ADM serves Car Dealers, Automotive Marketing Pros and Internet Sales Managers
Collins English Dictionary defines customer satisfaction this way, “a feeling of satisfaction with a product or service obtained from a business”. Anyone who works with the public has had the importance of customer satisfaction drummed into their head repeatedly. For years businesses have made it one of their primary goals to have satisfied customers. I’m here to tell you that is not good enough.
There are 4 levels of customer satisfaction, and three of them are bad, including “satisfied”. First, let’s look at the 4 levels from worst to best:
We’ve all experienced this customer. Not only are they unhappy with your product or service, something you have done, real or perceived, has made this customer mad. It is a difficult job to even get these customers calmed down enough to try to fix the problem.
Not only are they likely to never buy from you again; they are likely to make sure that everyone they can get to listen will know what wrong they think you did to them and why no one should ever do business with you. This is your toughest challenge but can be one of your biggest triumphs if you can solve the problem and make them happy.
One of the good things about an Angry customer is that you will most likely know that there is an issue with that customer. One of the problems with Unhappy customers is that you may never know that they are unhappy or why. In some way, you have failed to live up to the expectations of an Unhappy customer.
Their unhappiness may be caused by your product or service failing to satisfy their wants or needs. It may be caused by a deficiency in your deliver process or it may have something to do with your service after the sale. It may be related to the way you have handled the relationship after the sale or the failure to do so.
One of the biggest issue with Unhappy customers is that, for some reason, they aren’t happy but they are not upset enough to tell you about it. You may think everything is fine with these customers while they are silently suffering. They are unlikely to buy from you again, will provide negative reviews if questioned about your company and may tell their friends and relatives about their unhappy experience.
Too many companies are satisfied when their customers are Satisfied. This is wrong. Satisfied is the lowest acceptable value of customer service. Satisfied customers believe your products have met their needs. They view your company’s performance as adequate. They think of the results of their buying decision as average. While you have satisfied their basic needs, you have created no reason for them to buy from you again. You and your company are OK.
Satisfied customers will shop anywhere. Satisfied customers are all about price. Satisfied customers won’t even remember your name.
Unfortunately, many companies stop here and are content with being mediocre. To generate repeat and referral business, to stand out from the crowd and to maximize your business and personal performance; you must take your customers beyond satisfied.
What you and your company really want are customers who are loyal. Loyal customers think about buying from you and your business first. Loyal customers are less concerned about price and more concerned about retaining the level of customer service they have experienced in the past. Loyal customers love to tell their friends, family and everyone they know about their buying experience.
So how do you create Loyal customers? Of course, it starts with having a great primary product or service that customers are purchasing. If your product is below average, or even just average, all the customer service in the world isn’t going to create a Loyal customer. First, make sure your product stands out when compared with your competition.
Building Loyal customers goes beyond just product, however. To become Loyal, customers need to be blown away with your delivery process, with the relationship you build with them and with the service they receive after the sale. Every day you need to be thinking, “What can I do to amaze my customers today?”
Don’t allow yourself or your company to settle for Satisfied customers. Your business will grow if you go beyond satisfied and do whatever it takes to create Loyal customers. Dare to think outside the box or, better yet, like there is no box. Dare to do whatever you can to provide extraordinary customer service. Dare to stand out from the crowd. Dare to do these things and your Loyal customers will reward you handsomely.