On Customer Satisfaction Research

BY Kevin Abraham 22.02.18

Customer satisfaction is a concept that most organisations claim to know and appreciate. After all, understanding customer levels of satisfaction (or disappointment) with regards to services and products, and acting to improve it, would seem to be a crucial exercise. Yet all too often, I am informed that there is no Customer Service Policy in place, or, if there is, no program to measure it., or, if measured, no system to act on this information.

Setting up a Customer Service Policy is not overly complex, and once arranged, measuring it is quite straightforward. If properly interpreted and reported, the action plans emerging from a Customer Satisfaction Survey can provide substantial benefits.

Here are some:

  1. It is a key indicator of customer intention to sustain the relationship
  2. It offers a point of differentiation
  3. It reduces customer frustration
  4. It demonstrably increases customer purchases
  5. It can measure and promote staff service quality
  6. It is cheaper to retain customers, than to secure new ones

1. It is a gauge of customer intention to sustain the relationship

Customer satisfaction scores are a great indicator of how likely a customer will be to maintain a relationship, especially when other comparable products or services are available.

2. A point of differentiation

In a constantly more competitive market place, customer satisfaction is a differentiator. Businesses who recognize this, make customer satisfaction one of the key elements of their business procedure.

They perceive that not only does Customer Satisfaction Research help you to keep a finger on the pulse of your existing clients, it can also serve as a point of differentiation for new clients, too.

3. It reduces customer frustration

While a lot of attention is given to getting price right, remember this: generally, price is not necessarily the sole reason for customer churn; it often is also due to the overall frustration with customer service. By measuring customer satisfaction, you can establish new processes to build up the overall excellence of your customer service.

4. It increases customer purchases

Several studies have indicated that customer satisfaction has a telling effect on customer revenue contribution. Quite an eye opener: “…an ‘extremely satisfied customer’ contributes 2.6 times more revenue than a ‘somewhat satisfied customer’. Furthermore, a ‘totally satisfied customer’ contributes 14 time more revenue than a ‘somewhat dissatisfied customer’.

5. It can measure and improve staff service quality

As long as it is affirmed as a means to promote service excellence, customer satisfaction can produce a noticeable difference in the way that staff understand and practice service. Personally, I consider this is especially effective for developing accountability, and ownership of service quality.

6. It is cheaper to retain customers than to secure new ones

It takes a lot more to acquire new customers, than to retain existing ones.

Think about marketing, generating new leads, closing new sales vs maintaining relations with a satisfied customer, and you’ll get my point. If ever you plan to invest in retaining clients, then customer delight is well worth budgeting for.

Someone recently asked me: “How many unhappy customers does one complaint represent?” I wasn’t sure, so I did some digging. Looking through some of the studies, my conclusion is at least 25. Furthermore, probably 95% of unhappy customers say nothing, unless they are asked…they just give up and never come back.

Unless you have a perfect business, measuring customer satisfaction should be one of your key research activities. If it isn’t, you may be losing some signification opportunities to engage with your market, and advance your cause.

Talk to Frontline – we know Customer Satisfaction Research in Africa


  • Accenture: Customer Service, Not Price, Remains Top Cause of Customer Churn
  • A study by InfoQuest
  • Customer Satisfaction – R. Beard

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