Friday, March 7, 2008

79% Companies Seek Focus on Issues With Greatest Customer Loyalty Impact

A new national study conducted by the Gantry Group LLC, Best Practices for Customer Satisfaction, reveals that 60% of companies value customer satisfaction programs that help them to focus efforts on those issues with the greatest impact on customer loyalty. The customer satisfaction data of most value to companies is the understanding of the degree to which customer’s expectations are met (38%) and tracking the customer’s perception of value (37%).

According to the study, the cost of customer satisfaction tracking programs is rationalized more by high customer satisfaction scores (25%) than increased revenue (18%), reduction in customer churn (12%) or increased repeat sales (9%).

Study respondents included C-level executives (26%), CMO/head of marketing (26%), and heads of professional/customer support services. Two-thirds of study respondents were with companies with over $100M in annual revenues, and 31% from companies with $11M - $99M.

The study revealed the following additional findings:

--Companies with no formal, periodic customer satisfaction surveys in place are limited by “bandwidth” – too many competing priorities (67%).

--In addition to knowing where they should focus to gain maximum impact on customer satisfaction (60%), companies value the ability to forecast customer loyalty and retention (42%) and isolating individual customer data (41%).

--Tying customer satisfaction to employee performance-based compensation is a key challenge to 32% of respondents.

--Service delivery and solution performance are the most important customer touch points to be monitored (93% and 80%, respectively) followed by customer service (80%), sales/account management (71%), and technical support (66%).

--79% of respondents are not satisfied with merely tracking performance metrics or overall company “satisfaction” and desire the ability to diagnose issues down to the business process level to accurately identify problems.

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