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It’s one thing to know if your customers are satisfied. It’s quite another to know what that satisfaction means for your bank.


Most surveys you use seek to measure satisfaction. Executives, naturally, seek to determine the baseline of a good customer relationship, and that’s often based on whether they are satisfied with products or interactions.


But then what? The reason customer-satisfaction or loyalty data falls short so often is that the information gathered doesn’t provide the ammunition to yield more business. It’s akin to going to a grocery store, buying a bunch of ingredients and wondering why you don’t have a meal to eat.


Customer outreach should drive how you collect information, not the other way around. As counter-intuitive as it might sound, you don’t want to assess customer satisfaction when you survey or score for satisfaction. You want to find out whether customers’ level of satisfaction can support customer growth.


For instance, are you conducting an analysis on your banks’ customer service? In that case, the questions you solicit will involve how to retain those customers and ensure revenue at a predictable level.


But how do you build on that? Satisfaction, like loyalty, can be a metric that hides problems, rather than solving them. The willingness to stay with a bank doesn’t mean that the customer is expressing an interest to do more business over time. So looking at satisfaction through this lens isn’t always helpful.


However, adding to the metrics you collect on satisfaction could yield far richer results. For instance, are you asking not just if someone is satisfied but what is behind that satisfaction? Are you assessing how to motivate a customer to extend the business he does with your bank? And how to create useful advocates to help attract more business?


Oddly, for the seeming importance of customer-satisfaction metrics, they lack the kind of depth you need really make them useful analysis tools. A promoter score, for example, asks just one question: “How likely is it that you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?” Notice what’s not asked. You don’t ask why a customer is satisfied. You don’t ask why someone would make a recommendation on your behalf. In most cases, metrics like a net promoter score don’t anticipate even the usefulness of these questions.


In the end, you need to know not just the “what” of satisfaction – “Are you happy?” – but rather the “why.” Only then can you bridge the gap between the satisfaction data you collect and the customer outreach programs you need to develop.


For more information on Informa Research Services' customer engagement and loyalty research and The SEA Score™ program, contact us at 800.848.0218 or email

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