Common Pitfalls to Avoid in Managing Customer Satisfaction

The first major pitfall in managing customer satisfaction is attempting to manage the measure as opposed to managing the experience that drives the measure.

Consider the classic example of an automobile dealership.�Upon completion of a sale, the salesperson informs the buyer that they will be surveyed about their experience and asks �if you cannot rate me as excellent, please tell me what I can do to get you to rate me as excellent.��Sometimes the salesperson will even plead with the buyer to give him/her an �excellent� rating.�Rather than being focused on delivering an outstanding experience from introduction through closing, the dealership is focused on incentives it may receive based on its satisfaction results.

The second major pitfall is that of over-measurement.

Often firms will ask their customers for feedback on aspects of the experience that the firm has no control over.�Consider the automobile dealership again as an example.�It would make absolutely no sense for the dealership to ask the buyer for their opinion on the auto manufacturer�s logo.�Such over-measurement does two things.�First, it provides feedback that has no value to the marketer in terms of being able to improve the customer experience.�Secondly, it sets up an expectation on the customers� part that the marketer can do something about this aspect of the experience and that it may change as a result of their feedback.�Either way, over-measurement provides no value at best, and at worst may in fact create dissatisfaction in the form of false expectations.

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