Definition of Customer Satisfaction – Redux and Mea Culpa


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My last post Definition of Customer Satisfaction was syndicated on CustomerThink and led to a great discussion with Graham Hill. (He also blogs on CustomerThink)

In our comment discussion, he questioned why I was trying to reinvent the wheel and then we discussed why customer satisfaction is so hard to define.

My original intention with the post was to get stakeholders to think about what they were trying to measure. I’ve always felt that satisfaction wasn’t a good measurement if you’re trying to attain excellent customer service.

Our discussion has led me to realise that I was doing what some consultants do; I was oversimplifying.

Agreeing to a Definition With Your Stakeholders

What’s really important is getting the stakeholders to clearly define their customer service objective(s). The terms used matter but only insofar as they’re clearly defined and agreed upon by those stakeholders.

Once this has been accomplished, you can help your stakeholders select terminology that will be used to measure the outcome based on those objectives.

As I mentioned at the end of the post, you may end up deciding that your business model will simply be to deliver “just enough” for your customers to be satisfied. While I think that’s a mistake, you and your stakeholders may have very valid business reasons for doing so. I respect that; it isn’t my business… ;-)

Finally, use whatever definition definition you need, just make sure that all the stakeholders have the same definition and that it reflects your business objectives.



Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eric Jacques
Customer Excellence Blog
Customer Service Excellence Advocate -- working as a Client Satisfaction Manager


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