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What are the latest conclusions of academics on customer satisfaction and customer experience ?

In the Journal of Marketing special issue ” Mapping the Boundaries of Marketing: What Needs to Be Known”, Lemon & Verhoef (2016) deliver 5 very useful conclusions on the state of customer experience and satisfaction research.
These 5 conclusions, taken from the very latest top research in the field of marketing, are useful for practitioners and lead us to formulate 5 sets of recommendations.

Start with service quality to measure customer experience

Since there is no agreement yet on what constitute customer experiment, there is logically no tool to measure it. Be careful of consultants proposing their own measurement instruments as those may be invalid. Rather start by focusing on one undisputed aspect of customer experience: service quality. For the latter use the SERVQUAL scale of which many variants exist for various settings. We recently applied successfully this scale in a B2B context.

At what stage is the science of customer satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction has been the focus of much marketing research for 50 years. But how has this research evolved since the 1970s? That’s what we wanted to find out by making a podcast with Moshe Davidow, one of the leading scientists in this field. We made a podcast with him, and you will find below the chapter on customer satisfaction research.

Use Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The debate is over. There is no significant difference between Net Promoter Score (NPS) and traditional customer satisfaction measurement scale. Rather than compiling hundreds of pages on customer satisfaction surveys and never turning that knowledge into real actions, save your time by deploying NPS.

Measure customer delight

Delight, extreme happiness and satisfaction, is key to improve the customer experience. It’s scientifically useful to assess delight. Brainstorm, use existing scale, ask yourself what delight means for your business. You will be rewarded.

Ask customer feedback on the overall experience, not on part of it

Academic research shows that customer feedback metrics focusing on one particular domain (e.g., Customer Effort Score) lack predictive power. In other words you won’t be able to influence future performance if you improve those metrics. Don’t lose your time on that.

Use multiple customer feedback metrics rather than single ones

It may sound obvious but multiple customer feedback metrics allow for better prediction of future customer behaviors. Yet most firms implement single measurements or, when they have multiple measurements, don’t combine them. We have seen for instance in the telecom industry that departments work as silos and that customer feedback metrics remain within those silos without being analyzed as a whole. This is a bad practice

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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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