Fast Forward Series

Customer Satisfaction: A Strategic Review and Guidelines for Managers

Vikas Mittal and Carly Frennea, 2010, 10-701

Superior customer satisfaction provides a clear strategic advantage and an inimitable resource for a firm—particularly in today’s complex and often uncertain markets.  Two decades of academic research has quantified the impact of customer satisfaction on a number of beneficial customer behaviors and consequent financial performance. It is clear that firms that manage their customers as well as costs realize greater financial returns compared to firms who ignore customer satisfaction.

In this Fast Forward report, we provide a strategic overview of this research to enable managers to use customer satisfaction in the strategic planning process of their firm. After defining customer satisfaction, we discuss how customer satisfaction is measured and analyzed, provide an overview of research on antecedents and outcomes of customer satisfaction, and offer recommendations for managers on how to achieve a successful customer-focused strategy.
—Vikas Mittal, Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine, and Carly Frennea, Rice University


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