Freeing yourself from the customer satisfaction straightjacket

Date of publication: June 15, 1997

Abstract:

Growth in companies seeking to determine whether customers are satisfied with products and services is, of course, to be commended. However, many of the customer satisfaction vehicles currently being used have become a straightjacket’ that limit companies ability to truly understand their customers. Many customer satisfaction approaches are rather bland, failing to delve fully into specific irritants that ultimately drive customers' behaviour. Although many organisations have ongoing processes for measuring customer satisfaction, these do not always provide a sufficiently powerful insight into the customers' world. Additionally, many customer satisfaction approaches have failed to grapple with the thorny question of to what extent a satisfied customer is also a loyal customer. In order to remedy some of these shortfalls, the authors outline their flexible indicators framework for undertaking customer satisfaction research, using an overt/covert priority model to look at the interrelationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. This flexible diagnostic approach to customer satisfaction and loyalty adds power to the entire measurement process.

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