Attribute importance

Date of publication: November 1, 1996


In customer satisfaction research, analysis methods are needed that can provide a clear insight into the complex relationships among satisfaction ratings and various performance attributes. The purpose of such an analysis is to identify the areas (processes, attributes) that need improvement and that most significantly enhance the business relationship with the customer. This paper describes a novel method to examine customer satisfaction survey data. The method includes a refinement in assessing attribute importance, by differentiating between value enhancing and decreasing attributes, satisfiers and dissatisfiers. Information gain measures and statistical tests are used for this purpose. The refined relevance measures result in a modified importance-performance chart that is used to suggest a suitable strategy for the attributes under investigation. The method is demonstrated for a sample of 2504 customers of retail banking services.

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