Customer Satisfaction

Through every economic and business cycle, customer satisfaction is important because it leads to customer retention. At SMS, we recognized the importance of this field of research decades ago. We also recognized that it is not sufficient to simply measure satisfaction – we need to also develop actionable tools for improving customer satisfaction.

The standard objectives of a customer satisfaction survey are:

  1. To quantify the level of customer satisfaction with all aspects of their interaction with the client
  2. To identify specific areas where changes can be implemented to improve customer satisfaction leading to enhanced retention and recommendations to current non-customers
  3. To provide continuous feedback to be integrated with the strategic planning process

SMS has developed superior survey instruments and approaches to gathering such data. Our mode of data collection includes surveys by telephone, mail, the Web, cell phones, and hand-held self-administered computers.

Analysis is important in all research work, but the analysis approach is even more important in satisfaction research. Most analysis of customer satisfaction is limited to satisfaction scores. As an example, the following chart demonstrates the percentage of the population very satisfied with specific attributes:

However, SMS takes satisfaction scores and develops satisfaction drivers. The analysis plan includes:

  1. Identify Drivers: Quantify and prioritize the list of product characteristics, types of service, perceived benefits, and other aspects of sales over which the client has some control.
  2. Segmentation: Identify groups of customers who respond differently to the same products or services. The objective is to identify segments that can or must be treated differently in order to optimize loyalty. More than one segmentation system may be required.
  3. Model Respondents’ Customer Satisfaction: Define bottom-line concerns, like high customer satisfaction, willingness to recommend, intent to re-purchase, future purchase, and future revenues, or even future net revenue per person. Isolate factors that are statistically related to bottom-line concerns. Using the interrelationships of those factors, generate a hierarchy of factor types that are empirically related to bottom-line concerns. Combine these in a model of how customer satisfaction affects sales and revenue generation. The result will look something like the following figure. Application to benchmark and tracking survey results allows the client to quantify the impact of actual or proposed changes in products and services.

  4. Identify specific model differences across customer segments and check to see if models work the same way within different market segments.
  5. Generate Scores: Calculate satisfaction scores and develop a means to project those to the client’s customer database. We will need to work closely with Hawai‘i Visitors and Convention Bureau staff to ensure that the scores are inserted appropriately and in such a manner as to allow their application to database marketing programs.

Client Testimonials

SMS did a great job in leading Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s evaluation development process…including identifying input, output and outcome measures to track progress toward HTA’s strategic goals. SMS also provided steps to guide us in integrating the evaluation process into our overall operations and planning. Our staff was actively engaged in the process and tracking the measures will ensure a focus on driving towards outcomes.

— Leslie Dance, former VP Marketing
Hawai‘i Tourism Authority

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