Customer Satisfaction Measurement: Why bother?


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The purpose of a business is to satisfy customer demand – that is, to satisfy needs and wants that customers are both willing and able to pay for.

If you are the only source of a particular product or service (e.g., you have a monopoly), or you have your customers firmly bolted down with long-term, water tight contracts, you might be tempted to believe that:

  • there is no need for you to concern yourself with customer satisfaction and,
  • there is no benefit to your organization to measure customer satisfaction.

And, you may be right – in the short term.

In the short term, you may have customer retention because they have no alternative, as could be the case in a regulated environment, or the cost of switching may be too great, as could be the case with a punitive termination clause in your contract.

What happens when things change? When your industry is deregulated? When you no longer have a monopoly? Or when a competitor makes it attractive for your customer to switch at the end of their contract?

Customers who feel neglected or mistreated will defect. They will be open to competitor offerings if they are not already actively searching for alternative solutions.

If you are not measuring Customer Satisfaction, you are vulnerable. If you are not investing in your relationships with customers to ensure that your products and services are aligned with customer demand, you may find that customers leave you quite readily. If you are not building customer loyalty, the emotional tie that binds customers to you, you may find that customer retention falls dramatically.

And, when customers do not feel appreciated and cared for, they tell others about their experiences. Some will actively tell anyone who will listen while others will withhold their endorsement when asked about your company. Both scenarios diminish your opportunities for growth.

It is generally agreed that satisfied customers are more likely to:

  • Continue to do business with you
  • Buy more products and services from you
  • Recommend your company to others
  • Be forgiving when problems arise (provided they are quickly resolved)

These are all desirable behaviors that will have a positive impact on your company’s bottom line through:

  • reduced costs of customer replacement
  • reduced costs of employee replacement – satisfied customers are much more fun to do business with.

By measuring Customer Satisfaction, and responding to customer input, you communicate to customers that you are interested in their well being and are committed to serving them. You also ensure that you have the opportunity to resolve customer discontent before it turns into customer defection.

And, that’s why Customer Satisfaction Measurement is worth the bother.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Anne Miner
Anne Miner, the founding partner of The Dunvegan Group, first entered the field of marketing and survey research in 1974. Since then, she has been the lead consultant on assignments across virtually all product and service categories, from diapers to transportation. Anne is respected for her ability to work closely with her clients' teams to identify the issues to be investigated, focus on what is actionable and develop creative solutions.


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