What Do Customers Value?

Article

Gardner, Bob   (2001, ASQ)   Compris Technologies, Kennesaw, GA

Quality Progress    Vol. 34    No. 11
QICID: 15188    November 2001    pp. 41-48
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Article Abstract

Businesses frequently rely on customer surveys as a means of promoting an increased focus on customer outcomes and of stimulating improvements in the work practices and processes used within the company. Although customer surveys can be an invaluable tool, many fall short of expectations because they are built on faulty foundations. Customer surveys assume high levels of satisfaction translate into customer loyalty, when in actuality, the satisfaction response is more closely linked to a customer's perception of value received than it is to product or service attributes. Customer-perceived value is a relative concept. A customer may be satisfied with you and still leave if the competition offers relatively greater value. A five-phase system of metrics is described that enables understanding of the factors that determine customer perceptions of value, systematically measures these factors from the customer's perspective, and proactively manages the organizational outcomes that determine these factors. Discovering the customers' value system takes the organization out of the reactive mode of dealing solely with problems to being able to make decisions that expand and improve the customer/supplier relationship.

Keywords

Customer and market focus,Customer surveys,Customer retention,Customer loyalty


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