This may seem somewhat simplistic, but I think we need to clearly define what we mean by customer satisfaction.
Customer satisfaction is meeting…. . or exceeding the expectations of the customer.
We often think of customer satisfaction as a rather linear process…. the more effort we put into it the more satisfied a customer is. That just isn’t so.
Let’s break customer expectations up into two categories:
- Expected-Things the customer expects
- Unexpected-Things the customer doesn’t even know exist, but would be excited to find them unexpectedly delivered.
If a customer expects something, he is very unhappy when he doesn’t get it, and becomes comfortable or just satisfied when he finally gets it. In other words, in this case “satisfied” is sort of “the customer is OK with it. ” That is almost a non event.
The only way from here is down if you don’t deliver it, and getting better and better, until you fully meet the customer’s expectations…. which is “middle of the road, ” “average. ”
People expect their expectations to be delivered, therefore you are average, you are OK, just so-so, when you achieve their expectations.
Now let’s look at the unexpected. When a customer doesn’t get something he’s not expecting, since he doesn’t know it’s not supposed to be there he’s still OK with it. However, once you start delivering something totally unexpected you’ll start “delighting” the customer and that’s when you can outshine your competitors, when you’ll get lots of customers talking about you in a good way and giving referrals.
- 1)Expected-You always have to deliver the expected, all of the way. That makes you “acceptable” and OK.
2) Unexpected-But when you can find something the customer would value and appreciate, but he isn’t expecting it, now you’ll have a “delighted” customer. So try to find that and deliver the unexpected all of the time.
What happens when you deliver the “unexpected. ” For a while you’ll be on the top of his list. As soon as your competitors notice and they start doing it…guess what. It’ll become expected.
Keep looking for the unexpected and being ahead of the crowd and your competition.
Alan Boyer, President/CEO of The Leader’s Perspective, LLC provides Customer Service Training that will help your employees meet expectations all of the time, and find those things that will DELIGHT your customers.
Working with your employees to develop measurable results that will cause customers to beg to come back.
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