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The traditional first in line customer is an obvious candidate for measuring customer satisfaction.
The choice of a brand of cigarettes is very personal and it is clear who should be interviewed to find out satisfaction with those cigarettes.
But who should we interview to determine the satisfaction with breakfast cereal?
Finding that person in customer loyalty research may require a compromise with a focus on one person – the key decision maker; perhaps the transport manager in the example of the trucks.
If money and time permit, different people could be interviewed and this may involve different interviewing methods and different questions.
The sales teams’ Christmas card lists may well be the best lists of all but they are kept close to the chest of each sales person and not held on a central server.
Building a good sample frame nearly always takes longer than was planned but it is the foundation of a good customer satisfaction project.
Is it the person that buys the cereal (usually a parent) or the person that consumes it (often a child)?
And what of a complicated buying decision in a business to business situation.
The implications of customer satisfaction studies go far beyond the survey itself and will only be successful if fully supported by the echelons of senior management.
There are six parts to any customer satisfaction programme: Some products and services are chosen and consumed by individuals with little influence from others.