How to stop culture skewing loyalty survey results

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on March 2, 2007

As more companies expand their operations globally, there is a growing need for a more thorough understanding of cross-cultural customer loyalty measurements with the aim of developing higher quality customer experiences across not only multiple channels but also multiple countries, according to on-demand loyalty software provider Satmetrix Systems.

In response, the company has set up a multi-national database for customer loyalty benchmarking, developed for companies that need to compare customer loyalty scores and practices across a range of geographical regions. The database was based on findings from company's research report, entitled 'Neutralising Cultural Response Bias on Customer Loyalty Surveys'.

Multi-national goals to be set
According to the report, such multi-national companies will also need to set relevant goals for customer loyalty improvement. Whatever the objective, conducting a comparative analysis across countries requires external benchmarks to clarify whether differences in customer loyalty scores reflect real differences in performance or variations in customer response patterns caused by cultural response bias.

For example, among the findings highlighted in the underlying research report:

  • Customers in Japan rate their customer satisfaction and loyalty lower than in most other countries.
  • Customers in Latin America tend to rate their customer satisfaction and loyalty higher than in other regions.
  • Customers in the Middle East tend to rate their customer satisfaction and loyalty higher than other European and Asian customers.

Loyalty surveys depend on culture
"Without a mechanism to distinguish true performance differences from cultural response bias, comparisons of survey results across countries or regions can lead to inaccurate results and compromise the ability of decision-makers to confidently act on the data," explained Dr Laura Brooks, co-developer of Net Promoter and vice president of research and consulting at Satmetrix.

Brooks warned that companies that operate in multiple countries need to better understand how cultural factors influence customer survey responses, taking into account those differences when analysing and acting on customer feedback.

The new Satmetrix Cross Cultural Benchmark provides a loyalty score assessment that effectively neutralises cultural response bias by keeping the loyalty score comparison within the cultural confines of one country.

Supported benchmarks
Benchmarks are available for the Net Promoter Score (NPS), the Satmetrix Customer Loyalty Index (CLI), Likelihood to Recommend, and Overall Satisfaction. This approach, the company says, enables companies to diagnose when customer loyalty performance is inside or outside preset boundaries for the local cultural context, and prompting calls for action that otherwise might be missed.

A white paper covering the report's findings and best practices has been made available for free download from the Satmetrix web site - click here.

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