Customer research in a non-competitive environment
This paper examines the development of customer satisfaction research in the non-competitive environments inhabited by public sector organisations and the privatised utilities. It explains how the absence of the stick of competition and the carrot of profit have led public sector organisations to develop new approaches to customer satisfaction research, where that research is seen as part of an auditing mechanism rather than, as in the private sector, as a marketing function. It shows how customer satisfaction research has helped in the development of supply-side performance indicators and in some cases supplanted these indicators. The paper also shows how customer satisfaction research is being developed to aid privatised utilities in decisions affecting future investment strategies and in justifying price increases needed to fund that investment.
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