At Hay Research International, we believe three important considerations are critical in designing a successful customer satisfaction program:
- First, we acknowledge this well-known fact: Many customers who are only 'satisfied' still leave. Generating true loyalty and commitment to your brand, therefore, means going beyond mere satisfaction to create a bond with your customers.
- Emotional factors, in addition to service professionalism, are critical in achieving this goal.
- Service satisfaction is always relative to something else – usually your competition or a relevant benchmark.
At Hay Research International, the customer satisfaction programs we design enable you to 1) assess current satisfaction and loyalty and track this over time and 2) create strategies to take you into the territory of commitment (see below). We do this by first identifying the rational and emotional factors that drive bonding to a brand or company in your market and then measure your performance on key drivers. Performance is measured relative to your competition or other benchmark. We do this in two stages.First, we develop a critical set of metrics to assess satisfaction. These are usually drawn from an available set but often include behavioural measures such as share-of-wallet, profitability levels, levels of product use and others. These measures enable the assessment of customer satisfaction right across your stakeholder groups allowing you to set performance standards related to branches, products, individuals, teams, regions and other areas of interest. These are reported in depth. Targets are then set to improve scores versus the agreed-upon standards.
Here is why middle level satisfaction scores are usually not good enough. As you can see from the figure above, producing increased satisfaction in the middle territory typically has little effect on increased levels of commitment. Low scores, however, rapidly increase the likelihood of defection and high scores rapidly increase the likelihood of being committed. Obtaining commitment is critical because it creates a degree of resilience to competitive pressures. An individual who is committed to you is someone who is less sensitive to price and to the appeals of your competition. The strong bonds of commitment are also associated with improved bottom-line performance and greater share-of-wallet.
Second, in order to help move you into commitment territory, we employ a variety of advanced modeling and statistical procedures to identify the critical drivers of commitment. This also involves a careful identification of the various rational and emotional factors involved in producing high commitment levels.
Once these key drivers are detected, the emphasis shifts to a comprehensive assessment of how well you are performing on these key drivers across all groups of interest -- branches, products, teams, regions and other groups. Tailored strategies are developed by group in order to move your stakeholder groups along the satisfaction continuum. For those clients with a Balanced Scorecard system, these service metrics are also key.
Additional modeling is used to reveal the effects of improved satisfaction on bottom-line metrics such as profitability, customer longevity and positive word-of-mouth.