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Measure and Manage Customer Satisfaction Metrics That Matter the Most

Understand what truly keeps your customer satisfied. Measure what matters to improve customer experience and increase satisfaction and advocacy. 

  • Lack of understanding of what is truly driving customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
  • Lack of insight into who our satisfied and dissatisfied customers are.
  • Lack of a system for early detection of declines in satisfaction.
  • Lack of clarity on what to improve and how resources should be allocated.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • All software companies measure satisfaction in some way, but many lack understanding of what’s truly driving customers to stay or leave. By understanding the true drivers of satisfaction, solution providers can measure and monitor satisfaction more effectively, pull actionable insights and feedback, and make changes to products and services that customers really care about and will keep them coming back to you to have their needs met.
  • Obstacles:
    • Use of metrics that don’t provide the insight needed to make impactful changes that will boost satisfaction and ultimately, retention and profit.
    • Lack of a clear definition of what satisfaction means to customers, metric definitions and/or standard methods of measurement, and a consistent monitoring cadence.

Impact and Result

  • Understanding of who your satisfied and dissatisfied customers are.
  • Understanding of the true drivers of satisfaction and dissatisfaction among your customer segments.
  • Establishment of a repeatable process and cadence for effective satisfaction measurement and monitoring.
  • Development of an executable customer satisfaction improvement plan that identifies customer journey pain points and areas of dissatisfaction, and outlines how to improve them.
  • Knowledge of where money, time, and other resources are needed most to improve satisfaction levels and ultimately increase retention.

Measure and Manage Customer Satisfaction Metrics That Matter the Most Research & Tools

1. Measure and Manage the Customer Satisfaction Metrics that Matter the Most Deck – An overview of how to understand what drives customer satisfaction and how to measure and manage it for improved business outcomes.

Understand the true drivers of customer satisfaction and build a process for managing and improving customer satisfaction.

This executive brief will help you understand the true drivers of satisfaction for your customers, what metrics to measure and monitor, and develop a plan for how to improve satisfaction.


Measure and Manage the Customer Satisfaction Metrics that Matter the Most

Understand what truly keeps your customer satisfied. Start to measure what matters to improve customer experience and increase satisfaction and advocacy. 

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

Analyst perspective

Understanding and measuring the true drivers of satisfaction enable the delivery of real customer value

The image contains a picture of Emily Wright.

“Healthy customer relationships are the paramount to long-term growth. When customers are satisfied, they remain loyal, spend more, and promote your company to others in their network. The key to high satisfaction is understanding and measuring the true drivers of satisfaction to enable the delivery of real customer value.

Most companies believe they know who their satisfied customers are and what keeps them satisfied, and 76% of B2B buyers expect that providers understand their unique needs (Salesforce Research, 2020). However, on average B2B companies have customer experience scores of less than 50% (McKinsey, 2016). This disconnect between customer expectations and provider experience indicates that businesses are not effectively measuring and monitoring satisfaction and therefore are not making meaningful enhancements to their service, offerings, and overall experience.

By focusing on the underlying drivers of customer satisfaction, organizations develop a truly accurate picture of what is driving deep satisfaction and loyalty, ensuring that their company will achieve sustainable growth and stay competitive in a highly competitive market.”

Emily Wright

Senior Research Analyst, Advisory

SoftwareReviews

Executive summary

Your Challenge

Common Obstacles

SoftwareReviews’ Approach

Getting a truly accurate picture of satisfaction levels among customers, and where to focus efforts to improve satisfaction, is challenging. Providers often find themselves reacting to customer challenges and being blindsided when customers leave. More effective customer satisfaction measurement is possible when providers self-assess for the following challenges:

  • Lack of understanding of what is truly driving customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.
  • Lack of insight into who our satisfied and dissatisfied customers are.
  • Lack of a system for early detection of declines in satisfaction.
  • Lack of clarity of what needs to be improved and how resources should be allocated.
  • Lack of reliable internal data for effective customer satisfaction monitoring.

What separates customer success leaders from developing a full view of their customers are several nagging obstacles:

  • Use of metrics that don’t provide the insight needed to make impactful changes that will boost satisfaction and ultimately, retention and profit.
  • Friction from customers participating in customer satisfaction studies.
  • Lack of data, or integrated databases from which to track, pull, and analyze customer satisfaction data.
  • Lack a clear definition of what satisfaction means to customers, metric definitions, and/or standard methods of measurement and a consistent monitoring cadence.
  • Lack of time, resources, or technology to uncover and effectively measure and monitor satisfaction drivers.

