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96 Percent Customer Satisfaction … Requires a New Survey

At a recent corporate event, a proud executive reported that his company achieves annual customer satisfaction rates of 96 percent. These results sound impressive, in principle. However, once examined through the lens of customer experience (CX) experts, they may in fact indicate a weakness in the survey design.

Consistently high customer satisfaction results could be a red flag that the survey is not rigorous enough to differentiate between good and bad performance. How thorough were the questions? Were they probing all the interactions and touch points of the customer experience journey—from the website, directions and arrival, to the recommended vs. not recommended aspects of the entire experience—or were the questions dwelling on a single facet of “satisfaction,” such as whether they were greeted in a friendly way?

Customer satisfaction is but a small part of the overall customer experience. Instead, the focus should be on the end-to-end customer experience. Customer experience is the result of interactions that occur through a series of steps, encounters and moments along a journey that influence a customer’s relationship with, and perception of, a brand, organization—or even a city. Customer experience brings a brand to life.

Key moments of truth exist along the journey where customers, guests or visitors may pause and evaluate the experience or make a crucial decision, giving them an opportunity to form (or change) their opinion about that brand. These defining moments present ideal occasions to reinforce a brand promise, or realize it is time to design a new one!

Effective customer, guest and visitor measures are important business indicators. Safe questions need to be cast aside if you want to thoroughly map out your strengths, weaknesses, risks and opportunities. Organizations that are truly customer-centric will collect customer data and use that data to prioritize where to refocus their budgets, invest in personnel or technology improvements, and fine-tune their performance management systems.

As the strategy of your organization changes and grows, so too should your customer measurement program—usually causing a slight drop in customer scores where opportunities for improvements are identified. As the organization makes adjustments and drives these improvements consistently, the scores will begin to rise again.

To learn more about how to purposefully design a Branded Customer Experience®, click over to my blog post: Transforming Promises into Action.

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