- Posted by James Canada
- On December 14, 2020
We once believed that customer satisfaction would continue to increase as long as conformance to their requirements increased. In other words, give them exactly what they asked for, and they’ll jump for joy. Simple, right?
Not exactly. We now know that the customer’s level of satisfaction is a bit more complicated, driven by two factors that define their overall perception of quality:
- How well the goods or services meet their “must-have” requirements
- Whether those goods or services exceed their expectations
These are known as the two dimensions of quality.
First, customers have basic requirements that must be fulfilled. Of course, failure to meet these requirements results in dissatisfaction; but even just meeting them might result in a neutral opinion, which, from a customer service perspective, is almost as bad as being disliked.
To truly please the customer, you need to exceed their expectations. Your product or service must have unexpected or exciting quality characteristics that take the customer from a neutral opinion to high satisfaction.
As an International Consultant in the corporate environment, I challenged myself to not only deliver my project in a timely manner, but to also come up with 10 process improvement ideas. Ideally, the client’s implementation of these ideas would pay for my services. My customers were always thrilled.
Of course, they didn’t always implement my ideas. But because I took the initiative and tried to help them, their overall satisfaction with my services was much higher. Applying this concept to my ownership of a small business has served us well. Our team takes a proactive approach, offering ideas and services learned from best practices of our other customers. This is one of the core values that set us apart from our competitors.
Jim is an operations, business development and program/project management leader with Executive Management experience in both Service and Manufacturing environments.