I’m sure you’ve heard the saying; the customer is always right. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean they’re satisfied, or better yet, delighted. Which means churn continues to rise.
According to American Express, 90% of Americans use customer service as a factor in deciding whether or not to do business with a company.
Organizations are aware of the importance of delivering an exceptional customer experience, but a common issue we see us is actually measuring this metric, and making improvements. To aid in this initiative, I've put together 5 metrics that can help you better understand your company's level of customer satisfaction. (CuSat).
- Customer expectation vs perception
Today’s consumer not only wants high quality products; they also expect high quality customer service. Customer service is now even being considered a part of the product. Consumer research and R.L. Oliver’s Expectations Confirmation Theory aims to explain post-purchase or post-adoption satisfaction as a result of expectations, perceived performance, and disconfirmation of beliefs. So, customers should be asked - using a five-point scale - to agree or disagree with relative product/service statements like, “does our service live up to your expectations?”.
2. Likelihood to recommend to friends
Asking your customers the Ultimate Question, “how likely are you to recommend us?”, is based on the Net Promoter Score® methodology. This question probes both dimensions of loyalty – heart & mind - and is a direct representation of customer delight. According to Customer Heartbeat, “if customers are willing to put their reputation on the line to recommend your business, they trust you” and are more than just satisfied with your service. Those willing to recommend your brand are loyal advocates.
3. Customer experience vs ideal experience
Fred Reicheld - creator of the Net Promoter® system of management - strongly believes that the goal of any business should be delighting customers. This can be achieved, in part, by appealing to customers through their expectations. Client Heartbeat agrees, and suggests asking, “how does our service compare to your ‘ideal’ service?” This “can be used to understand whether your service meets the needs AND wants of your customers.”
4. Overall satisfaction
This metric is as straight forward as it sounds. Asking the open-ended question, “overall, how satisfied are you with our company?”, will answer the customers’ ‘overall’ satisfaction with your product or service. Client Heartbeat noted that the response to this question will reference “quality, reliability, and customer fulfilment.” This feedback from your customers, positive or negative, is a gift that can be used to create better business practices & improve the customer experience, and similarly, customer satisfaction in the future.
5. Repeat purchase intention
Client Heartbeat says that customer satisfaction “can influence customers on whether they will renew their contracts or purchase more products from you.” Ask customers directly, and in pulse format (to measure operating climate and overall performance), “do you intend to renew your contract when it ends?” This survey question will help you gauge customer happiness and help to predict and model future campaigns on their feedback. Thus, transforming the relationship from a standard service interaction to a partnership.
Looking for next steps? We provide human voice, and automated, customer survey solutions that receive unparalleled engagement.
Editor's Note: this blog was originally published in September 2016 but was updated in August 2020 for consistency and freshness.