The methodology of The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has been adopted around the globe by research groups, quality associations, and universities via ACSI’s international licensing program called Global CSISM. Countries throughout Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East have created customer satisfaction indexes for their own national economies by using Global CSISM.
Great Britain’s NCSI-UK (The UK National Customer Satisfaction Index), launched in 2006, measures over 15 industries that together represent a broad swath of the economy serving UK households. Entering its fourteenth year of measurement, Portugal’s national customer satisfaction index, ECSI Portugal, joins the ACSI as affiliate.
Among the ACSI’s newest licensees are Brazil and South Africa, both starting exploratory work. In news from Asia, Indonesia, global partner since 2011, released its first full set of results in May 2012. Meanwhile, recent licensee Malaysia has begun collecting data for its inaugural results, to be released later this year.
Other countries that have adopted ACSI methodology include Turkey, Colombia, and Singapore, CSISG (The Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore) was launched in 2008. According to Caroline Lim, director of The Institute of Service Excellence, Singapore Management University, just as “ACSI has been the de facto standardized measure of customer satisfaction in the United States economy since 1994,” CSISG was developed using the same proven and respected methodology to “complement(s) the other traditional forms of measure of the quantity of economic output such as GDP to provide a more holistic picture of the Singapore economy.”
The American Customer Satisfaction Index was started in the United States in 1994 by researchers at the University of Michigan in conjunction with the American Society for Quality in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and CFI Group in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The ACSI model was derived from a model originally implemented in 1989 in Sweden called the Swedish Customer Satisfaction Barometer (SCSB). Claes Fornell, Chair of ACSI LLC and CFI Group, developed the model and methodology for both the Swedish and American versions.
Hailed as the "Father of Customer Satisfaction," Claes Fornell is without question one of the most influential scholars in marketing science today. His name can be found on 3 of the top 15 most academically cited papers from the leading sources in the field—Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, and Management Science.
International Adoption of the ACSI Model
Versions of the ACSI are ongoing in Barbados, Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Portugal joins the ACSI as an affiliate, while new licensees Brazil and South Africa are set to begin exploratory work in 2012.
Other countries are evaluating and exploring implementation of ACSI-based models. If this trend continues and strengthens, it may be possible to create an international system of customer satisfaction measurement founded on a common methodology, enabling the kind of comprehensive cross-national satisfaction benchmarking that will prove vital for a global economy.