What is Customer Satisfaction?
Customer satisfaction is a marketing term that can be explained as how the product and service providers meet the customer expectations. It is basically the reflection of how a customer feels when he interact with brands and this attitude is quantified by organizations through surveys. Satisfying a customer is also highly dependent upon how promptly products or services are made available. Customer satisfaction and retention can also be related to other business aspects such as product manufacturing, marketing, product quality, service quality, responding to customer’s problem, complaint management, post delivery service, etc.
Definition of Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is a measurement that is used by businesses to quantify the degree to which the customer is happy with a particular product, service or experience. This can be achieved only when the customer has an overall satisfactorily relationship with the supplier. In the competitive marketplace, organizations find customer satisfaction to be an important performance exponent as well as a basic differentiator for every business strategy. Hence, the more a business gains customer satisfaction, the more bonding with customers will be created.
It is very important for organizations to communicate and interact with customers on a regular basis so as to increase their satisfaction level. Within these communications and interactions, organizations should determine the individual needs of customers and respond to them accordingly. In case there are identical products in the market, customer satisfaction results in higher retention rates. The higher is their satisfaction level, the higher will be the sentimental and emotional attachment of the customers with the particular brand and its manufacturer or supplier.
“Satisfied customer is the best source of advertisement” – Quote by G.S. Alag
Why is Customer Satisfaction Important
Many organizations face a dilemma that even after spending much money, time and effort, they experience slipping out customers. Applying a customer satisfaction survey will help in understanding the situation well. Below mentioned are some reasons why customer satisfaction is important:
Differentiates One Brand from Another
Being a customer when you have decided to by a television, you have made extensive research on the internet and noted down all the features you want in your television set. After thorough research, you have planned to buy product ‘A’ and excitedly tell your friend about the product. Things change when your friend recommends you product ‘B’ as he himself has used it and is satisfied with its performance. Now you will end up in buying product ‘B’ because it is offering customer satisfaction which has helped the brand to stand out from others.
Even your Loyal Customers can Leave
Customer loyalty is earned by organizations; however, if your product does not deliver their needs, even the most loyal customer will exit from your customer base. Customers have many choices and what you lose can be gained by others. To make customers remain loyal, customer satisfaction is very important and an issue in this aspect should be addressed immediately.
Happy Customers will Return
Happy customers can create a buzz and word of mouth marketing for the product or service and also keep on coming back to the brand despite many other options being offered. Customer satisfaction increases the revenue of the business as their opinion can impact the brand value. Happy customers will never go for your competitor’s brand.
Positive Branding is Possible through Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is important when planning marketing strategies especially when it comes to branding. Social platform has a very important role within branding activities and any unsatisfied customer can post a negative remark which can be viewed by millions of people. This can damage the brand image. Organizations should assure that customers have a positive experience with their brand.
How You can Achieve Customer Satisfaction
Step 1 – Know Your Customers
Customers should feel that they are being valued. Specialized services can help this business-customer relationship go a long way. Additionally, customers like to be familiar with the brand. In a physical store, when employees are familiar with customers’ names and their preferences, it differentiates their services from others. On the web, seasoned employees who are well aware about the company can provide a higher level of service to customers.
Step 2 – Fulfill What is Promised
The best way to keep your customers loyal is to always deliver what you claim or what has been promised by the brand. A good strategy is to use balanced scorecards which can address the requirements of every stakeholder in an integrated way including the core values of the business as its turning point. This strategy helps companies in planning from 4 different dimensions – customer perspective, internal process perspective, employee perspective and employee perspective.
Step 3 – Measure Your Success
Measuring the satisfaction level of customers is very important to determine the successful strategy of a business. Customer satisfaction is a self-reported measure and businesses want to know what their customers are thinking. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) collects information from different aspects and gives a thorough idea of how satisfied customers are.
How to Measure Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. – Peter Drucker
Overall Satisfaction Measure (Attitudinal)
This is the greatest predictor of customer satisfaction is their experience related to product quality attributions. Perceived quality can be measured by the overall quality of the product, its perceived reliability and the extent to which the customer’s needs are fulfilled.
Loyalty Measurement (Affective, Behavioral)
Customer satisfaction is a major predictor of repurchases and is strongly influenced by evaluations of product performance, value and quality. Measuring loyalty includes measuring how satisfied the customers are with the brand, how likely are repurchases being made and how likely they recommend the brand to others.
A Series of Attribute Satisfaction Measurements (Affective and Cognitive)
Customer satisfaction is also influenced by the perceived quality of product attributes. For this consumer attitudes towards products should be measured. Affect and satisfaction are closely related; however, satisfaction is a post-experience and is the emotional effect that is produced through the quality and value of the brand.
Intentions to Repurchase Measurements (Behavioral Measures):
Satisfaction can also be influenced by post-purchase actions like recommending to others, reduced trials of alternative options and changes within preferences and choice behavior.