Customer Satisfaction
The Problem with Average Scores

It is quite common to see average scores reported in marketing research reports. Unfortunately, it also is common to see only average scores reported in customer satisfaction reports. Average scores work fine in a typical marketing research report, since the scores typically are being interpreted and acted upon by marketing professionals. Averages don't work as well in customer satisfaction reports, since such reports often are seen by front-line employees.

It is much easier for a front-line employee to interpret that "60% of customers are satisfied" and "20% of customers are dissatisfied," than to understand an average satisfaction score of "5.89 on a seven-point scale." Percentages are something that most educated people can wrap their minds around, and they make possible the setting of interpretable improvement goals. If you can say to employees "our goal is to 85% satisfied customers in the next report," they will have a better grasp of the task at hand than if you establish a goal of an average satisfaction score of 6.4.

If you currently are receiving customer satisfaction reports which only report average scores, ask your research company to add percentages to the next report.