Success in today’s market is certainly not driven by growth in the overall economy. Those days are behind us, but hopefully not gone. Growth in the current market dynamic is driven by innovative product development and aggressive strategies designed to capture market share. Increasing market share is not going to happen if your customers are left feeling unsatisfied. This is a hallmark tenet of modern marketing and is the nexus where marketing strategy meets customer satisfaction research.
There are many ways to measure customer satisfaction and both consumer and B2B market researchers have taken on the challenge of developing new measures which tie more closely to marketing’s return on investment. One pillar in the satisfaction measure is the consumer’s willingness to recommend your product, service or organization. The other two pillars include overall satisfaction and willingness to continue doing business (repeat purchase). There is a strong link between these three pillars. Marketers should measure all three and consider their interrelationships when adjusting go to market strategy.
Satisfaction, likelihood to recommend and repeat purchase intent can be measured in several ways, with no one way being significantly better than another. Often enough a simple five-point scale will provide sufficient data and be easy on the respondent’s cognitive load. For example:
How likely are you to recommend Acme, Inc. to your friends and family?
Not at all likely
The key to remember, as mentioned earlier, is the correlation between these three measures. In a recent study published in Quirk’s, amongst grocery store customers the relationship between satisfaction and the willingness to speak about their experience with family and friends was dramatic. Amongst those who gave a five-point satisfaction rating (on a five-point scale) 70% were willing to recommend the grocery store to another person. For those who gave their experience a four point rating, the percentage declines to 11%, a six-fold decline.
Ignore any one of the pillars at your peril.