Customer satisfaction refers to the extent to which customers are happy with the products and services provided by a business. Customer satisfaction levels can be measured using survey techniques and questionnaires.
Gaining high levels of customer satisfaction is very important to a business because satisfied customers are most likely to be loyal and to make repeat orders and to use a wide range of services offered by a business.
Studies carried out by companies like Argos and Cadburys have found very high levels of customer satisfaction. It is not surprising because these companies emphasise market research and marketing as the tools to find out what customers want. Knowing what your customer wants then makes it possible to tailor everything you do to pleasing the customers e.g. providing the goods that customers want, in the packaging that they want, in retail outlets which are convenient to use and well placed.
There are many factors which lead to high levels of customer satisfaction including:
- Products and services which are customer focused and thence provide high levels of value for money.
- Customer service giving personal attention to the needs of individual customers.
- After sales service - following up the original purchase with after sales support such as maintenance and updating (for example in the updating of computer packages).
What is clear about customer satisfaction is that customers are most likely to appreciate the goods and services that they buy if they are made to feel special. This occurs when they feel that the goods and services that they buy have been specially produced for them or for people like them. This relates to a wide range of products such as razors that are designed for ease of use and good quality finish, petrol products that are environmentally friendly and customised to meet the needs of particular types of engines, etc.