The predictive ability of different customer feedback metrics for retention

de Haan E., Verhoef P., Wiesel T.


Abstract
This study systematically compares different customer feedback metrics (CFMs) - namely customer satisfaction, the Net Promoter Score, and the Customer Effort Score - to test their ability to predict retention across a wide range of industries. We classify the CFMs according to a time focus (past, present, or future) and whether the full scale of the CFM is used or whether the focus is only on the extremes (e.g., top-2-box customer satisfaction). The data for this study represent customers of 93 firms across 18 industries. Multi-level probit regression models, which control for self-selection bias of respondents, investigate firm-, customer-, and industry-level effects simultaneously. Overall, we find that the top-2-box customer satisfaction performs best for predicting customer retention and that focusing on the extremes is preferable to using the full scale. However the best CFM does differ depending on industry and the unit of analysis (i.e., comparing customers or firms with one another). Furthermore, combining CFMs, along with simultaneously investigating multiple dimensions of the customer relationship, improves predictions even further.

Keywords
Customer effort score; Customer feedback metrics; Customer retention; Customer satisfaction; Firm performance; Net promoter score



Publication type
Article in Journal

Peer reviewed
Yes

Publication status
Published

Year
2015

Journal
International Journal of Research in Marketing

Volume
32

Issue
2

Publisher
Elsevier

Language
English

ISSN
0167-8116

DOI

Full text

Affiliation
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen; Westfalische Wilhelms-Universitat Munster