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Book Review

The Handbook of Customer Satisfaction


and Loyalty Measurement, 3rd edn
Nigel Hill and Jim Alexander
Gower Publishing Limited, Hampshire, 2006, ISBN: 0566 087448; pp. 273, £75.00

Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing (2007) 15, 277–278.
doi:10.1057/palgrave.jt.5750053

Customer satisfaction has been studied for instructions for conducting research in the B2B
decades by both academics and practitioners. Not and B2C markets. For instance, it is acceptable to
only is customer satisfaction itself a complicated use a tape recorder in B2C research, as one of the
construct to measure, but it also occurs at advantages is that nothing is missed. The authors
multiple levels in the organisation. The authors do not suggest using such a medium in the B2B
point out that ‘customer satisfaction measurement market, however, as managers may worry about
is about measuring how customers perceived your divulging sensitive information. Therefore, note-
performance as a supplier’. Therefore, customers taking would be appropriate in that situation.
may evaluate their satisfaction on the basis of the Exploratory research provides the organisation
contact person, the product, the overall service with more insights into the customers and
experience, the delivery and the organisation’s generates accurate measures of customer
image. satisfaction and loyalty. That is, it enables the
This book brings in a fashionable organisation to target the customers and ascertain
methodological concept — mixed methods. By the way they perceive the performance of that
using mixed methods (qualitative first, then organisation.
quantitative methods), the organisation can A step-by-step process leads readers through
accurately identify customer expectations and sampling, survey options and questionnaire design.
priorities, the difference between the two being It is vital to generate questions that enable
that customer priorities refer to the customer’s customers to give truthful answers rather than
needs. The authors draw upon the analogy of a responses they feel they ought to give. Moreover,
train journey to illustrate the priorities and needs the types of questions used in the questionnaire
of customers: is punctuality, seat availability or the may influence the response rate. For instance,
wide range of choice in the buffet car more customers may be reluctant to complete open
important for passengers? Although customer’s questions, which may result in inaccurate
priorities may differ in similar markets, identifying outcomes. Readers may use different methods
the relative importance of each factor of customer depending on the kind of information required. If
satisfaction is the main concern. comprehensive information is desired, personal
An exploratory study is an appropriate method interviews would be a good choice.
to discover these relative factors of customer The authors demonstrate several statistical
satisfaction. By conducting in-depth interviews techniques for analysing numerical (ie means and
or forming focus groups, the organisation is standard deviations) and verbal (ie frequency
able to clarify what these factors are and their distribution) scales, and how to present these
interrelationships. The authors provide various results in chart and table form. A combination of

© 2007 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 0967-3237 $30.00 Vol. 15, 4, 277–278 Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing 277
www.palgrave-journals.com/jt
Book Review

tables and charts yields an effective and efficient survey has been conducted in the B2B or B2C
way of depicting the results. In addition, the market. In this way, not only will customers
authors provide comprehensive guidelines for perceive that the organisations value their
reporting and making internal presentations, customers, but customers’ perceptions of the
starting with an introduction that is followed by organisations may also be modified. The report
sampling, research methodology, survey results provides another opportunity for the organisations
and priorities for improvements (PFIs). to highlight their successes. The book provides
There are many surveys conducted everyday, very good advice for both academic researchers
everywhere. In general, customers receive at least and practitioners.
one or two different types of questionnaire with
different purposes each day. The most important
thing is to share the results with customers as Chiao-Yun Connie Chang
soon as possible, irrespective of whether the Warwick Business School, UK

278 Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing Vol. 15, 4, 277–278 © 2007 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 0967-3237 $30.00