22 December 2021 1209 words, 5 min. read

Customer experience: 5 key moments to measure customer satisfaction

By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab PhD in marketing, director of IntoTheMinds
Measuring customer satisfaction is difficult in the digital age. Since the Covid crisis, the digital transformation has accelerated, blurring the lines of the customer experience even more. The customer experience has become so complex that it is almost impossible to identify all […]

Measuring customer satisfaction is difficult in the digital age. Since the Covid crisis, the digital transformation has accelerated, blurring the lines of the customer experience even more. The customer experience has become so complex that it is almost impossible to identify all the touch-points between the company and its customers. In this article, we propose 5 critical stages of the customer experience where customer satisfaction can be measured.

Learn more about our approach to measuring customer satisfaction



Getting to know one another

The introduction is a crucial moment in the customer journey. It is indeed at this precise moment that the needs (conscious or unconscious) of the future customer meet your offer. It is also at this moment that the expectations of the prospective customer will be formed. The level of expectations determines satisfaction (in technical terms, this is called “disconfirmation”). Therefore, it is vital to measure expectations to verify that they are not disproportionate and that customer satisfaction does not suffer.

This research shows that customer expectations influence their satisfaction more offline than when the purchase is made online.

This type of measurement is quite complicated. It implies to “capture” the customer’s opinion at an early stage of his reflection, i.e., when he is seen for the first time. In the case of an online store, a pop-up mechanism can be put in place to survey the prospect. The selection of people to be questioned can be made based on the IP address (which must not yet be known) and the absence of purchase.

What to measure? customer expectations, perceived quality
How to measure? pop-up on website
Difficulty: high
Importance: medium
Examples: online retailers

proximus popup avis client

The purchase

The purchase is an important moment in the customer experience. It corresponds to the ” action. ” This process must not be hindered by anything that could interrupt it. Therefore, depending on the purchase context, measuring how the customer perceives its fluidity and simplicity is necessary.

Amazon has long understood that the number of clicks that separate the customer from the finalization of his order was directly correlated to the probability of realizing the purchase. This is why, in online retail, more and more websites propose to purchase in 2 clicks. Google suggests a purchase mechanism via a social login that press editors tend to integrate more and more (see video below).

In an offline context, we can see that customers are also looking for a shopping experience that is as fluid as possible. This is evidenced by the development of cashless stores: Amazon GoAmazon Fresh, Carrefour Flash.

In both cases, the customer must always find what he wants. Therefore, the assortment, an element of the product marketing mix, is an important variable. Not only must the variety satisfy the customer, but also the means must be available to find the product. In an online context, a powerful search engine must be implemented; in the offline context, employees are trained to help the customer find what he is looking for immediately.

What to measure? perception of the time spent for the purchase, ease of payment, did the customer find what he was looking for.
How to measure? Questionnaire at the end of the purchase process
Difficulty: easy
Importance: important
Examples: all online retailers

Delivery and reception

The reception of the good or service is a “moment of truth.” Delivery time has become the obsession of online retailers. But too little attention is paid to all the other aspects surrounding delivery and receiving counterparts. Successful delivery is not just about “meeting the deadline.” Successful first delivery is also about exceeding customer expectations. And this does not necessarily mean shortening the delivery time. A little attention, an unexpected element, are all surprises that will make this first delivery an unforgettable moment. In this article, we have already taken as an example some brands that succeed in doing so

  • Archiduchesse surprises its customers with goodies in its mailings
  • Coolblue follows up with a postcard
  • La Grange des Père’s offers a sprig of wild thyme
  • When delivering a car, a common practice is to follow up by phone on the satisfaction of the new owner one week after delivery

In the case of a product, physical or not, the importance of the reception is often underestimated. Many possibilities exist to make this moment unforgettable. Think of personalizing the communication, adding a touch of humor, surprising the customer. In the case of a physical product, focus on the packaging and the unpacking experience.

What to measure? satisfaction with the delivery time, satisfaction upon opening, “experience” of unpacking
How to measure? by email in case of online delivery, with a physical element in the packaging (paper questionnaire, QR code) in case of physical product
Difficulty: elementary
Importance: medium
Examples: Archiduchesse, Coolblue

carte postale coolblue

This postcard was sent to the author of this article by the owner of Coolblue and was used to monitor customer satisfaction.

The first use

It is during the first use that everything will be decided. This is the moment of truth. Will the customer’s expectations be met? Will the performance of the product/service be up to par?

Everything must be done to simplify this first use as much as possible and avoid at all costs frustrations or failures that could negatively impact the perceived performance. We talked about first use notices in the process section of our marketing mix guide. This is an easy tool to put in place to make the first use successful.

Measuring customer satisfaction after the first use is relatively simple. You just need to know how long it will take from receipt to first use. The measurement can then be triggered automatically.

Online retailers often have this kind of routine implemented. Coolblue, a Dutch retailer, systematically sends an email a few days after receiving a product to measure satisfaction/dissatisfaction very simply.

What to measure? general satisfaction, ease of use, satisfaction with specific performance criteria
How to measure? online if it is a service whose use can be tracked, by phone or email for physical products
Difficulty: easy
Importance: very high
Example: Coolblue

enquête satisfaction client coolblue

Coolblue sends an email after each purchase to measure satisfaction/dissatisfaction


The first contact with the customer service

The first contact with customer service is often decisive. Initiated by the customer, it can be the reflection of a problem. In this case, it is vital to put in place the principles of good customer complaint management:

  • politeness marker
  • apology
  • transparency about the reasons for the problem
  • visibility on the steps to resolve the problem
  • follow-up

All companies with a call center typically measure customer satisfaction after contacting the agent. This measurement is also applicable in the case of a chat contact.

What to measure? satisfaction with the proposed solution, satisfaction with the timing of the resolution, politeness of the caller
How to measure? By phone after the call is concluded.
Difficulty: easy
Importance: high
Examples: telecom operators





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