Through the SoftwareReviews’ approach, customer success leaders will:

  • Understand who your satisfied and dissatisfied customers are.
  • Understand the true drivers of satisfaction and dissatisfaction among your customer segments.
  • Establish a repeatable process and cadence for effective satisfaction measurement and monitoring.
  • Develop an executable customer satisfaction improvement plan that identifies customer journey pain points and areas of dissatisfaction, and outlines how to improve them.
  • Know where money, time, and resources are needed most to improve satisfaction levels and ultimately retention.

Overarching SoftwareReviews Advisory Insight:

All companies measure satisfaction in some way, but many lack understanding of what’s truly driving customers to stay or leave. By understanding the true drivers of satisfaction, solution providers can measure and monitor satisfaction more effectively, pull actionable insights and feedback, and make changes to products and services that customers really care about. This will keep them coming back to you to have their needs met.

Healthy Customer Relationships are vital for long-term success and growth

Measuring customer satisfaction is critical to understanding the overall health of your customer relationships and driving growth.

Through effective customer satisfaction measurement, organizations can:

Improve Customer Experience

Increase Retention and CLV

Increase Profitability

Reduce Costs

  • Provide insight into where and how to improve.
  • Enhance experience, increase loyalty.
  • By providing strong CX, organizations can increase revenue by 10-15% (McKinsey, 2014).
  • Far easier to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones.
  • Ensuring high satisfaction among customers increases Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) through longer tenure and higher spending.
  • NPS Promoter score has a customer lifetime value that's 600%-1,400% higher than a Detractor (Bain & Company, 2015).
  • Highly satisfied customers spend more through expansions and add-ons, as well as through their long tenure with your company.
  • They also spread positive word of mouth, which brings in new customers.
  • “Studies demonstrate a strong correlation between customer satisfaction and increased profits — with companies with high customer satisfaction reporting 5.7 times more revenue than competitors.” (Matthew Loper, CEO and Co-Founder of WELLTH, 2022)
  • Measuring, monitoring, and maintaining high satisfaction levels reduces costs across the board.
  • “Providing a high-quality customer experience can save up to 33% of customer service costs” (Deloitte, 2018).
  • Satisfied customers are more likely to spread positive word of mouth which reduces acquisition / marketing costs for your company.

“Measuring customer satisfaction is vital for growth in any organization; it provides insights into what works and offers opportunities for optimization. Customer satisfaction is essential for improving loyalty rate, reducing costs and retaining your customers.”

-Ken Brisco, NICE, 2019

Poor customer satisfaction measurement is costly

Virtually all companies measure customer satisfaction, but few truly do it well. All too often, customer satisfaction measurement consists of a set of vanity metrics that do not result in actionable insight for product/service improvement. Improper measurement can result in numerous consequences:

Direct and Indirect Costs

Being unaware of true drivers of satisfaction that are never remedied costs your business directly through customer churn, service costs, etc.

Tarnished Brand

Tarnished brand through not resolving issues drives dissatisfaction; dissatisfied customers share their negative experiences, which can damage brand image and reputation.

Waste Limited Resources

Putting limited resources towards vanity programs and/or fixes that have little to no bearing on core satisfaction drivers wastes time and money.

“When customer dissatisfaction goes unnoticed, it can slowly kill a company. Because of the intangible nature of customer dissatisfaction, managers regularly underestimate the magnitude of customer dissatisfaction and its impact on the bottom line.”

- Lakshmiu Tatikonda, “The Hidden Costs of Customer Dissatisfaction”, 2013

SoftwareReviews Advisory Insight:

Most companies struggle to understand what’s truly driving customers to stay or leave. By understanding the true satisfaction drivers, tech providers can measure and monitor satisfaction more effectively, avoiding the numerous harmful consequences that result from average customer satisfaction measurement.

Does your customer satisfaction measurement process need improvement?

