Merely satisfied customers won't win the CX battle.
While 90% satisfied is not an inaccurate statement, on its own it is largely useless. It’s provides a nice external marketing message but in today's current marketplace having merely satisfied customers, and being comfortable with that, will ultimately lead to failure.

I greatly dislike the statement that 90% of our customers are satisfied. It’s fantastic as an external marketing message, but how do you act on it? While 90% satisfied is not an inaccurate statement, on its own it is largely useless.

Correct Interpretation

What if your 90% score is made up of 60% just satisfied and 30% highly satisfied? If it is you should be worried. The correct interpretation of this would be 30% of your customers are likely loyal, but the other 60% are actually up for grabs.

A recent Roy Morgan benchmark study has the scores for leading discount department stores as: 

Kmart:                   88.3%

Target:                   87.5%

Big W:                   86.2%

Harris Scarfe:       85.9%

If you had a score of 90% you would be the category leader and earn yourself a sticker that says your 'Number 1'. But maybe more importantly, there is very little difference between the top and the bottom, with only 3 percentage point separating the outright winner from the bottom placed loser. Overall, they all appear about the same, all appear to have 'satisfied' customers

In contrast, below is a recent SSI Net Promoter Score (NPS) benchmark study that has the scores for the retailers:

Kmart:                      29.8%

Target:                      5.9%

Big W:                      2.8%

Harris Scarfe:        - 21.0%

Which Measure?

The ranking of the retailers is the same in both studies, but which measure do you think provides more insight to action? The one where almost everyone has 90% ‘Satisfied Customers', or the one that uses a more meaning performance indicator in ‘Likelihood to Recommend’?

Maybe surprisingly, I don’t have a problem with asking either overall satisfaction or net promoter score (or both questions). The issue is the presentation of the answers and their subsequent usability.

What's more important?

a) A big sticker saying ‘No.1 Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Award’?

b) A measure that provides you with an opportunity to grow your business?

Measurement decisions are both art and science. All the figures above are technically correct, and which one you chose to focus on really depends on your objective. 

Do you want a sticker to use in advertising that says No.1? 

Or do you want to improve the customer experience and grow your business?

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