[Sponsored Report] Index rises as service improves
The 2010 National Customer Satisfaction Index - spearheaded by the Korea Productivity Center, Chosun Ilbo and University of Michigan with the support of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy - covers 248 companies and public organizations in 56 industries.
The latest index came in at 72.3, which is a 1.7-point increase (2.4 percent) from 70.6 in 2009. The NCSI incorporates the responses of 65,427 customers to a survey covering satisfaction levels with a host of products and companies. The customers live in five major districts in Korea and have purchased or used the products and services recently.
Observers attribute the positive performance in part to the economic recovery as well as to moves by conglomerates to address customer satisfaction head-on.
The accommodation and restaurant industry - which is extremely sensitive to economic changes - had a fine showing last year, with its customer satisfaction index rising 4.6 percent. The improvement reflects a growing desire by consumers to travel and eat out as the economy, foreign exchange market and stocks recover. Companies in this field have actively looked to improve customer service. Many restaurants, for instance, diversified their menus in response to increased demand for healthier foods.
Companies that concentrated on their core competencies and offered customers continuous support showed the biggest improvements in terms of score. This shows that although Korea recovered more quickly than other countries from an economic perspective, the companies here didn’t just rely on outside factors and economic change to boost customer satisfaction.
These companies were found to have aggressively looked into customer dissatisfaction and attempted to fix the issues, helping boost their overall NCSI score. This is particularly noticeable when looking at the top 10 companies in the 2010 NCSI.
Take the hotel industry, which has five properties in the top 10. These hotels actively looked to address customer dissatisfaction and implement improvements in an attempt to resolve issues. The properties - the InterContinental Hotel, which ranked fourth, Lotte Hotel (fifth), Hotel Shilla (eighth), Marriott Hotel (ninth) and Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel (tenth) - were eager to find out why certain customers weren’t satisfied and implemented their own programs to improve quality.
The apartment construction industry, which had three firms in the top 10, and higher education (two top institutions in the index) also went out of their way to improve customer satisfaction. Samsung C&T Corporation, Daelim Industrial Company and Hyundai E&C provided differentiated value services despite a bevy of unsold apartments and a depression in the real estate market in 2010. At the same time, Yeungjin College and Taekyeung College reinforced their student capability development programs and job recruitment programs.
What is the NCSI?
The National Customer Satisfaction Index, often referred to as the NCSI, provides a way to gauge customer satisfaction levels for various products and services produced domestically or in other countries and sold to local consumers. The index relies on the responses of consumers to a survey about their satisfaction levels with a product or product line made by a specific company. The NCSI aims to reflect a variety of key criteria in assessing customer satisfaction, including overall quality, complaints, maintenance issues and consumer expectations.
The NCSI model is based on a systematic methodology that allows for the easy comparison of products by competing companies and presents a solid reflection of customer service differences within industries. It also provides companies with useful information for crafting marketing strategies. The NCSI is outstanding in both the quality and accuracy of the information it provides to individual companies and can be very useful for measuring the quality competitiveness of various industries. This is possible because the NCSI includes products and services of foreign companies that are doing business in Korea as well as domestically produced items, offering a way to compare customer satisfaction across industries.