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Customer Satisfaction Benchmarking
Publication date: 2/07


Executive summary

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 "soft" data.

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 Tool Level
  • 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 members-only area.

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