When you provide the right service, at the right price, at the right time, and to the agreed-upon specifications, the customer is satisfied.
This is the mission of most organizations because they are of the belief that it is sufficient to merely satisfy customers. But studies conducted on the relationship between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, show that this belief is flawed.
For several years in the past, Xerox had polled 480,000 customers per year regarding product and service satisfaction using a five-point scale from 5 (high) to 1 (low). Their goal had always been to achieve 100% 4s (satisfied) and 5s (completely satisfied).
But in a particular year, an analysis of customers who gave Xerox 4s and 5s on satisfaction found that the relationships between the scores and actual loyalty differed greatly depending on whether the customers were completely satisfied or satisfied. Customers giving Xerox 5s were six times more likely to repurchase Xerox equipment than those giving 4s.
This has profound implications: Merely satisfying customers who have other options and the freedom to make choices is not enough to keep them loyal. The only truly loyal customers are completely satisfied customers.
Customers are reasonable, but they want to be completely satisfied. If they are not and have a choice, they can be lured away easily. That’s why in today’s competitive and rapidly changing marketplace, customer satisfaction is just not good enough.
So if your organization still aims at merely satisfying customers, there’s need to extend your objective and start aspiring to completely satisfy them. And making customers completely satisfied is achievable. What is required is to always provide the unexpected or the extra service – the few add-ons that in most cases cost so little.
For example, consider the experience of a customer who wants their car serviced. The customer’s basic goal is to have it serviced properly. The car goes in for servicing. When the customer goes to collect it, everything on the checklist has been carried out absolutely correctly. The car is ready on time and the bill is also totally correct. The customer will be satisfied.
Here’s another scenario. When the customer goes to collect the car, they find not only that the service has been done properly, the bill correct and the car ready, but that it has also been washed, the interior has been vacuumed with a clean white sheet of paper placed in the footwell. And there is a band of paper around the steering wheel that says, “This car has been serviced by Femi Okoye. If you have any worries, please ask to speak to him.” The customer will be completely satisfied.
In the first scenario of the example, what the auto workshop did was what the customer paid them to do. They carried out their task correctly and made the customer satisfied. This sort of service that makes customers merely satisfied is out of date.
The second scenario shows an outstanding service where the extras made the difference and resulted to complete customer satisfaction. This is the contemporary service model.
The organization that will survive and flourish over the long term is the one that understands how important the level of customer satisfaction is and continually works to do for their customers everything they can do after they have done what they are supposed to do.
So, here is an important question to ponder: What are those extra things you can do to give your customer a better experience that will make them completely satisfied?
If you do not find the answers and take action, your competitors will. And when they do, your customers who are merely satisfied will be lured away.
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