The Failure of Customer Satisfaction

Academics, consultants, and authors often make bold statements to grab attention. The following statement is simply a well-documented fact:

Customer satisfaction is essentially meaningless and a waste of time to measure, pursue, and achieve.

In the course of human activity, an intuitively appealing but unproven idea can become so well accepted that it drives behavior without critical analysis. At their heart, radical breakthroughs penetrate such assumptions. The belief that customer satisfaction should be the principal marketing activity of the firm is one such example.

The conviction in the efficacy of customer satisfaction is nearly universal. Roughly 90% of U.S. firms have customer satisfaction as a ...

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