MRO Magazine

Satisfaction is Not Enough – Simply Satisfying Customers Leads to Lower Advocacy, Loyalty and Sales, Says Strategic Vision

March 26, 2015
By Business Wire News


Strategic Vision announces the results of a two-year review of its New Vehicle Experience Study (NVES) which consists of over 534,000 new vehicle buyers regarding one of the most powerful and natural concepts created to understand human decisions. Customers who report that they are very satisfied with a product or service are not likely to be advocates, more likely to tell others to avoid the product, and are more often disloyal (more like those who report “hating” the experience). It is imperative that companies go “beyond satisfaction” and provide experiences that customers will “Love.” When customers experience Love, they become strong advocates who are significantly more likely to be loyal.

Christopher Chaney, Senior Vice President of Strategic Vision, reports, “For years, companies, especially automotive manufacturers, have struggled to understand why customers often report they were completely satisfied with their product, but do not even consider the product at their next purchase. We know why. Satisfaction is not enough.” Customers were asked to rate the vehicles they purchase and disposed of, measured on The Edwards Commitment Scale™. This scale looks beyond satisfaction as it ranges from 1=Hate it, 2=a Failure, 3=Unsatisfactory, 4=Satisfactory, 5=Excellent, 6=Delightful and 7=Love it. Each point discriminates the quality and depth of the emotional response from the next. Many vehicles can be Excellent, fewer Delightful, with only the best-of-the-best creating Love.

When the overall vehicle experience is compared to the likelihood of recommending the brand to others, we obtain the following results:

Overall Vehicle Experience    

% Top Box
(Extremely Likely)


Difference between Top &
Bottom Boxes

7 : I Love It     80%     92%
6 : Delightful 43% 70%
5 : Excellent 34% 51%
4 : Satisfactory 12% -19%
3 : Unsatisfactory 8% -60%
2 : A Failure 9% -70%
1 : I Hate It 7% -74%

It should not be surprising that those who Love their vehicle are advocates while those who Hate become opponents. What can be surprising to many is that merely satisfying customers not only reduces advocacy by almost seven times, but also creates more customers becoming antagonists of the brand.

There is also significantly less loyalty among those who are only satisfied. Those who Loved their previous vehicle had the highest repurchase loyalty (48%) while those who Hated their previous experience were four times less loyal (12%). Only 22% of those who reported being Satisfied with their previous vehicle were likely to be loyal on their next purchase. “When you fully understand the impact of only satisfying customers, you understand that satisfied customers are essentially lost future sales. You must create experiences customers will naturally state that they love, or you will lose,” reports Dr. Darrel Edwards, PhD, Founder of Strategic Vision.

The Most Loved Vehicle in America based on this two-year analysis is the Tesla Model S which had 92% of all customers stating that they Loved the ownership experience. Therefore, it should be no surprise that Tesla has found so much success since its launch. Other Most Loved Vehicles in America, in selected segments include:

Mass Market Cars    % “Love It”
Dodge Charger     68%
Chevrolet Volt 68%
Subaru Impreza 67%
Honda Civic Si Sedan 65%
Fiat 500 64%
Kia Optima 61%
Mass Market SUV/CUV    % “Love It”
Jeep Wrangler 68%
Toyota FJ Cruiser 67%
Chevrolet Suburban 64%
Ford Flex 62%
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 57%
Subaru XV Crosstrek 57%
Luxury Cars    % “Love It”
Tesla Model S 92%
Audi A8/S8 76%
Mercedes S-Class 69%
Audi A7/S7 65%
Hyundai Equus 65%
Audi A6/S6 64%
Specialty Cars    % “Love It”
MINI Cooper Roadster 86%
Porsche Boxster 83%
BMW Z4 Roadster 82%
BMW M3 Coupe 81%
Mercedes SL Roadster 80%
Porsche 911 Coupe 80%

Strategic Vision is also examining hundreds of additional data points about the ownership experience, as specific as transmission performance to dealership negotiations so that OEMS, dealerships and suppliers can understand both those aspects of the ownership experience which are interconnected, as well as which lead to Love and ultimately vehicle sales. These specific attributes will be part of the 2015 Total Quality Index released in May.

Alexander Edwards, President of Strategic Vision, notes how these results can have an impact on many parts of our lives well beyond the world of business. “While we continue to measure what lies beyond Satisfaction and generates Love in many categories from travel and hospitality to food and beverage industries, we also consider the implications that this research can be applied to every aspect of our lives.” Edwards proposes an example that we might choose to ask ourselves, “Are the relationships with our spouse and children simply satisfying or do they go beyond and become something to Love? Perhaps we can create a better place for ourselves and those around us by applying this type of question to our everyday lives.”

Strategic Vision is a research-based consultancy with over 42 years of experience in understanding the consumers’ and constituents’ decision-making systems for a variety of Fortune 100 clients, including most automotive manufacturers, education, medicine and politics. Its unique expertise is in identifying consumers’ comprehensive, motivational systems, including the product attributes, personal benefits, value/emotions and images that drive perceptions and behaviors. ValueCentered Psychology® (the foundation of all Strategic Vision studies) was created by Dr. Darrel Edwards in 1968, with research methods defined by Dr. Edwards and co-founders J. Susan Johnson and Sharon Shedroff. For further information, contact Christopher Chaney or Alexander Edwards at (858) 576-7141 or visit

Strategic Vision
Alexander Edwards / Dr. Darrel Edwards