V.B.2 Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
Customer satisfaction levels are impossible to assess unless customers’ expectations, priorities, and needs have been determined. This is known as “listening to the voice of the customer.” See Section 1 about QFD.
Leading organizations have measured and tracked customer satisfaction levels for decades. Results are used to identify problems and opportunities, measure the performance of managers and executives, and reveal relative competitive performance. These organizations have also integrated findings (from customer surveys and other means) into their corporate strategies, new product development, manufacturing quality, product and service delivery, and competitive positioning. Marketing decisions are made on the basis of statistical analysis that shows which factors are most important in their customers’ buying decisions.
Customer satisfaction measurement has become an integral part of the quality management process as companies use customer satisfaction information to drive improvement initiatives. Figure 17.4 outlines a system for utilizing customer feedback. Leading-edge customer satisfaction systems include several key elements:
- There are formal processes for collecting and analyzing customer data and for communicating results to the appropriate business functions for action. Data can be used for company or market segment analysis to develop marketing strategies, or used at the account level to gain an understanding of the customer’s opinion of the company.
- Feedback on how well an organization is meeting requirements is gathered by using some combination of the methods listed and described below. Most companies use several formal methods for collecting customer satisfaction data. By using several sources, the companies are better able to validate results and increase their credibility.
- Because each method of gathering customer feedback has its benefits, disadvantages, and specific applications, most companies choose a combination of methods to get a more complete picture. Once information has been gathered, sophisticated techniques can be used to analyze the information.
- To be useful, data and the information derived from data must be stored appropriately and made available to those who need it.
Quality Management BOK Reference
V Customer-Focused Organizations
V.B Customer Relationship Management
V.B.2 Customer satisfaction and loyalty
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