Better than Average Customer Satisfaction1 Comment
When you describe a favorite restaurant to a friend, what is the word you that you use? Is it “satisfactory”? “Try this place, you’ll find the meal to be satisfactory, and the service, and the ambience. You’ll be satisfied.”
That won’t likely motivate anyone to drive out of their way to visit, or return, unless they are awfully hungry and it’s very convenient. Otherwise there are many other dining options, ones that have the potential to blow them away, not merely satisfy them.
And so as a business are you content when customers report through surveys that they are simply satisfied? Thinking of the restaurant analogy, would you expect them to stick with you?
In Putting the Service Profit Chain to Work, Heskett, Jones, Loveman, Sasser, Jr., and Schlesinger reveal through research that customers of service firms that are merely satisfied are equally likely to choose another provider as to stick with you. They are indifferent. Yikes.
To have customers return, or people choose to work with you (or for you) again, you need to strive for something more – extreme satisfaction. That requires thinking outside the box as well as succeeding in it, not just deciding but doing, understanding that details matter, knowing how to deal with exceptions, making stateful connections and more. But it starts with understanding why.
Don’t be satisfied with customers that are satisfied. If you truly desire their loyalty seek to be the one they rave about, just like their favorite bistro they visit every Friday and always tell their friends about.
Source: James L. Heskett, et. al. “Putting the Service Profit Chain to Work”, Harvard Business Review, March-April 1994
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