Getting an accurate picture of customer satisfaction is no easy task. Struggling with any of the following means you are ready for a detailed review of your customer satisfaction measurement efforts:

  • Not knowing who your most satisfied customers are.
  • Lacking early detection for declining satisfaction – either reactive, or unaware of dissatisfaction as it’s occurring.
  • Lacking a process for monitoring changes in satisfaction and lack ability to be proactive; you feel blindsided when customers leave.
  • Inability to fix the problem and wasting money on the wrong areas, like vanity metrics that don’t bring value to customers.
  • Spending money and other resources towards fixes based on a gut feeling, without quantifying the real root cause drivers and investing in their improvement.
  • Having metrics and data but lacking context; don’t know what contributed to the metrics/results, why people are dissatisfied or what contributes to satisfaction.
  • Lacking clear definition of what satisfaction means to customers / customer segments.
  • Difficulty tying satisfaction back to financial results.

Customers are more satisfied with software vendors who understand the difference between surface level and short-term satisfaction, and deep or long-term satisfaction

Surface-level satisfaction

Surface-level satisfaction has immediate effects, but they are usually short-term or limited to certain groups of users. There are several factors that contribute to satisfaction including:

  • Novelty of new software
  • Ease of implementation
  • Financial savings
  • Breadth of features

Software Leaders Drive Deep Satisfaction

Deep satisfaction has long-term and meaningful impacts on the way that organizations work. Deep satisfaction has staying power and increases or maintains satisfaction over time, by reducing complexity and delivering exceptional quality for end-users and IT alike. This report found that the following capabilities provided the deepest levels of satisfaction:

  • Usability and intuitiveness
  • Quality of features
  • Ease of customization
  • Vendor-specific capabilities

The above solve issues that are part of everyday problems, and each drives satisfaction in deep and meaningful ways. While surface-level satisfaction is important, deep and impactful capabilities can sustain satisfaction for a longer time.

Deep Customer Satisfaction Among Software Buyers Correlates Highly to “Emotional Attributes”

Vendor Capabilities and Product Features remain significant but are not the primary drivers

The image contains a graph to demonstrate a correlation to Satisfaction, all Software Categories.
Source: SoftwareReviews buyer reviews (based on 82,560 unique reviews).

Driving deep satisfaction among software customers vs. surface-level measures is key

Vendor capabilities and product features correlate significantly to buyer satisfaction

Yet, it’s the emotional attributes – what we call the “Emotional Footprint”, that correlate more strongly

Business-Value Created and Emotional Attributes are what drives software customer satisfaction the most

The image contains a screenshot of a graph to demonstrate Software Buyer Satisfaction Drivers and Emotional Attributes are what drives software customer satisfaction.

Software companies looking to improve customer satisfaction will focus on business value created and the Emotional Footprint attributes outlined here.

The essential ingredient is understanding how each is defined by your customers.

Leaders focus on driving improvements as described by customers.

SoftwareReviews Insight:

These true drivers of satisfaction should be considered in your customer satisfaction measurement and monitoring efforts. The experience customers have with your product and brand is what will differentiate your brand from competitors, and ultimately, power business growth. Talk to a SoftwareReviews Advisor to learn how users rate your product on these satisfaction drivers in the SoftwareReviews Emotional Footprint Report.

Benefits of Effective Customer Satisfaction Measurement

Our research provides Customer Success leaders with the following key benefits:

  • Ability to know who is satisfied, dissatisfied, and why.
  • Confidence in how to understand or uncover the factors behind customer satisfaction; understand and identify factors driving satisfaction, dissatisfaction.
  • Ability to develop a clear plan for improving customer satisfaction.
  • Knowledge of how to establish a repeatable process for customer satisfaction measurement and monitoring that allows for proactivity when declines in satisfaction are detected.
  • Understanding of what metrics to use, how to measure them, and where to find the right information/data.
  • Knowledge of where money, time, and other resources are needed most to drive tangible customer value.

“81% of organizations cite CX as a competitive differentiator. The top factor driving digital transformation is improving CX […] with companies reporting benefits associated with improving CX including:

  • Increased customer loyalty (92%)
  • An uplift in revenue (84%)
  • Cost savings (79%).”

– Dan Cote, “Advocacy Blooms and Business Booms When Customers and Employees Engage”, Influitive, 2021

The image contains a screenshot of a thought model that focuses on Measure & Manage the Customer Satisfaction Metrics That Matter the Most.

Who benefits from improving the measurement and monitoring of customer satisfaction?

