- New study from Handelshochschule Leipzig (HHL) and zenloop: 75 percent of the companies systematically record customer satisfaction, with the Net Promoter System being the most widespread at 54 percent.
- More than half of the companies value written customer feedback manually, 29 percent use simple algorithms, twelve percent use artificial intelligence
- Customer feedback will primarily for product & service improvement (64 percent) and for better customer orientation (54 percent).
The study shows that the vast majority of the companies surveyed (75 percent) currently use a method to measure customer satisfaction – most frequently the Net Promoter System (54 percent), followed by traditional market research (34 percent). Use of the Satisfaction measurement depends on the size and age of the company as well as on the business model and the industry. Among companies that are 50 years or older, 82 percent measure customer satisfaction, and in very large companies (> 50,000 employees) it is as much as 96 percent.
The smaller the company, the lower this proportion. With regard to business models, it can be seen that end customer-oriented industries (B2C, B2P) in particular systematically address the issue of customer satisfaction (85 percent and 82 percent respectively), whereas “business-to-business” companies neglect the issue more – here only 65 percent measure the Customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction: manual evaluation of customer feedback
The measurement of customer satisfaction is very different within the industries: Almost all companies in the energy and water supply (100 percent, n = 8), pharmaceutical and health care (89 percent, n = 9) industries carry out a customer satisfaction measurement. In contrast, the measurement is less common in (online) retail (62 percent, n = 101) and the media and telecommunications industry (56 percent, n = 36).
In order to obtain detailed information on the components of customer satisfaction or to determine the drivers of satisfaction, companies often use follow-up questions in addition to the quantitative survey of satisfaction, for example with the NPS score Dimensions of satisfaction such as response speed, friendliness, quality. Of the companies surveyed here, 66 percent use follow-up questions to measure satisfaction.
20 percent of the companies use additional selection questions (“multiple choice questions”) to find out about satisfaction and its drivers, 46 percent ask their customers for more information using an open text field. The majority of the companies surveyed still use a manual evaluation (53 percent). This means that the companies read the individual statements (or have them read) and possibly categorize them (for example using so-called coders). This manual text evaluation is definitely valid and allows the recording of the finest linguistic nuances, but it is very time-consuming.
Product & service improvement as well as customer orientation as main goals
When asked how the information from the customer satisfaction measurement is used, 64 percent of the companies surveyed said they were improving their products and services. Also general goals like that Strengthening customer orientation (54 percent) or the Control of the company (43 percent) play an important role. Only a small part of the companies use the satisfaction measurement to identify certain customers – regardless of whether they are dissatisfied (34 percent) or enthusiastic (24 percent). 8 percent of the companies (ie almost 30 of the 325 respondents) do not use the results of the satisfaction measurement in any way.
“Companies deal very differently with the possibilities that measuring instruments offer them to satisfy their customers,” explains Prof. Dr. Erik Maier, who researches and teaches at the Handelshochschule Leipzig (HHL) for trade and multi-channel management. “It is true that the majority of companies take measurements of customer satisfaction in order to improve their products and services and for greater customer orientation. However, it is only a minority of companies that actively identify satisfied or dissatisfied customers and address them in a personalized manner, although this is where the greatest potential would be. ”
On the methodology of the study
The study is based on an online survey of 325 participants who were recruited in July 2020 via a professional social network. Almost 90 percent of the companies in which the respondents worked are based in Germany, half of them work in the B2B and B2C sectors. Around a quarter of those surveyed work in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with fewer than 250 employees, most of the companies surveyed had 250 to 1,000 employees (26 percent). Only nine percent of young companies and start-ups (under 5 years old) took part in the survey. Most of the companies surveyed have existed for a long time, the majority for more than 25 years (54 percent).
In terms of industries, (online) retail is particularly well represented (31 percent), but far more than 30 people each took part from other industries (media and telecommunications sector with eleven percent). One third of the participants were members of the management or board of the respective company, another 45 percent worked in senior management. Most of the respondents worked in marketing (27 percent) and sales and corporate development (27 percent).
The Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL) is characterized by excellent teaching, clear research orientation and practical transfer as well as an extraordinary service for its students. The renowned Global Masters in Management Ranking 2020 by the Financial Times gives the training at the Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL) top positions in Europe and the world (2nd place in Germany, 23rd worldwide).
zenloop is an integrated experience management platform. The SaaS solution automatically collects customer feedback via various channels along the entire customer journey, analyzes and clusters it with the help of artificial intelligence and derives tailor-made and personalized measures in order to retain satisfied customers and win back dissatisfied customers. The company was founded in 2016 by the two Flaconi founders Björn Kolbmüller and Paul Schwarzenholz as well as Lukasz Lazewski. (sg)
Also read: Customer Journey Management: Focus on customer decisions