The ability for a service organization to maintain an acceptable level of customer satisfaction and deliver a reasonable customer experience begins with a company’s understanding of what its customers need, want, and expect. When customer expectations are not well known or more importantly not managed – the instances of dissatisfaction will rise. This article describes the factors that affect customer satisfaction and experience levels.
Satisfiers & Dissatisfiers
Availability of Service
Customers’ expect support to be available when they need it. This means that regardless of when the customer needs help they should be able to get it. This includes both service hours as well as the policies and programs that define entitlement to services.
Knowledge of Service Representative
Customers expect that when they contact you for support the person that provides assistance is knowledgeable and capable of resolving the issue in a timely manner.
There is nothing worse than a situation where the customer feels that they know more than the “expert” providing assistance.
We live in a world where we expect instant gratification. Customers expect their problem to be acknowledged quickly and that a response will be provided in a reasonable time.
Customers want to be treated respectfully. Most service organizations place a significant emphasis on soft skills, but all it takes is for a customer to feel like they have been slighted for the entire service experience to go downhill.
Time to Resolution
Customers want the fastest resolution they can get and are looking for the commitment and effort to quickly work to resolve their issue.
Quality of Product
While not a characteristic of service excellence it is frequently cited as a characteristic of the service experience. Customers don’t want to have to rely on Support for product quality issues, but are often appreciative of help using the product more effectively.
Customers’ expect that the solution offered is complete and effective. Customers are seldom happy when told to try something and call back if it does not work.
Customers want to help themselves on their terms and often do not want to rely on service.
Customers want to be made aware of updates with an option for their technology to be proactively updated (don’t force the update).
Featured Report: How to Define, Measure and Improve Customer Satisfaction
Before you can effectively measure and improve customer satisfaction you must have a clear understanding of what satisfaction is. Satisfaction is primarily an indication that an expectation has been met. Satisfaction is a subjective measure that will vary based on the personal preferences, perceptions, and experiences of an individual. Customers typically indicate that they are satisfied when their expectations are met or exceeded. Because people will likely have different expectations, two customers that experience the same outcome or quality of service may express different levels of satisfaction.
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