I was teaching about customer behavior yesterday night and I told again to my students that today, customer satisfaction is not enough: we should thrive for over-satisfaction. So, always remember the following principles:
Customers care more for details
We always think that customer value “the main thing”, the core product or service. It’s true but for them, it’s just but normal. They will be delighted or disappointed based on some detail you don’t even think of..
Perception is the only reality
In marketing, we fight for positive perception. What customers perceive is the only reality and it’s always a distorted reality. You may think you have the best quality or service or packaging but if your customers don’t perceive it like you do, too bad, they’re right !
Personalization & recognition is key
Nothing is more powerful than being recognized and appreciated by another person. We live in an increasingly competitive society where we feel anonymous. The best feeling customers may have is to be remembered, addressed to by their name and truly appreciated.
Listening and reflecting
Active listening is a psychological approach developed by Carl Rogers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Rogers It aims at reflecting other people feelings until they feel cared for and understood. Active listening is very effective in dealing with disappointed or even angry customers. It also works to detect needs and wants and imagine effective solutions to your counterpart problems.
Taking charge of needs, wants & problems
Being attentive and caring is not enough. Customers want effectiveness ! It’s rather difficult coz they want clear, quick and direct solutions to their problems. The only way is to give unlimited power to your front line staff. Give them the authority to decide in the customer’s interest whatever the cost.. You will never be wrong !
Efficiency in problem solving
Efficiency is all relative. It’s very probable that your view of it will be different that the one of your controller or the one of your client ! Efficiency is to be judged by the customer, not by you, period ! So, ask him or her to rate you until you get it right in his or her view !
Explicit expression of satisfaction or unsatisfaction
Always probe and get customers to tell you about their opinion, eyes in eyes ! If they’re not happy, you will know and you can work on it. If they are, they will be more delighted to tell you that you were good ! But ask them in a positive way: “what could we do better next time ? ” is better than “were you happy with our services ?”. It’s more positive and wil help your customer to tell you the bad things !
Good luck !