Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction

So the purpose of marketing centres very much upon creation of value and a long-term customer relationship. Customer satisfaction is a central concept to this proposal. A marketing company aims to set a level of expectation at which customers are satisfied that value is delivered through an exchange process.

Be careful not to set your satisfaction level too low because your customers will go to competitors. On the other hand try not to set your satisfaction level too high because if you don’t achieve that level, then your customers will also go to competitors. So the aim is to satisfy customers so that they come back and buy it again. This is fundamental to relationship marketing and customer relationship management.

Companies today have strategies for recruiting, retaining and extending products and services to customers in order to develop customer loyalty and to retain customers for the long-term. Essentially we are looking at long-term customer relationship management, and relationship marketing. Companies may have in the past looked at satisfying the needs of large target groups or segments, today they look more at marketing to profitable individuals whom they aim to retain for as long as possible.

Reflect for a moment and think of an example of when you were dissatisfied with the product or service. Why were you dissatisfied? Then think of an occasion when you are entirely satisfied or in fact delighted with a product or service. Why were you satisfied? This is the basis of customer satisfaction.

. . the extent to which a product’s perceived performance matches buyers’ expectations.

Kotler and Armstrong 2010.

It’s all about perception. In the mind of the consumer perception is reality, often not reflecting the value that a product or service delivers. Customer satisfaction depends on how the consumer perceives their experience and this is a central job of marketing. Satisfied customers come back time and time again, so aim to deliver slightly more satisfaction than the customer might reasonably expect i.e. delighted them! A central goal of increasing customer satisfaction is paramount, but remember it’s not about dropping your price or promising too much since these would only increase costs to your business. Getting this right is the job of the marketer.

Large organisations would have different levels of customer satisfaction for different customers. Take a business like car manufacturer Ford for example. Ford has products and services which are positioned in a series of segments. Each segment requires a different level of satisfaction, so a low-cost economical budget vehicle would be marketed in one way perhaps, pitched at a lower level of customer satisfaction, whilst a more expensive executive vehicle would have a higher level of customer satisfaction. A more expensive executive vehicle would have a higher margin of profit and therefore customer satisfaction would be costed in to the final price that the consumer pays. The purchaser of an economy product pays less and therefore expectations of customer satisfaction would be lower.