Are you satisfied with your satisfaction questions?

Date of publication: September 1, 1992


In satisfaction surveys amongst initial buyers of small electrical appliances, it is essential, beyond the easy 'disaster check', to obtain: a comparison of each new product with the accumulated database of similar results from previous launches, an analysis of the sources of satisfaction or disappointment, linking the overall attitude towards the new product with the respective levels of satisfaction induced by the various features of the appliance. Problems with traditional overall satisfaction scales appear when these indicators lack sensitivity and show an unwanted concentration of answers on one point of the scale. What is needed is a tool showing real differences across products and giving small, manageable groups of buyers, which can be ranked in order of their level of satisfaction. This paper describes how new satisfaction questions and a matrix, both designed to produce a more sensitive classification, from most to least satisfied buyers, helped to solve this problem with a better and more valid measurement of satisfaction. Part 1 describes the business background of the satisfaction surveys within a manufacturer of small appliances, with the marketing objectives behind these surveys. Part 2 shows the new approach used to bring a better answer to these needs, with two new, longer scales and their combination to form a 77-cell satisfaction matrix, out of which five categories 'A/B/C/D/E' were drawn. Part 3 illustrates the potential of the new improved method, explaining how it was validated before implementation in all satisfaction surveys. Part 4 is a discussion of the stability of the new ABODE scale across products, comparatively with five other satisfaction scales.

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