This Research Is Designed for:

  • Customer Success leaders and marketers who are:
    • Responsible for understanding how to benchmark, measure, and understand customer satisfaction to improve satisfaction, NPS, and ROI.
    • Looking to take a more proactive and structured approach to customer satisfaction measurement and monitoring.
    • Looking for a more effective and accurate way to measure and understand how to improve customer satisfaction around products and services.

This Research Will Help You:

  • Understand the factors driving satisfaction and dissatisfaction.
  • Know which customers are satisfied/dissatisfied.
  • Know where time, money, and resources are needed the most in order to improve or maintain satisfaction levels.
  • Develop a formal plan to improve customer satisfaction.
  • Establish a repeatable process for customer satisfaction measurement and monitoring that allows for proactivity when declines in satisfaction are detected.

This Research Will Also Assist:

  • Customer Success Leaders, Marketing and Sales Directors and Managers, Product Marketing Managers, and Advocacy Managers/Coordinators who are responsible for:
    • Product improvements and enhancements
    • Customer service and onboarding
    • Customer advocacy programs
    • Referral/VoC programs

This Research Will Help Them:

  • Coordinate and align on customer experience efforts and actions.
  • Gather and make use of customer feedback to improve products, solutions, and services provided.
  • Provide an amazing customer experience throughout the entirety of the customer journey.

SoftwareReviews’ methodology for measuring the customer satisfaction metrics that matter the most

1. Identify true customer satisfaction drivers

2. Develop metrics dashboard

3. Develop customer satisfaction measurement and management plan

Phase Steps

  1. Identify data sources, documenting any gaps in data
  2. Analyze all relevant data on customer experiences and outcomes
  3. Document top satisfaction drivers
  1. Identify business goals, problems to be solved / define business challenges and marketing/customer success goals
  2. Use SR diagnostic to assess current state of satisfaction measurement, assessing metric alignment to satisfaction drivers
  3. Define your metrics dashboard
  4. Develop common metric definitions, language for discussing, and standards for measuring customer satisfaction
  1. Determine committee structure to measure performance metrics over time
  2. Map out gaps in satisfaction along customer journey/common points in journey where customers are least dissatisfied
  3. Build plan that identifies weak areas and shows how to fix using SR’s emotional footprint, other measures
  4. Create plan and roadmap for CSat improvement
  5. Create communication deck

Phase Outcomes

  1. Documented satisfaction drivers
  2. Documented data sources and gaps in data
  1. Current state customer satisfaction measurement analysis
  2. Common metric definitions and measurement standards
  3. Metrics dashboard
  1. Customer satisfaction measurement plan
  2. Customer satisfaction improvement plan
  3. Customer journey maps
  4. Customer satisfaction improvement communication deck
  5. Customer Satisfaction Committee created

Insight summary

Understanding and measuring the true drivers of satisfaction enable the delivery of real customer value

All software companies measure satisfaction in some way, but many lack understanding of what’s truly driving customers to stay or leave. By understanding the true drivers of satisfaction, solution providers can measure and monitor satisfaction more effectively, pull actionable insights and feedback, and make changes to products and services that customers really care about and which will keep them coming back to you to have their needs met.

Positive experiences drive satisfaction more so than features and cost

According to our analysis of software buyer reviews data*, the biggest drivers of satisfaction and likeliness to recommend are the positive experiences customers have with vendors and their products. Customers want to feel that:

  1. Their productivity and performance is enhanced, and the vendor is helping them innovate and grow as a company.
  2. Their vendor inspires them and helps them to continually improve.
  3. They can rely on the vendor and the product they purchased.
  4. They are respected by the vendor.
  5. They can trust that the vendor will be on their side and save them time.
*8 million data points across all software categories

Measure Key Relationship KPIs to gauge satisfaction

Key metrics to track include the Business Value Created score, Net Emotional Footprint, and the Love/Hate score (the strength of emotional connection).

Orient the organization around customer experience excellence

  1. Arrange staff incentives around customer value instead of metrics that are unrelated to satisfaction.
  2. Embed customer experience as a core company value and integrate it into all functions.
  3. Make working with your organization easy and seamless for customers.

Have a designated committee for customer satisfaction measurement

Best in class organizations create customer satisfaction committees that meet regularly to measure and monitor customer satisfaction, resolve issues quickly, and work towards improved customer experience and profit outcomes.

Use metrics that align to top satisfaction drivers

This will give you a more accurate and fulsome view of customer satisfaction than standard satisfaction metrics alone will.

