Customer satisfaction surveys don’t translate to increased sales

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

21 May 2009

Why customer satisfaction does not matter all that much

Research is often very misleading because, more often than not, we ask the wrong questions and instead find ways to perpetuate our own preconceived notions about what the world should be like. This is very different than what the world is really like. How important is customer satisfaction?

My job here at Stealing Share is to spend much more time on the latter than the former. If you want to increase your preference then you need to change your paradigm.

I just finished reading an article about a new study that found “For the second straight year, Cadillac ranks highest among new car owners, taking the Highest Satisfaction Brand honors even with the turmoil surrounding General Motors and the industry as a whole. Hyundai won the “Rising Star” award for the biggest jump, leaping over 11 other brands to sit in the top five for the first time.”

So, compare the study with brand and vehicle popularity and it doesn’t take much to understand this foolishness is simply a waste of money. You have to look through peep-stones to find any correlation between these findings and popular sales.

What does this mean? Well, it means there is plenty of opportunity for companies not stuck on conventional wisdom and instead are looking to grow market share at the expense of the competition. I promise you, if you continue to look at your business through the tinted glasses of parochial viewpoints and self-serving criteria, you will end up believing, as banks do, that the only real differentiation is convenience and the way to grow market share is to build more branches.

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