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The CSI Pyramid

Are you watching CSI? Not the popular television series; I’m talking about your Customer Satisfaction Index. More and more businesses are increasingly measuring CSI across their products and services offerings.

With the growth of CSI has come the discovery that the Hispanic market is a large chunk of it. What is of most interest is that Hispanics typically rank companies very high when responding to communication (such as a telephone call) that is conducted correctly.

I’ll say that again, ‘conducted correctly.’ Notice what I didn’t say? If you’ve been following my column regularly here in Auto Dealer Monthly, than you probably did notice. What I did not say is ‘conducted in the Spanish language.’ Pay attention here; when you are dealing with the Hispanic market, you really don’t know which language – English or Spanish – is the one to use.

Why the high rankings from the Hispanic market? To get to that answer, we first have to take a closer look at CSI.

Recognizing the significance of CSI I pose to you this question – ‘what really is Satisfaction?’

Take a look at the following illustration.



One of the things we look at with our clients is the process illustrated by this pyramid.

At the base of the pyramid you find satisfaction.

It is here, at the base of the pyramid, that a business applies all their efforts and energy.

They may very well rank high in Satisfaction but they find themselves stuck. Why?

Just as it takes more than a base to build a pyramid, there is more to focus on in your business to ensure the success of your mission.

To get unstuck, to build and to move upward, you have to look at the entire CSI pyramid and avoid getting trapped at its base.

What about Pleasantly? What about Retention? What about Loyalty? What about Fidelity?

Is Satisfaction really that hard to achieve? Be honest; is it difficult to satisfy a customer? We’re not talking about happy, energized or motivated—nothing like that—just simply satisfied. Nope, not at all. In fact, we live in a world where the standard is set so low that anyone can achieve satisfaction.

If you got decent service, then you’re satisfied, aren’t you? Did you get what you asked for and nothing more? If so, you should be satisfied.

Earlier, I stated that Hispanics typically rank companies very high. Why do they rank them so high? The answer in a word is Pleasant, a secret that those companies have successfully harnessed. Their Hispanic customer moved beyond the base of Satisfaction. They enjoyed a pleasant experience in the store or place of business. They had the pleasant experience of receiving service tailored to them in their preferred language of choice. They had a pleasant experience with the sales team that built an excellent rapport—none of which had been expected. Expectations had been exceeded. The Hispanic market recognizes that, remembers that and rewards it.

It’s a big deal, and that’s the trick. There is more to Satisfaction (real Satisfaction)—a lot more. If you’re just out there measuring Satisfaction, what you are really measuring is mediocrity. Are you calling customers that already successfully conducted business with you? If they already did business, then they are somewhat satisfied. So your CSI is high and you’re proud of it, but what about the customers that did not buy from you? Isn’t that where you stand to learn something?

We are all a customer, and as a customer, we always have some preset expectation, albeit low, of every interaction we have throughout the day from grabbing breakfast at the drive-thru to stopping on the way home from work to pick up milk for the kids. Wherever you are if your expectation is succeeded, you feel pretty good.

Re-evaluate your efforts. Are you striving to make every customer experience a pleasant one? Are you moving beyond Satisfaction and above the customer’s expectations?

Does this guarantee Retention of the customer? Not yet, but you’re in the right direction. You’re building the pyramid. Next month, I’ll discuss the relationship between Pleasant and Retention and how they form the building blocks for Loyalty and your ultimate goal, Fidelity.

Hasta entonces amigos.

Vol 4, Issue 10

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