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Customer Satisfaction is defined as «the number of customers, or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a firm, its products, or its services (ratings) exceeds specified satisfaction goals».*

But what does that actually mean in terms of doing business?  How should you – the supplier or manufacturer – behave in order to create, nurture and sustain that mutually beneficial relationship?

REDTAIL is (as are many) a user of the word partner.  We would like to think user not abuser.  We strive to work very closely with customers in order to create solutions relevant to their market, business and customer requirement.  And as part of an ongoing dialogue (key word) we do ask how we’re doing.  Below are a few words and phrases offered by our customers:

Let’s try and group into four key areas: Innovation, Productivity, Quality and Relationship.  With a slightly subjective view on labels, the spread of sentiment is as below:

  Insurer A Insurer B
Innovation 4 2
Productivity 2 4
Quality 0 4
Relationship 2 3

It is indicative that relationship points are closest to parity.  The remaining emphases are surely indicative of the nature of the customer’s business, with greater need for and recognition of innovation, for example, and conversely of productivity.  Also, it seems interesting that the customer with higher expectations of innovation has a much lower recognition of quality!

So, to answer the original question, it is fair but perhaps obvious to say that Customer Satisfaction means all of the above, and more.  But the resounding confirmation of that next purchase order must be the ultimate indicator of a satisfied customer.

*Farris, Paul W.; Neil T. Bendle; Phillip E. Pfeifer; David J. Reibstein (2010). Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-13-705829-2.