Providing a superior customer experience and having a band of happy customers has not only become a crucial barometer of a company’s success. It’s also a major differentiating factor for consumers choosing who to spend their hard-earned money with.
Customer happiness is typically captured with customer satisfaction (CSAT) and Net Promoter Scores (NPS) measures. But research from Harvard Business Review shows that these ”fail to tell companies what customers really think and feel, and can even mask serious problems.”
One of the reasons for this is if we look at the concept of happiness in business terms, it’s measured largely on emotion. But emotions exist subconsciously and passively. So asking a customer to rate their satisfaction at a certain point in time barely scratches the surface behind how and why they feel like that.
Take for example a customer’s poor satisfaction rating for a product because they dislike elements of the advertising campaign. Or the influencer the company is collaborating with. The satisfaction score may have very little to do with the actual product itself. But the survey wouldn’t account for this or other external factors that could potentially impact their happiness.
If the customers’ happiness analysis took account of their behaviour and patterns, the real reason behind their poor satisfaction rating would be clear. This approach combines the quantitative aspect of emotion with the qualitative perspective of social sciences, specifically sociology.
Can we really rely on the accuracy of results from standard satisfaction surveys like these? And if not what’s the alternative?