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Preface customer satisfaction survey

Any organisation has to listen to their customers and stakeholders. My studie in customer satisfaction models have shown that the long-term success of a corporation is closely related to its ability to create and maintain loyal and satisfied customers, adapt to customer needs and changing preferences. Customer satisfaction is a crucial goal for most organizations. In order to monitor customer satisfaction, and to take action for improving it, a number of different methods have been developed and tested. However, for the purpose of developing tangible applications for results a number of criteria have to be fulfilled in any such measurement system, not least if the ambition is to compare and benchmark. 

My research exposed four general characteristics of customer satisfaction involving features or qualities related to customer satisfaction serving to identify this phenomenon among other customer relationship management propositions;

  1. Customer satisfaction is a highly variable personal assessment that is greatly influenced by individual expectations based on their own information, expectations, direct contact and interaction, and circumstances (time, location and environment).
  2. Customer satisfaction involves the sum of personal (product and service) experiences driven by its antecedents.
  3. Customer satisfaction is most often related to purchase, loyalty and retention behavior with an effect on organizations profitability.
  4. Customer satisfaction characterizes itself by a high degree of word-of-mouth where satisfied customers are most likely to share their experiences with other people to the order of perhaps five or six people. Equally well, dissatisfied customers are more likely to tell another ten people of their unfortunate experience.

With that in mind customer satisfaction can be addressed addressed as a strategic business development tool. Customer satisfaction does have a positive effect on an organization's profitability. Satisfied customers form the foundation of any successful business as customer satisfaction leads to repeat purchase, brand loyalty, and positive word of mouth. Next to that satisfied customers are most likely to share their experiences with other people to the order of perhaps five or six people. Equally well, dissatisfied customers are more likely to tell another ten people of their unfortunate experience. Research has demonstrated that even a difference between a totally satisfied customer and a somewhat satisfied customer could lead to an increased revenue contribution of a factor 2.6.

It is important to be aware of that many customers will not complain after they have been subject to negative experiences and this will also differ from one industry sector to another. In other words, we often are not aware of the extent of satisfaction / dissatisfaction as long as we do not ask. Customer satisfaction research should be done with greatest care. Measuring customer satisfaction must be a continuously, consistent, timely, accurate and reliable process. This is where a customer satisfaction research (survey and analyse) approach becomes a powerful strategic business development tool.

The questionnaire should answer:

  1. What are the customers' perceptions of corporate image, perceived value, quality of products and services?
  2. How satisfied are customers?
  3. How loyal are customers?
  4. Is customer satisfaction and perceived quality improving or declining?
  5. How is the B2B organisation performing relative to competitors in the industry? And relative to companies in other industries, sectors and countries?
  6. What are the manifest variables of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty?
  7. What is the impact of the different drivers?
  8. What is the optimal allocation of resources across the manifest variables?
  9. What will the consequence to improve customer satisfaction?

The survey questionnaire will cover all latent variables with two or more manifest variables (composite index) to increase reliable and become less volatile using a singular question. For a nice visual tour, please see my slideshare presentation....

 

 

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