Entries by Fred Van Bennekom

Making the Case for Service Recovery Strategies — Customer Retention

The goal of service recovery is to identify customers with issues and then to address those issues to the customers’ satisfaction to promote customer retention. However, service recovery doesn’t just happen. It is a systematic business process that must be designed properly and implemented in an organization. Perhaps more importantly, the organizational culture must be supportive of the central tenant of service recovery strategies — that customers are important and their voice has value.

Misleading (or Lying) With Survey Statistics

Survey questionnaire design has a critical impact on the value of the data generated by the survey program. The survey scale design in particular can skew the responses generated to create almost perfect “top box scores.” This article examines the Ritz Carlton survey, a transactional survey, and shows how the scale design impacts the value of the findings.

Bribes, Incentives, and Video Tape (er, Response Bias)

Incentives are part of virtually every email request to take a survey. Recently, I saw this taken to its logical extreme. I was blatantly offered a bribe to give high scores. This article will cover the pros and cons of incentives. Incentives are a two-edged sword. But this experience highlights in the extreme the risks to validity inherent in offering incentives. Are the data real?

Service Recovery at United Airlines

Effective service recovery at airlines should be second nature given how much practice they get, but at United, the bromides were plentiful, but meaningful explanations were sorely lacking. This article examines United’s service recovery efforts in the contexts of a service recovery model.

Employees Strike in Support of a CEO?

Employees strike against CEOs all the time, but have you ever heard of employees going on strike in support of a CEO? Employees at the Market Basket supermarket chain in greater Boston have done just that in support of Arthur T. Demoulas, and customers are supporting the boycott. This is an odd event.

Effortless Experience: Statistical Errors

The book “The Effortless Experience” presents impressive sounding statistics to show that the Customer Effort Score is a good predictor of customer loyalty. But should we believe the statistics? The authors use generous interpretations of some statistics and appear to perform some outright wrong statistical analyses. The mistakes cast doubt upon all the statistics in the study. This is the final review page of the book.

Effortless Experience: Questionnaire Design & Survey Administration Issues

The book “The Effortless Experience” posits that the Customer Effort Score is a good predictor of customer loyalty. This part of the review addresses the shortcomings of the research execution. The description of the survey execution leaves many unanswered questions, and any of these issues would seriously compromise the validity of the research data. By their own admission, the researchers do not know how to write good survey questions, but the issues go far beyond that.

Effortless Experience: Weak & Flawed Research Model

The book “The Effortless Experience” claims that the Customer Effort Score (CES) is a good predictor of customer loyalty. This part of the review addresses the shortcomings of the research model. Since the research model does not include measurements of actual customer loyalty behaviors, that greatly weakens claims that CES is a good predictor of loyalty.