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Satisfaction-Enhancing Attributes, Satisfaction-Maintaining Attributes, Piecewise Linear Approximation
When a customer satisfaction survey consists of a large number of attributes (questionnaire items), determination of critical attributes that would make the biggest impact on customers overall satisfaction could be important, but very tedious and time-consuming process. Even though the critical attributes are identified, the improvement efforts toward these attributes are often misdirected and wasted because of the mismatch between the improvement efforts and the critical needs of the affected customer group. This paper introduces a method with which improvement efforts can be tailored to the needs of the customer group who could bring the most impactful influence on improving customer satisfaction. For the critical attribute considered, the percentage of customers who assigned a specific satisfaction rating is obtained, and the cumulative percentages of customers are examined and the target group of customers to whom the improvement efforts would be tailored is identified. The piecewise linear approximation method is also discussed to estimate the non-linear relationship of the attribute, which also may help determine the target customer group. The overall shape of the piecewise function and the slopes at the line segments may be used in determining which attributes are satisfaction-maintaining or satisfaction-enhancing, and where and how the improvement efforts should be focused in order to maximize the effectiveness of the improvement efforts.