Maintenance & Services Ratios
Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking
Publication date: 2/07
For a growing number of support organizations, there are two
top-level metrics that management watches most closely—financial
results (costs, productivity, margins) and customer satisfaction.
Financial metrics are relatively easy to track, but customer
satisfaction is almost always a great ball of fuzz. Something is
being measured, but it’s rarely clear how the metrics translate
into dollars and cents, customer loyalty, or competitive advantage.
We know that “satisfied” customers are desirable, but even happy
customers sometimes jump ship to a rival vendor.
So it’s not surprising that customer satisfaction scores often
raise more questions than they answer. And it’s no surprise that
chief executives often hesitate to commit to serious action—such
as making capital investment decisions or paying performance
bonuses—based solely on satisfaction metrics. Right or wrong,
there’s a pervasive feeling that customer satisfaction scores are
In fact, the link between customer satisfaction and cash in the
bank is arguably a complex and often indirect relationship. But
one way to start making this connection is to take some of the
guesswork out of customer satisfaction measurement. There are
certainly some basic industry benchmarks and best practices for
tracking customer satisfaction trends, yet we continue to see
companies that rely on homegrown methods and self-serving
performance metrics. It may be nagging to say this, but the
support world needs to do a better job of managing the basics of
customer satisfaction measurement before it can expect top-level
management to have confidence in the data that’s being reported.
Toward this end, the ASP has surveyed its members and others in
the support world about how they measure and act upon customer
satisfaction data. We collected usable data from a total of 197
participants across a broad range of organization size and product
price ranges, and we asked questions about three categories of
customer satisfaction measurement—relationship surveys, incident
or transaction surveys, and Web self-service surveys.
Topics include the following:
- Relationship Surveys
- Incident Surveys
- Web Support Surveys
- Compensation and Bonus Practices
- Follow-On Actions
- Peer Group Benchmarking
- Best Practices: Measuring Web Support Satisfaction at the
- Best Practices: Community Ratings
- Best Practices: "The One Number You Need"
- Best Practices: A Peer-to-Peer Template
Copies of the survey are free to ASP members in the
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