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Offering the

Customer Satisfaction Measurement Index (CSMI)

The Customer Satisfaction Measurement Index (CSMI) is a breakthrough tool available to help you achieve world-class customer satisfaction. The CSMI is a custom designed evaluation package which provides you with current performance benchmarks and helps your organization set specific goals to move toward improved customer satisfaction.

Assessment Technologies Plus administers the CSMI survey to your customers. We analyze the results and return a comprehensive performance evaluation. The report zeros in on your organizationís customer satisfaction strengths and weaknesses, giving comparisons between company and customer perceptions of the satisfaction criteria, and then recommends appropriate courses of action to realign company policies to customer requirements.

The CSMI is a four phased approach which leads to improved customer satisfaction.

Briefly, these phases are:

Phase I: Internal Baselining

Step 1. Determine what your organization considers are the criteria important to satisfy its customers.

Step 2. Determine how well your organization believes they are meeting those criteria.


First, with the aid of your company, we develop a questionnaire which will be administered both internally to your organization and externally to your customers. The internal questionnaire will identify those criteria which your company feels are important to customer satisfaction. They will then rate themselves on how well they are meeting those criteria.


Phase II: Customer Baselining

Step 3. Determine what your customers identify as the most important customer satisfaction criteria from their perspective.

Step 4. Determine how well the customers rate your organization on those criteria.


The criteria identified by your organization are then used in a questionnaire sent to the your customers for them to rate and to confirm or deny that those criteria are the most important to them as customers. Additional space will be provided for customers to add areas which you may have overlooked.


Phase III: Comparison and Evaluation

Step 5 Identify the differences between what your organization and your customers identify as the important criteria.


Step 6. Develop a framework to align organization and customer satisfaction criteria and include recommendations of how to accomplish the alignment.


The heart of the CSMI comes from the comparison of how well the client and customer criteria match. High corporate performance on a criteria which the customer rates as not important (you rate criteria high, customer rates it low) is a finding which is just as significant as one where both your company and your customer rate the same criteria high. See Figure 1.


Step 6 may or may not be necessary depending on the divergence between identification of criteria importance and performance. If both client and customer agree on the criteria, then it is just a matter of doing better on the most important of those criteria. If, however, there is significant disparity between what your organization and the customer feel are important, then a plan must be developed to change the your organizationís view of customer satisfaction, the criteria, and their measurement systems.


Phase IV: Corrective Action

Step 7. If necessary, segment your organizationís customer groups through a pareto-type analysis.

Step 8 Design the customer satisfaction policies necessary to implement the correct customer service standards.


Step 9. Remeasure after appropriate time, continually updating and improving organizational performance and customer satisfaction.


Most agree that all customers are not alike and should not necessarily be afforded the same level of customer satisfaction. Step 7 suggests that your organization must look at each customer to determine what level of customer satisfaction is appropriate. One or more groups of customers will fall out by using a pareto-type analysis done on levels of customers and satisfaction levels. It will be incumbent upon your organization to determine the classification criteria used to differentiate your customers into these different categories.


Following the identification of customer segments (as necessary) the appropriate customer service policies must be established. Step 8 suggests that if existing policies are already in place, they should be reviewed based on the results of the CSMI and the customer segmentation done in the previous steps.


In order to ensure continuous improvement in customer satisfaction, the CSMI should be administered periodically over the next few years. This will measure any changes in customer satisfaction criteria and provide your company a measure of effectiveness of changed customer satisfaction policies.


The CSMI is a custom-designed product which can be tailored to give any level of detail desired. Individual analysis and breakout reports of groups of data can be requested depending on the number and groups of customers. For example, if your company has two major groups of customers which are provided with the same 6 product lines, the CSMI can provide analyses in several ways:

  • aggregate responses (single report)
  • by each customer (two reports)
  • by each product (six reports)
  • by customer by each product (12 reports)∑
  • combinations of the above.


In addition, a variety of different graphic comparisons are available (the type and quantity are determined by the desired breakout and the data gathered). Some examples are shown below.

Figure 1 illustrates the measurement of a single customer satisfaction criteria as measured by your organization and your customers. The graph suggests that your company rated this criteria as fairly important and that you were performing very well against that criteria. It also shows that customer Group 1 felt the same criteria was important but rated your company as performing rather low on this scale. Also displayed is that customer Group 2 rated this criteria as a very low satisfier but rated your company as performing very well on the criteria. The overall evaluation for this criteria suggests that your company should establish a differentiated customer satisfaction policy for this performance measure. For example, more emphasis should be placed on improving performance for customers in Group 1 but that your company should not spend much money improving performance to those companies in Group 2.


Each customer satisfaction criteria will be examined in detail to determine the current level of importance and performance ratings as rated by your customers and your employees. Often organizations will find great differences between what they thought the customer would rate as important and what actually is the case. This also holds true for the customer's rating of your performance on each criteria. This insight will help you create the customer service and satisfaction policies which are aligned to your employee workforce as well as the desires of your individual customers.




The Customer Satisfaction Grid displays the relationship between Importance and Performance for each Criteria. It shows areas of opportunity where your performance is low on a criteria your customer considers very important as well as areas where you are performing services well but which your customer feels are not important to them. The Grid also displays areas which make good matches between performance and importance (the lower left and upper right quadrants). Each criteria is fitted on the Grid where you can visually determine where efforts should be applied or where you currently wasting resources.



The CSMI also provides an extra dimension of comparison by showing you where your performance compares to that of your competitors. Respondents are asked to rate each criteria not only on importance and your performance, but also to rate the performance of your competitor. This information gives you a visual appreciation of what criteria you need to focus on in order to keep ahead of your competition. This graph displays each criteria by importance and how well you stack up to the competition. Negative numbers indicate that your competitor is out performing you on that criteria. With this information, you can chart a course of action which targets both customer desires and competitor strengths. These data will also show where you can save resources (lower right quadrant where you are out-performing your competition, but your customers do not value that criteria relative to other criteria). Taken together with the other data, you will be able to clearly identify where to place valuable resources to create customer satisfaction and out-perform your competition.


Please click here to see what the American Marketing Association says about Customer Satisfaction

For more information or to return to our home page, click below.

The Quality Measurement Indexģ (QMI).
The Employee Satisfaction Measurement Index (ESMI).
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