Free website survey… Customer Centric Index service

Improving your student recruitment results starts with improving your website… Find out what’s really annoying the people visiting your site

Your website is the first place that many potential students come into serious contact with your college or university. You have one chance to make a strong first impression. Does your website do that now?

  • Do you want to know what’s really annoying the potential students )or current students or alumni or faculty and staff) about your website?
  • Do you want a clear improvement road map for your website that is highly defensible because it is based on fact, not opinion?
  • Do you want to know where you should focus your scarce web resources for maximum improvement and impact?
  • Do you want to know what your site visitors are not that concerned about so that you can fend off internal stakeholders who want to make changes for the sake of making changes?
  • Would you like to know how your website/intranet ranks among your peers for service?

The basic CCI survey is free. A standard survey with results compared to other colleges and universities is just $325. Plan and conduct your own survey. See just how quick and easy it is.

Through 14 years of research and work on the best websites and intranets we have identified the qualities that make a site work best for the people who use it. The Customer Centric Index gets your visitors to rate your site against 13 critical customer-centric factors, grouped into three major categories:

Content factors
Accurate content is the foundation upon which all quality websites must be built. Send customers to the wrong place, give them the wrong information and they won’t come back.
If your website is not up to date then you will waste your customers’ time. Waste their time and they won’t come back.
Leave your customers hanging at the end of a process, leave out the last vital link, forget to add the full physical address – they’ll go somewhere else.
If you use jargon you alienate your customers. Expect customers to adapt to your language and they will leave. On the web it must be the customers’ language.


Social factors
Can you be easily contacted – is it obvious to your customers how they can do this? Difficulty in contacting a person is one of the biggest irritations customers have with websites.
Participation is the essence of the Web. Customers don’t simply want to be talked to. They also want to talk back, join discussions.
On the Web, customers are saying: ‘Give us the facts, quick.’ They don’t want spin, and they don’t want vital information hidden from them. They expect transparency.
Customers love to compare, rate and review. They like to read about what other customers think. They want objective advice to help them make the right decision.


Visual / architecture factors
For many customers, search is the first step in their task. If your search doesn’t deliver a quality result in the first three results, then many people will simply hit the Back button.
Links are the building blocks of all websites. The clarity of your menus and links will have a major impact on the ability of your customers to quickly and easily complete tasks.
Customers hate cluttered layouts. It makes it harder to read and find things. Do your customers think you have a simple layout?
Visual appeal:
Does your design make your customers feel comfortable and at ease? Do they find your website appealing, or do they find it off-putting and alienating?
Can your customers do things quickly on your website? Speed is of the essence on the Web. It’s about fast in, fast out. Everyone is in a hurry.

How does it work?

Your visitors aren’t web insiders – they don’t use language like “site architecture” or terms like “navigation”. When you ask them to rate your site, you want to provide a rating tool with questions they easily understand. When your visitors take the Customer Centric Index online poll, they see a list of 26 commonly understood phrases like “Plain Language.” 13 phrases are positive, and 13 are negative. (In this instance, “Full of jargon, corporate speak” is the negative phrase.)

Two questions are asked:

  1. Were you able to complete the task you came to this website to complete?
  2. Please look at the following list and choose the top THREE factors that helped or hindered you most in achieving what you came to the website to do. Give a score of 3 to the one which helped or hindered the most, a 2 to the one with the next most impact, and then a 1.

You can add two optional questions. The most popular is “If you could change one thing about our website, what would you change and why?”

Review the rating system in “How it works” here.

50,000+ completed surveys in 15+ countries…

This unique scoring technique has been developed over many years of intensive research involving 50,000 participants in 15 countries. It is a very different approach to the way traditional survey questions are organized. The reason is that traditional surveying fails again and again to identify the true intentions of customers when they are on a website. Our approach taps into gut instinct responses, and only asks people to vote for what they really care about. The Customer Centric Index gives you a much more honest picture of what your visitors really think of your website.

Only 2 to 3 minutes to complete…

Another major advantage of this approach is that it only takes about two or three minutes to complete. And in this day-and-age of super-impatient people, that means that many more people will complete it.

Once you get people voting, the results give you ratings for each of the 13 factors and an overall Customer Centric Index rating. (The factors that really matter to customers will get the highest votes.) We then apply a series of formulae (such as Negative Vote Weighting and Negative-Positive Vote Spread). These formulae allow you to precisely plan what you need to do to improve your website – to make it even more customer-centric – by indicating where to apply effort and resources for maximum impact.

Actionable results

You get a clear improvement road map that is highly defensible because it is backed up by facts, not opinions. For example, let’s look at the Navigation factor:

If you get a lot of people voting for “confusing menus and links,” then you know what you need to do: create “clear menus and links.”

Let’s have a look at the Language factor:

If, for example, you also get a high vote for “full of jargon, corporate speak,” then it gives you even more direction in relation to creating clearer menus and links.

Because of our unique scoring technique (and because certain factors will, in fact, have a positive vote), not all factors will require action from you. Some will be highlighted as requiring a lot of action while others will require no immediate action.

The CCI allows you to understand what your web visitors truly care about when they come to your website. It allows you to focus your scarce resources on the areas where they will achieve maximum improvement and impact.

Continuous improvement

The Customer Centric Index is repeatable and you can compare results to see if and where there have been improvements. As you fix issues with one set of factors, the Index will then isolate for you the factors that now need focusing on in order to bring your website up to the next level of excellence.

Identify what your web visitors like – and don’t like!

Learn more about how the Customer Centric Index will work for your college or university with our webinar and PowerPoint presentations.

The standard CCI survey is free. Comparing your results with other colleges and universities is just $325. Plan and conduct your own survey. See just how quick and easy it is.

  Webinar presentation (WMV: 19 MB; 23 minutes)
  PowerPoint presentation (PPT: 1.4 MB)