2016 Q3-4 Customer Value & Performance Gaps

Most customer surveys usually revolve around customer satisfaction or loyalty as the primary objective. However, another type of customer survey, based on what customers’ value most about a product or service, can be very useful in developing brand loyalty.

In one of the customer surveys we conducted, the objective was to rate the product attributes in terms of value, and secondly, to assess how the company performed for each attribute. The higher the value assigned to a particular attribute the greater the focus should be on the performance. In some situations a significant gap can exist between what customers value most and how a business performs in that area. For example, not meeting customer expectations in something that is valued as a 10 (most important) indicates an opportunity/problem that must be immediately addressed.

Once the performance gaps are identified, action plans can be created that will close those gaps over time. Gaps that fail to be closed will eventually lead to customers taking their business away. Finding out what customers’ value most is an integral part of measuring performance gaps.

Businesses should never assume they know what customers value most; if they do, they may be spending their limited resources on things of minimal value to customers. We recall a situation where a company invested a significant amount of capital in order to streamline a process thought important to customers, not knowing that the customer cared little about the assumed benefits. Rather, the company would have been better off broadening the product selection which is what customers really wanted.

Performing a customer value survey provides a systematic and customer focused approach to allocating resources more effectively.