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Why don’t companies measure real customer loyalty?

Posted on May 15, 2010 , by Steve Bernstein

A recent SupportIndustry.Com report:  62% of participants reported that they do not measure customer loyalty in terms of customer profitability including revenue contribution, customer references and referrals. When you dive in you see it’s a low response rate and probably not statistically significant.  That said, there still are many companies out there not doing this.  So I have to ask, why bother at all – what return are these efforts showing?
Most (not all) of the respondents reported measuring a customer satisfaction index.  So they have a customer feedback program of some sort in place and are capturing valuable information… are they using it wisely?  What return can these companies show on their investment in running those surveys?   Perhaps they are using it for call center agent coaching / performance management.  Perhaps they are using it for “beauty contests” in an effort to show how good they are at satisfying customers?
Whatever they are doing, I hope they use this study to wake up to a new reality:  treating your customers as assets leads to significant ROI.  As just 2 examples of the hundreds out there, recall the credit union that is reducing customer acquisition costs, or the B2B software company that is measuring improvements in customer retention by improving the customer experience.
Any thoughts on this topic are appreciated… how do we get the word out that “There’s gold in them thar customers!” if companies only went looking for it?