Does your business “Keep the Customer satisfied”?

Simon & Garfunkel popularized this theme in the early 70’s. Do you struggle to make it a reality? Making it a reality will turn your business from good to great. And it is a two edged sword. You cannot do things that displease the customer and you must impress or satisfy him/her with your uniquenesses. Those two sound the same but they are opposites. Deal with them as opposites!

  • Customer satisfaction builds long term relationships

In any relationship; between two people, even between an individual and his job and certainly between a customer and a brand, product or service, customer satisfaction is critical.

Customer satisfaction leads to long stable relationships and both parties benefit from that stability. It costs you money to create that first sale. Repeat interactions drive volumes and the cost is lower as well.

Dissatisfaction leads to the consumer seeking alternative solutions, to repeated questioning of the relationship and to breaks and ultimately to a dissatisfied separation.

And in these days of social communication that dissatisfaction may quickly spread, resulting in others voicing and sharing the same concerns.

  • The brand must recognize the buyers way of thinking

It is most important to realize that the factors that cause dissatisfaction are not the same factors that create long term loyalty or true satisfaction. The two issues must be thought of individually and separately. Doing one exercise extremely well may prevent dissatisfaction but will not necessarily create any long-term loyalty. And any interaction between a customer and a brand must be focused on creating long term relationships. You want the customer to repeatedly come back. And deal with your brand again and again.

The Hygiene factors are factors that, without excuse, must be done well. Every time. Always. That is the consumer expectation. But if done well, it is likely they will not even be noticed. That will create no satisfaction or long-term loyalty with the consumer. It is the satisfiers that do that.

  • You must ensure that the Hygiene Factors are in place

Hygiene factors are those that the consumer expects be to his satisfaction all the time, without question. He will never compromise on these. For example, in a hotel experience a consumer expects the bathroom, the room and the bedding to be clean. Those are hygiene factors. If that is in place he/she will probably tell no-one. If they are not he/she will tell everybody. You need to know in your business exactly what those are.

  • Get creative with the Satisfiers

Satisfiers are those issues the surprise a consumer. They are events or occurrences beyond the consumer’s expectation. They will tell everyone about the satisfiers and will come back to you when he/she is thus satisfied. Back to the hotel experience. That might be a bowl of fresh fruit in a room on arrival, a candle burning in the bathroom or a glass of champagne with breakfast. That they will notice and will positively tell friends about.

  • Create an Impression

In understanding the relationship between your consumer and your brand you must separately   identify both the hygiene factors and the satisfiers. And you must treat each differently. Research them. Train staff accordingly so they are aware of them. Measure your performance on an ongoing basis. Do not think that because you have managed the hygiene factors extremely well you have done the job and satisfied the consumer.  No. It is the satisfiers you must do well and create that impression in the consumers mind.

  • Make a personal Impression

And it is the same with seduction and persona relationships. Always wear a clean shirt. That is not to impress but simple hygiene (in both senses of the word) Bring flowers or unexpectedly stop off at that special spot on the way home. That is the satifier that will create an impression and keep the relationship stable, healthy and special.

When you do research to evaluate how well you are performing always make sure you identify separately both the hygiene factors and the satisfiers. Measure each independently.  Attend to the hygiene factors and make sure you excel with the satisfiers. In that way you will ensure that your customers remember and talk about your business for all the good reasons.  That will make your business great.

About Garth Sutherland

Garth Sutherland has an extensive multicultural understanding.

He has worked with local brands (creating independent strategic positions) and international brands (integrating the international brand vision with the local demand to optimize the “on the ground” brand presence). His strengths include bringing a strong strategic focus into all aspects of marketing delivery, working with multi-agency perspectives, independent thinking & implementing with a consistent and practical teamwork focused delivery.

If you are looking to maximize the strategic value of your brand opportunity, Garth is the ideal resource to task.

You can contact him on +971 (0) 50 459 2536 or at garthsu@gmail.com

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