What does a satisfied (not necessarily loyal or fully engaged) client look like? They thinks that the company offers reasonable solutions, as well as delivering services effectively and efficiently. If asked, they will say nice things about the company.
But although they may have some warm feelings for the business, they are not yet an advocate for the brand, and, unlike loyal consumers, they can still be courted away by other companies. A satisfied client is still a free agent, exploring marketplaces. Consumers still have wandering eyes. Because of this reason, basic customer satisfaction should not be confused with true loyalty and customer engagement.
Nonetheless, consumer satisfaction is one of the underpinnings of exceptional relationship experts refer to as consumer loyalty. Customer service consultants find it vital to convey to their clients what is involved in hitting the importance of client satisfaction – repeatedly and reliably – so that they will not let down those people they hope to convert to loyalty. The good news is, client satisfaction is based on predictable factors:
An excellent product
Delivered by a friendly and caring individual
Delivered in a timely fashion
Supported by effective problem resolution processes
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An excellent product
Consumers want a defect-free service and product. They need to design the service or product so that it can be expected to function within the boundary adequately. Things will sometimes go as planned. People, products, or services will sometimes fail because of unforeseen circumstances. But incomplete or sloppy service or product design is intolerable from the consumer’s point of view.
Suppose a company is staffing an online photo laboratory. People know from experience that one PPT or pre-press technician is needed for every hundred orders. Now suppose they want to be ready for 1,000 orders at any given time. Any foreseeable scenario could prevent them from actually having ten pre-press technicians on hand to make the orders.
How many technicians do they need? Three? Five? Ten? But an excellently designed answer should take into consideration vacation time, last-minute no-shows, and absenteeism – reasonably foreseeable scenarios that can prevent companies from having ten technicians to cover orders.
Not only that, the perfect design should include provisions for getting technicians all the tools, supplies, information, or resources they will need to do an excellent job. Of course, there are still not realistically foreseeable things, like technicians getting sick on the same night or major catastrophe knocking paper mills that supply the company. Products will not always be delivered on time or perfectly. Everyone knows this. That is why organizations need to design things perfectly – foreseeing everything that is foreseeable.
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In the world of instant Google searches, iPhones, as well as the ubiquity of companies like Amazon, customers get to decide what an appropriate timeline is. An excellent product delivered late by caring and friendly people is the equivalent of defective ones. Consumer experiences to guide their expectations.
That is why on-time delivery guidelines continue to get more challenging all the time. What people today things of as timely delivery is not only harsher than what their parents would have tolerated; it is stricter compared to what even their older siblings would have tolerated.
Amazon’s tight supply, as well as the delivery chain, have raised the timeliness bar in the online industry, but that is not the end of the line. Their online delivery speed has also raised offline expectations. As a matter of fact, special ordering for walk-in clients is obsolete for a lot of brick-and-mortar companies.
If they do not have it in stock when clients walk in, consumers will just go online and find it themselves. The impatience rule can only be ignored when consumers commission something custom or something specially made by the company alone, such as cabinetry, gourmet meal, or fine arts. For some custom items, providing something quick can be equated by clients with prefab work or low quality. The trick is to learn the customer’s definition in a timely manner and obey that definition and not your own.
The support of effective problem resolution processes
Service breakdowns, as well other issues experienced by clients, are very important emotional moments in business relationships. That is why solving issues like customer satisfaction will have outsized impacts on the success of any business. That is why companies need effective problem resolution methods.
A practical problem resolution seems like a modest goal. Same with reaching the base camp. Until people find out they are climbing Mount Everest – a big reason why it is very hard. Effective can’t be measured by whether companies have restored situations to the existing conditions of pre-problems.
Effectivity is measured by whether organizations have restored their target market’s satisfaction. It can be pretty challenging, but it is well worth the effort. Resolve service issues effectively, and there is a good chance that consumers will become loyal compared to if they never run into an issue in the first place.
The reason for this is that until an issue happens, the client does not get to see the organizations fully strut their services. Of course, they would never recommend that they intentionally make some mistakes so they can engineer an excellent recovery and win themselves some consumer loyalty and love in the process.
It is the silver lining to keep in mind when organizations are staring down an issue. If problems arise, organizations need to look at them from the client’s point of view. They need to put themselves in the clients’ shoes to have a better idea of the problem.