Written by Scott Smith, Ph.D. December 3, 2012
When we have a great food experience at a new restaurant, we usually want to go back. Positive evaluations result in greater customer satisfaction, which leads to customer loyalty and product repurchase.
But how do we effectively measure customer satisfaction?
Many strategies exist, but overlooking the fundaments of how to measure customer satisfaction can be detrimental to your business. Here are 4 key customer satisfaction measurements that are critical to your business success
Example question: Overall, how satisfied are you with “La Jolla Grove restaurant”?
This question reflects the overall opinion of a consumer’s satisfaction experience with a product he or she has used.
The single greatest predictors of customer satisfaction are the customer experiences that result in attributions of quality.
Perceived quality is often measured in one of three contexts:
It is commonly believed that dissatisfaction is synonymous with purchase regret while satisfaction is linked to positive ideas such as “it was a good choice” or “I am glad that I bought it.”
Example question: Would you recommend “La Jolla Grove restaurant” to your family and friends?
This single question measure is the core NPS (Net Promoter Score) measure.
Customer loyalty reflects the likelihood of repurchasing products or services. Customer satisfaction is a major predictor of repurchase but is strongly influenced by explicit performance evaluations of product performance, quality, and value.
Loyalty is often measured as a combination of measures including overall satisfaction, likelihood of repurchase, and likelihood of recommending the brand to a friend.
A common measure of loyalty might be the sum of scores for the following three questions:
Example question: How satisfied are you with the “taste” of your entre at La Jolla Grove?
Example question: How important is “taste” in your decision to select La Jolla Grove restaurant?
Affect (liking/disliking) is best measured in the context of product attributes or benefits. Customer satisfaction is influenced by perceived quality of product and service attributes, and is moderated by expectations of the product or service. The researcher must define and develop measures for each attribute that is important for customer satisfaction.
Consumer attitudes toward a product develop as a result of product information or any experience with the product, whether perceived or real.
Again, it may be meaningful to measure attitudes towards a product or service that a consumer has never used, but it is not meaningful to measure satisfaction when a product or service has not been used.
Cognition refers to judgment: the product was useful (or not useful); fit the situation (or did not fit); exceeded the requirements of the problem/situation (or did not exceed); or was an important part of the product experience (or was unimportant).
Judgments are often specific to the intended use application and use occasion for which the product is purchased, regardless if that use is correct or incorrect.
Affect and satisfaction are closely related concepts. The distinction is that satisfaction is “post experience” and represents the emotional affect produced by the product’s quality or value.
Example question: Do you intend to return to the La Jolla Grove restaurant in the next 30 days?
When wording questions about future or hypothetical behavior, consumers often indicate that “purchasing this product would be a good choice” or “I would be glad to purchase this product.” Behavioral measures also reflect the consumer’s past experience with customer service representatives.
Satisfaction can influence other post-purchase/post-experience actions like communicating to others through word of mouth and social networks.
Additional post-experience actions might reflect heightened levels of product involvement that in turn result in increased search for the product or information, reduced trial of alternative products, and even changes in preferences for shopping locations and choice behavior.
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