Although much attention has been paid to customer satisfaction (CS) as a leading indicator of firm performance, few studies have investigated the role of CS distribution across individual customers. With 10 years of National Customer Satisfaction Index (NCSI) data in Korea, we examine the relationship between the variance of CS and key corporate performance measures such as revenue, profit, Tobin’s q, and stock return.
There are three main findings. First, we confirm the findings of previous studies that the average CS for a firm is related to the firm’s economic performance. Second, we find a moderating effect of CS variance such that the relationship between the level of CS and firm performance is attenuated by the variance of CS. Finally, the variance of CS is found to directly affect firm performance over and above the CS level effect. More specifically, the variance decreases sales and stock return.

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