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Marketing, customer satisfaction and loyalty
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Customer experience better than customer satisfaction to predict loyalty

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We discussed recently the links between customer satisfaction, loyalty and customer experience. One of the conclusions was that, as of today, no reliable scale exists to measure customer experience. This doesn’t mean however that nothing has been done on this topic.
In today’s article we’d like to briefly guide you through one of the latest instrument developped to experiment the measure of customer experience (Klaus and Maklan 2013, see full study at the end of this article). Don’t worry, we won’t get technical and remain business-oriented.

Why do we need a scale to measure customer experience ?

the #1 reason why a scale needs to be developped is because firms mix customer satisfaction and customer experience and use inappropriate tools to measure the latter. As the authors put it :
Research with practitioners indicates that most firms use customer satisfaction, or its derivative Net Promoter Score, to assess their customers’ experiences. We question this practice based on the conceptual gap between these measures and the customer experience.

Whereas using NPS to measure customer satisfaction is perfectly right, using NPS to measure customer experience is totally wrong. This reveals a lake of understanding of what constitutes customer experience.

How was customer experience measured?

Hence the first thing that needed to be done was to define the customer experience construct. If you are interested to understand how this was done, please refer to the paper where extensive explanations are given. For now, we will just show you graphically the different dimensions of customer experience :

  • product experience
  • outcome focus
  • moment-of-truth
  • piece of mind

Each dimension is itself divided into multiple components that are self-explaining and sufficiently detailed if you need to reflect about your own experience or that provided by your firm.

What is the current status of customer satisfaction research?

Customer experience and satisfaction are intimately linked. To understand the current state of research in these areas, listen to the podcast we recorded with Moshe Davidow, one of the most renowned customer satisfaction researchers.

What was proved?

A series of 5 important conclusions were drawn from an empirical research carried out in 4 different industries : mortgages, fuel and service stations, retail banking, luxury goods.

  1. Customer experience has a significant positive impact on customer satisfaction.
  2. Customer experience has a significant positive impact on loyalty intentions.
  3. Customer experience has a significant positive impact on word-of-mouth behaviour.
  4. Customer experience has a more significant positive impact on loyalty intentions than customer satisfaction.
  5. Customer experience has a more significant positive impact on word-of-mouth behaviour than customer satisfaction.


Good customer experience does influence positively customer satisfaction, loyalty and positive word-of-mouth
Customer experience’s impact on loyalty and word-of-mouth is greater than that of customer satifscation.



Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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