The Semantic Argument
You’ll find a lot of semantic arguments both online and offline about whether “customer satisfaction” sets the bar too low for companies. In a literal sense — of course it does. But our experience shows that very few companies are taking the term so literally. If you speak with companies that measure Customer Satisfaction (CSat), they are typically not taking a relaxed view of measuring the perspective of customers.
But that’s not to say that they have the laser focus that’s required to generate maximum ROI from their CSat efforts …..
Are You Ultimately Measuring Customer Satisfaction?
CSat programs (including running surveys) are sometimes tough to align with senior executive thinking. Customer satisfaction focus reflects an understanding that companies need to focus on identifying and addressing gaps in their business relationships with existing customers.
It’s Really About Competitive Vulnerability
A CSat survey is the sales version of a security scan. It looks for holes that can be penetrated by those looking for working against your company. And it provides the focus that is needed to plug those holes and prepare yourself with a stronger defence.
Part of the design of the process should include a consideration of the advantages of competing products. Keeping track of competitors product development and the impact on your customers’ expectations is a critical value of CSat surveys.
Your CEO Should Care About That
At times, senior management can treat proactive customer initiative as a self indulgent practice. Maybe it’s partly their cost cutting hat (focused on minimizing unnecessary spend) or partly a dose of healthy skepticism.
In the end, it’s useful to take value focus of these programs up a level when selling it to the executive team. CSat aside, there are few CEO’s who would argue that gauging competitive vulnerability isn’t a valuable effort. So there’s your angle on making them see the value of investing in customer survey technology and in programs to act on the findings.