Thursday, October 16, 2008

Satisfaction guaranteed? Hardly.

Customer satisfaction. You want it. You need it. Your KPIs demand it.

But how do you get it? And how do you measure it?

“Already onto it!” you say. “Covered that in our customer satisfaction survey, with some questions asking our customers how satisfied they are.”


Wrong answer.

Perhaps surprisingly, it’s not very helpful to ask your customers how satisfied they are. If they rate you highly, the most you’ll get out of it is a warm fuzzy feeling. If they rate you poorly, you’ll be scratching your head, wondering why.

Either way, it’s a waste of both time and money to ask them how satisfied they are without understanding what ‘satisfaction’ actually means to them.

An important step in the market research process – but one that’s all too often overlooked – is to identify the dimensions of satisfaction from your customers’ perspective.

How do they describe it? What does it feel like? What does it depend on? And so on…

Good qualitative research can answer these questions: it can give you important and relevant detail that you’d otherwise miss.

And this kind of information has legs that go beyond KPIs (which always seem to get in the way of organisations becoming truly customer focussed, but that’s another discussion in itself). Good qualitative research can tell you exactly what action you need to take. It can tell you what you’re doing right, what you could be doing better, and where the opportunities lie.  

Pretty good eh?  


Anonymous said...

Nice post! I reckon a good trick to engineer management-friendly insights is to only ever prompt respondents with a positive scale. That way, people can only ever be:

“extremely satisfied”

And as we all know, “other” really means “just a teeny-weeny bit satisfied” …

I reckon there’s a book in that: “Getting to 100% Happy” – sponsored by the AMSRS of course!


Jye Smith said...

Agreed. Fucking agreed.

Katie Harris said...


Subtitle: Satisfaction DEFINITELY guaranteed!

And yes, who better to sponsor it than AMSRS?!

; )

Katie Harris said...

LOL @ Jye! I think you've just come up with a new scale:

a) Strongly disagree
b) Somewhat disagree
c) Neither agree or disagree
d) Slightly agree
e) F*%ING agree!

R Gillett said...

had a great meeting with a client this week. conversation went from "we can just ask our customers a few questions, poll them" to "oh wow, we better think about the questions we ask so that we phrase the questions the right way" - and they didn't mean "so we get the answer we want" but rather "so we get an answer that will really tell us something". nice!

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