Do Customer Value, Total CVM, CX, CSat use different metrics? Should they?


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I have been looking at an attribute tree for a product in the first chart, and questions one would ask (in the second chart) to get data from customers. Many questions are the same, although Total CVM and Customer Value have somewhat different questions. Am I on he right track? What would you suggest differently? gautam_metrics1 These are possible questions one can ask: gautam_metrics2
Gautam Mahajan
Gautam Mahajan, President of Customer Value Foundation is the leading global leader in Customer Value Management. Mr Mahajan worked for a Fortune 50 company in the USA for 17 years and had hand-on experience in consulting, training of leaders, professionals, managers and CEOs from numerous MNCs and local conglomerates like Tata, Birla and Godrej groups. He is also the author of widely acclaimed books "Customer Value Investment: Formula for Sustained Business Success" and "Total Customer Value Management: Transforming Business Thinking." He is Founder Editor of the Journal of Creating Value ( and runs the global conference on Creating Value (


  1. Hi Gautam: I’m not clear on what you want to glean from these questions, but for me, a missing piece is outcome/results, and ‘would you purchase this product again?’ I have read from past market research that some products score very high on the dimensions you are measuring, yet, there are few follow-on purchases. Exposing what underlies this gap would be an important discovery for any customer research. Also, products can score well in the features/capabilities/benefits measurements, yet customers are not fully satisfied because the product did not yield the wanted result or results.

  2. The critical objective of research is to help identify what drives behavior. Moving past, for a moment, the proof that satisfaction scores connect poorly or superficially to behavior, there are better, more granular and more actionable, approaches for addressing the meaning, and likely action, behind customer attitudes about value and brand experiences:

    And, one element which needs to be included in experience and potential action research is the emotional and subconscious subtext which exists even in the most rational and tangible of experience factors:

  3. Hi Gautam! Like Andrew, I’d like to better understand your research objective to best assist you with the specific needs driving you to pose this question. That said, in my experience CSAT and CX have and should be interchangeable–that is to say, they are one and the same. In their pursuit, you can then easily wrap in insights around value…

    In cases where the customer experience (the customer journey) has not been fully fleshed out or the research objective is more narrowly defined, CSAT can become a subset of CX (as in the table above). However, from a best practice perspective a classic CSAT survey should reflect an understanding and appreciation of the the entire customer journey, touching on all aspects of the experience surrounding product acquisition, product usage, ongoing servicing and support, etc.

    Then, using a hierarchical structure, it starts with overall satisfaction in the broadest sense and proceeds to drill down from there, gathering satisfaction with each milestone of the customer journey as well as the sub-attributes (performance measures) defining the experience with each milestone itself. You’ll want to also include measures of future purchase/re-purchase intent, likelihood to recommend, etc, and may want to consider some brand affinity measures as part of your final loyalty metric.

    Thus, the product itself is one of the milestones measured, as opposed to the only one measured, and you can drill into this as much or as little as your research objective demands. Again, if your research objective sets this limitation for you, fine, but otherwise I’d encourage you to be more expansive in the touch-points and milestones you’re measuring.

    When it comes to issues of value, this becomes tricky, as 1) value is a function of price and most clients are unwilling or unable to do anything about price; and 2) relative value (and satisfaction) versus competitive products is a key factor that, unless addressed in your questionnaire design, will be overlooked:

    However, you can include value readily enough by simply following your overall sat question with an overall value for the money paid measure. Then, you simply conduct two separate driver analyses, one for overall CX and one for overall value. Knowing which milestones are having the greatest impact on value, secondary driver analyses will similarly uncover which individual performance areas are driving performance for those milestones. If only one model is required, you can certainly focus on that approach, but it’s often interesting to see where these two driver models differ so clients can understand their ultimate ability to impact these two areas together or separately, based on the actions they’re willing to take.

    Hope this helps, and always happy to chat further.

  4. Hello, friends:
    I am not looking for research methodologies or to carry out research. I know how to carry out the research and do that especially with value studies. I am asking a more basic question.

    I am saying the questions I would ask during research for satisfaction and experience are similar. The value questions sometimes are similar and sometimes different.
    If I am right what differentiates these so called different approaches to the customer, CSat, CX, CV, Total CVM?

    I just want you to look at the questions and ask why are they so similar?

    And if the questions are similar, are these items similar. If yes, why do we try to differentiate them so actively?

    Sorry I was not clearer.

    You should critique the actual questions and tell me if the questions as shown in the table would be different than what I have said… for example: on a scale of 10, where 1 is very poor, and 10 is very good, rate the overall satisfaction with the product OR for CX, on a scale of 10, where 1 is very poor, and 10 is very good, rate the overall satisfaction with the experience on the product

  5. The questions for identifying emotional and relationship drivers of advocacy and brand-bonding behavior are, indeed, different than the largely functional, rational, and tangible questions seen in most customer experience studies. The questions you cover are largely satisfaction-based, that is attitudinal, or quality-based, having to do with the features and tangible benefits.

  6. Thanks, Michael.
    So we are agreeing that most questions of the functional, rational and tangible questions.
    As we are trying to differentiate between Csat, CX, CVal, I request you take a cut at asking an emotional type question in each of these surveys.
    Would the questions be different depending on the type of survey?

  7. Hi Gautam, I recommend that we take a look at what customers say about a brand / product / service as our first step, to guide our interpretation of Value. Anthony Ulwick’s book, What Customers Want, offers great wisdom, summarized in my article Measure Customer Value the Customer’s Way.

    Along those lines, there are things that play into customers’ assessment of benefits and costs, beyond product and service and price and non-price costs, as shown in this article What’s Your Customer Experience Value Quotient?

    Another thing I think we need to explore more is what customers really want to talk about or measure/rate. I’ve come to believe that it’s not as meaningful to customers to dwell on how well the seller/provider did . . . relative to the meaningfulness of focusing on how well the seller/provider helped them achieve their overall objective. It’s a nuance with massive implications for response rates, actionability, and value-creation insights. An article that says more about this is Customer-Centricity by Discerning Satisfaction Outcomes Versus Enablers.



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