18 Mar 2014

The Secret to Getting More Out of Customer Satisfaction Research

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People jumpingIf you’re being called upon to revamp or introduce a results-driven customer satisfaction research program, you are not alone.

Over time, customer satisfaction programs can come to focus primarily on operational metrics, such as availability of merchandise or how quickly service calls are answered, as key performance metrics.   But when trying to diagnose business performance problems, these metrics may prove to have little explanatory value.  They often have little to do with true customer satisfaction.

Often emotional factors, such as how customers feel about the brand, how the brand treats them, and whether they feel engaged and appreciated play a bigger role in whether they  intend to purchase from your company in the future or recommend it to family, friends or colleagues.

Consider the following in support of a move beyond operational metrics to take customer experience programs in productive new directions:

Emotional Factors Are Keys to Customer Satisfaction

When customer satisfaction studies include measures of how customers felt about the personnel they dealt with, how they were treated, whether their needs were met, and related measures, prediction generally becomes significantly stronger than when only operational metrics are included.

Emotional Factors Impact Long-term Outcomes Like Customer Loyalty

When executives speak of customer satisfaction, they are really more interested in how to create customers who are loyal and keep coming back to a brand.

This requires an on-going relationship to keep customers feeling good about your brand, and measuring the human side of the customer experience is important to uncovering strengths or weaknesses and assuring that management has the opportunity to quickly address relationship challenges.

Emotional Factors Are Actionable

You can design and modify the customer experience your company creates for its customers by using research findings to coach either individuals or groups of employees, improve live or online interactions, and engage customers in new ways.  The information can help those on the front line to be more aware of how customers want to be treated and to make positive changes in their behavior.

While changing a customer satisfaction program is never easy, our experience is that enhancing operationally-focused programs with an increased focus on the human side of customer experience measurement will provide you with more to go on in consistently delighting customers.

How are you addressing emotional factors in your customer satisfaction research?


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