National Quality Research Center (NQRC)

The National Quality Research Center (NQRC) at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, is best known as research designer and source of the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) established in 1994. ACSI measures satisfaction with the goods and services of 200 companies, the U.S. Postal Service, local government police and waste disposal services, and the services of federal agencies. These private and public sector organizations produce approximately 43% of the nation’s GDP, and about $521 billion of its imported goods.

NQRC is a research and teaching center. Its work is premised on the need for individual companies and national economies to balance productivity with quality to be successful. It does so by providing an economic indicator that is a systematic tracking of the quality of goods and services, and their improvements and declines, from the perspective of the customer. It adds a measure of quality to supplement traditional economic indicators of quantity, price, and productivity. ACSI has proved to be predictive of growth in GDP and consumer spending. Companies with scores in the top half of ACSI consistently show far greater growth in market value added (MVA), than companies with satisfaction scores in the bottom half.

ACSI scores are produced at the levels of individual companies and agencies, industries, economic sectors, and the economies of the U.S. and an increasing number of other nations. NQRC faculty designed the econometric modeling of survey data for the Swedish Customer Satisfaction Barometer (Svenskt Kundindex), established in 1989, and the ACSI. There are now Customer Satisfaction Indices (CSIs) licensing the econometric model and software in Korea (1999), and more recently in Singapore, Mexico, Colombia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. These nations receive training and consulting from NQRC staff.