Reinventing Customer Satisfaction Research

Whatever happened to Customer satisfaction research? It used to be a very popular activity for researchers 10 or more years ago. Big annual customer satisfaction or Care Programmes were the norm in corporates and mid cap organisations, where demonstrating improving satisfaction metrics was often linked to company and personal bonuses. Then came along the Net Promoter Score, which was in a way, a Cust Sat programme lite. Around the same time the research industry started experimenting with what it called Customer Experience Research. So where is Customer satisfaction research today? Well its still alive and kicking, but has arguably morphed into a different image. For starters, research to measure customer perceptions, experience or satisfaction occurs more frequently than a big once a year audit. It is now common to run a series of customer perception surveys of specific functions or engagements in the course of the customer journey. For example, a short survey to measure a recent interaction with a call centre or support line. This could be conducted as a single question delivered via a text message, or a short online survey. Access to more affordable online survey tools has provided new opportunities to design a series of customer surveys which can be run in the context of specific departments or experiences. The other trend is towards capturing a plethora of data sources including operational and transactional data, and combining it with customer experience (or customer satisfaction data) under the umbrella of Big Data. So Customer Satisfaction research isnt dead, not by along shot. But it is different.