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The American Customer Satisfaction Index: Nature, Purpose, and Findings

Claes Fornell, Michael D. Johnson, Eugene W. Anderson, Jaesung Cha and Barbara Everitt Bryant
Journal of Marketing
Vol. 60, No. 4 (Oct., 1996), pp. 7-18
DOI: 10.2307/1251898
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1251898
Page Count: 12
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The American Customer Satisfaction Index: Nature, Purpose, and Findings
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Abstract

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is a new type of market-based performance measure for firms, industries, economic sectors, and national economies. The authors discuss the nature and purpose of ACSI and explain the theory underlying the ACSI model, the nation-wide survey methodology used to collect the data, and the econometric approach employed to estimate the indices. They also illustrate the use of ACSI in conducting benchmarking studies, both cross-sectionally and over time. The authors find customer satisfaction to be greater for goods than for services and, in turn, greater for services than for government agencies, as well as find cause for concern in the observation that customer satisfaction in the United States is declining, primarily because of decreasing satisfaction with services. The authors estimate the model for the seven major economic sectors for which data are collected. Highlights of the findings include that (1) customization is more important than reliability in determining customer satisfaction, (2) customer expectations play a greater role in sectors in which variance in production and consumption is relatively low, and (3) customer satisfaction is more quality-driven than value- or price-driven. The authors conclude with a discussion of the implications of ACSI for public policymakers, managers, consumers, and marketing in general.

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