Customer satisfaction is defined as
the measurement of how a company’s products or services meet or surpass its customer’s expectations. It is also
a measure of how the customer perceives the way the company’s representatives dealt with his or her needs. (Wikipedia,
Customer satisfaction plays a major
role in determining the likelihood of an organisation’s success and profitability over the long term. It is an important
way for a business to develop customer loyalty that in turn builds repeat business through customer retention. Generally speaking,
there are three different levels of customer satisfaction: Dissatisfied customers who are seeking another supplier; satisfied
customers who will buy from the company in the future and loyal customers who will remain so despite competitive offers.
Unless a business organisation develops
a base of satisfied customers, it will be difficult if not impossible to remain viable in its marketplace. Moreover, any business
not focused on satisfying it’s customers will be at the mercy of competitors who will eventually satisfy that person’s
needs and desires. Taking prompt action to resolve a customer’s problems can make 85% of them repeat customers. It costs
on the average six times as much to find a new customer as it does to keep an existing one happy. This underscores the importance
of customer satisfaction.
Reasons Why Businesses Fail To Achieve
There have been a number of surveys
done to determine why customers don’t give a company repeat business. The results are interesting and include:
They Moved Away – 3%
They Are Close To Other Firms –
Competition Does More For Them –
They Are Dissatisfied – 14%
Employee’s Have a Bad Attitude
Here, the final statistic tells a very
important story: Any organisation’s employees who have any form of customer contact need to be carefully trained in
customer satisfaction techniques. This may be attendance at some form of formal training program or careful instruction from
experienced department managers who are well versed in these techniques. Losing 68% of potential repeat business is clearly
unacceptable for any growth-oriented business organisation. (Adams Associates, 2007).
The Proper Customer Satisfaction Approach
Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart,
the biggest chain of its kind in the world is credited with establishing an excellent set of guidelines for customer satisfaction:
A customer is the most vital person in any business organisation
A customer isn’t dependent upon us, we’re dependent upon him
A customer doesn’t interrupt our work, he is the reason for it
A customer does us a favour by coming in. We aren’t doing him a favor by waiting
A customer is an essential part of our business, not an outsider
A customer is not just money in our cash register. He is a person with feelings that deserve to be treated with respect.
A customer is a person who comes to us with his needs and wants. Our job is to fill them.
A customer deserves the most courteous attention we can provide. He is the lifeblood of this and every other business.
He pays your salary. Without him, we would have to close our doors. Don’t ever forget it!
What Sam Walton did with this customer
satisfaction attitude is the living proof of just how important it is to every business organisation in the world.
Wikipedia, (2007) “Customer Satisfaction”
Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ customer_satisfaction
Adams, C.W. (2007) Adams Six Sigma
“Customer Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty are the best predictors of customer retention”
Available from: http://www.adamssixsigma.com/ Newsletter/customers_results.html