Customer Satisfaction: In which of these quadrants would you place your organization?

customer satmatrix1

The level of customer satisfaction determines how successful an organization will be. Hence it is important to have a good understanding of what makes customers truly satisfied. It will help you to know how your organization is doing and contribute in seeking ways of possible improvement.

From the customers’ perspective, satisfaction is made up of two major components – Customer Experience and Service Outcome.

Customer experience is the customers’ perception of the service process or product acquisition process. It is the way customers are treated by an organization. The organization’s customer-facing staff, its environment, technology and facilities play key roles in shaping customer experience.

Service outcome means the overall result of the service. This includes tangible benefits, emotions, judgments and intentions.

For example, if a patient undergoes a hip operation he or she should be able to enjoy full mobility. Enjoying full mobility is an example of service outcome in this case. How courteous the doctors and nurses were, the hospital environment, waiting time, etc, make up the customer experience.

Now, looking at the service your organization provides, how does it perform in terms of customer satisfaction considering the two components described?

The diagram above shows four possible positions that your organization can take – Failing, Arrogant or Complacent, World class, or Retaining customers in the short term.

It goes thus:

Poor Experience, Poor Outcome: Failing

Poor Experience, Excellent Outcome: Arrogant or complacent

Excellent Experience, Excellent Outcome: World class

Excellent Experience, Poor Outcome: Retaining customer in the short term

No organization is perfect. However, there is always an effort to be in the World Class quadrant. This is very demanding and that is why only few organizations make it to this quadrant. Organizations in this quadrant are universally recognized as being the best in what they do – World class.

Organizations who find themselves in the Arrogant/Complacent quadrant provide excellent service outcome but treat customers poorly. Knowledge-based professional services sometimes fall into this category. Knowing more than their clients, they often display arrogance thereby denting customers’ experience. The medical and IT profession often come in for criticism in this area.

It is possible to provide excellent customer experience but give total service outcome that falls below standard. With this the emotional switching costs for the customers are high but they will tolerate poor service outcome only for a relatively short time and eventually leave. Some technology companies could use this strategy to retain customers in the period between phasing out of an old product and launching of a new one.

There are traditional services that have failed to move with market trends and hence have resulted to service outcome and customer experience that are below industry standard. The telecoms industry in Nigeria has a good example – a government-owned telecoms national carrier could not move with market trends and can currently be placed in the Failing quadrant (if the company still exists).

Some organizations are Average. Though average is not shown, it is at the overall centre of the diagram. Organizations in this position include high-volume business-to-consumer services in sectors having many reasonably established competitors, all conducting business in a similar fashion. The Nigerian universal banking sector is a good example. There are about 20 players but little to choose between them.

Whatever position your organization may be on the diagram, service delivery can be improved in order to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Factors that drive service delivery quality include Processes, People, Resources, and Technology.

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