Customer satisfaction has come under a microscope. It was necessary and overdue. And what was found was not a surprise. Satisfy your customer or they will leave you. And, they will leave you because there are too many options. Customer satisfaction now has become more important than ever before due to the added elements of technology. People simply shop and buy differently, and large corporations insure that they do. I was forced in a way to fully adapt to new technology about 10 years ago. My oldest son was on the computer when he was 10. He’s 34 today. His son, my grandson, has been using the web since he was 3. The technology and innovation that I still find so unique, new and exciting, my son and grandson tend to expect change and innovation as the standard. Consumers today, everyone today simply shops and buys differently. So we must throw away all of the old ways and closely examine how we deal with customer service and ultimately customer satisfaction.
Business development expert, Brian Tracy said that “If sales are the engine that drives your business, then customer satisfaction is the fuel. Your ability to satisfy your customers is the critical determinant of your success in driving sales and growing your business.”
Here is a quick check list of the Four Levels of Customer Satisfaction. I believe that ranking your business and building a plan using these thoughts are absolutely essential to success.
Meet Customer Expectations
The very minimum requirement to simply stay in business—to survive—is to meet the expectations of your customers. At this level, your customers have no complaints. They are satisfied for the moment. But they are not loyal. If a competitor demonstrates that it can and will do more than merely meet their expectations, your customer will very quickly become ex-customers. Moreover, if you fail to meet their expectations, perhaps only one time, they will leave and find someone else who will.
Exceed Customer Expectations
This higher level of customer satisfaction is reached by surprising your customers, going beyond what they expected. Fast, friendly service, followed up by a phone call to make sure everything is all right, might put you into this category. The second level of customer service moves you beyond mere survival, building a measure of customer loyalty and giving you an edge over your competitors. It can also increase your profitability. Customers who experience the kind of service that exceeds their expectations are often willing to pay for it, enabling the supplier to raise prices and thus improve profit margins.
Delight Your Customers
Have you ever experienced a level of service that not only exceeded your expectations, but actually brought a smile to your face? A customer served at this level is truly delighted. Not only have the customers’ basic needs been met, or even exceeded, but they have truly been touched on an emotional level. And once customers have enjoyed this experience, it will be very difficult for a competitor to pry them away. When you delight your customers, you are on the way to creating an exceptional and highly profitable business. To delight your customer is to show that you care-about them. No wonder it brings a smile to their face! The greater your success in delighting your customers, the greater success you will enjoy in your business.
Amaze Your Customers
This fourth level of customer satisfaction is what will propel your business into the stratosphere. It requires you to, not just meet or exceed your customer’s expectations, nor to simply delight them, but to truly amaze them. When you are able to accomplish this on a regular basis, you will be in a position to dominate the marketplace and achieve remarkable rates of revenue growth and profitability.
So how do you pull this off? The only limit is your own imagination. So think about it a bit then do the exercise again. Be sure to rate yourself and be honest the survival of your business may be at stake.