Customer Surveying: A Guidebook for Service Managers (a.k.a., The Customer Survey Guidebook) by Dr. Fred Van Bennekom and published by the Customer Service Press, is designed to guide survey project managers to effectively plan and manage their own survey research projects. It is not an encyclopedia on the subject of customer satisfaction surveys or a textbook on survey theory. Rather, its 256 pages aim to provide the tools the survey novice needs to collect real and useful information about customers needs or perceptions—or research other groups of interest such as employees. The Customer Survey Guidebook introduces theories and concepts, but always with a focus on practical application.
The term survey guide is used very explicitly here. A guide in the classic sense helps show the path through unknown territory, helping the journeyer to avoid pitfalls, but also answering questions along the way and pointing out features that enhance the value of the trek.
The Customer Survey Guidebook plots a path for the surveyor from planning the project, designing the questionnaire, administering the survey, to reporting the results. A trail map is used as a metaphor for the typical trail or path a surveyor would follow in the life of a survey project. At each stop on the trail, the tasks are described and the pros and cons of various options are outlined. Much of the book uses an "FAQ" format, anticipating the questions a novice surveyor might have and answering them concisely in a bulleted format.
The Customer Survey Guidebook pays particular attention to options for questionnaire design and potential pitfalls. Chapter 4 describes how the attributes for survey questions can be identified, then covers all the various types of survey questions from nominal to ordinal to interval scalar questions. Scale construction is covered in some depth. The next chapter turns to survey administration, covering the advantages and disadvantages of each of the major survey administration methods. A latter chapter explores web and email surveying techniques in even more depth. Sample size requirements and statistical accuracy are also covered, along with ideas on how to increase response rates.
The sixth chapter of this new version of the Survey Guidebook contains far more information on analyzing a set of survey data, illustrating how to use Excel to do the analysis. Screenshots will help you learn how to apply the spreadsheet formulas to your own survey data analysis.
Throughout the book 67 figures and charts are included. Four exercises will help readers practice their new-found skills.
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