinitely easier.

When every customer is effectively a secret shopper your staff are held to account. You can even incentivise positive behaviours with happiness-led bonus structures and celebrating high-scoring milestones together.

Even a slight change in your business’ score can signal trouble ahead. Spotting patterns in feedback allows you to address common problems. It also means you can hold deliberate debriefs with your staff to optimise and standardise service levels. The score gives you the means to unite the team behind a common goal, working together to put the customer at the heart of everything you do.


A score that puts happiness at the heart of your business

At whatever stage of your growth journey, evaluating where you are and where you want to be is a step in the right direction. The Customer Happiness Score® allows you to do that by revealing how your customers really feel.

The Customer Happiness score is generated by first-hand feedback from the people who matter the most: your customers.

Exclusively used by The One Question, the Customer Happiness Score is uniquely placed to help measure, manage and market happiness in your business. Book a free demo of The One Question platform to understand how the Customer Happiness Score will help your business and start making positive changes today for a happier tomorrow.


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Gary Bartley

Gary is on a mission to help businesses understand the role that customer and employee happiness plays in their success.

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