Guided Implementation

What is our GI on measuring and managing the customer satisfaction metrics that matter most?

Identify True Customer Satisfaction Drivers

Develop Metrics Dashboard Develop Customer Satisfaction Measurement and Management Plan

Call #1: Discuss current pain points and barriers to successful customer satisfaction measurement, monitoring and maintenance. Plan next call – 1 week.

Call #2: Discuss all available data, noting any gaps. Develop plan to fill gaps, discuss feasibility and timelines. Plan next call – 1 week.

Call #3: Walk through SoftwareReviews reports to understand EF and satisfaction drivers. Plan next call – 3 days.

Call #4: Segment customers and document key satisfaction drivers. Plan next call – 2 week.

Call #5: Document business goals and align them to metrics. Plan next call – 1 week.

Call #6: Complete the SoftwareReviews satisfaction measurement diagnostic. Plan next call – 3 days.

Call #7: Score list of metrics that align to satisfaction drivers. Plan next call – 2 days.

Call #8: Develop metrics dashboard and definitions. Plan next call – 2 weeks.

Call #9: Finalize metrics dashboard and definitions. Plan next call – 1 week.

Call #10: Discuss committee and determine governance. Plan next call – 2 weeks.

Call #11: Map out gaps in satisfaction along customer journey as they relate to top satisfaction drivers. Plan next call –2 weeks.

Call #12: Develop plan and roadmap for satisfaction improvement. Plan next call – 1 week.

Call #13: Finalize plan and roadmap. Plan next call – 1 week.

Call # 14: Review and coach on communication deck.

A Guided Implementation (GI) is series of calls with a SoftwareReviews Advisory analyst to help implement our best practices in your organization.

For guidance on marketing applications, we can arrange a discussion with an Info-Tech analyst.

Your engagement managers will work with you to schedule analyst calls.

Software Reviews offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

Guided Implementation

Workshop

Consulting

“Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful.” “Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track.” “We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place.” “Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project.”
Included within Advisory Membership Optional add-ons

Bibliography

“Are you experienced?” Bain & Company, Apr. 2015. Accessed 6 June. 2022.

Brisco, Ken. “Measuring Customer Satisfaction and Why It’s So Important.” NICE, Feb. 2019. Accessed 6 June. 2022.

CMO.com Team. “The Customer Experience Management Mandate.” Adobe Experience Cloud Blog, July 2019. Accessed 14 June. 2022.

Cote, Dan. “Advocacy Blooms and Business Booms When Customers and Employees Engage.” Influitive, Dec. 2021. Accessed 15 June. 2022.

Fanderl, Harald and Perrey, Jesko. “Best of both worlds: Customer experience for more revenues and lower costs.” McKinsey & Company, Apr. 2014. Accessed 15 June. 2022.

Gallemard, Jeremy. “Why – And How – Should Customer Satisfaction Be Measured?” Smart Tribune, Feb. 2020. Accessed 6 June. 2022.

Kumar, Swagata. “Customer Success Statistics in 2021.” Customer Success Box, 2021. Accessed 17 June. 2022.

Lakshmiu Tatikonda, “The Hidden Costs of Customer Dissatisfaction”, Management Accounting Quarterly, vol. 14, no. 3, 2013, pp 38. Accessed 17 June. 2022.

Loper, Matthew. “Why ‘Customer Satisfaction’ Misses the Mark – And What to Measure Instead.” Newsweek, Jan. 2022. Accessed 16 June. 2022.

Maechler, Nicolas, et al. “Improving the business-to-business customer experience.” McKinsey & Company, Mar. 2016. Accessed 16 June.

“New Research from Dimension Data Reveals Uncomfortable CX Truths.” CISION PR Newswire, Apr. 2017. Accessed 7 June. 2022.

Sheth, Rohan. 75 Must-Know Customer Experience Statistics to move Your Business Forward in 2022.” SmartKarrot, Feb. 2022. Accessed 17 June. 2022.

Smith, Mercer. “111 Customer Service Statistics and Facts You Shouldn’t Ignore.” HelpScout, May 2022. Accessed 17 June. 2022.

“State of the Connected Customer.” Salesforce, 2020. Accessed 14 June. 2022

“The true value of customer experiences.” Deloitte, 2018. Accessed 15 June. 2022.

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  • Call #1 - Understand the true drivers of customer satisfaction and build a process for managing and improving customer satisfaction.

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