The Drivers of Customer Satisfaction Explained

So, over time, we’ve talked a lot about different concerns when it comes to customer support, customer experience and customer loyalty. We’ve talked about issues directly related to these, like monthly recurring revenue, lifetime values of customers, metrics like customer acquisition costs, and even analytics topics for discerning (beyond the range of Heisenberg effect problems) the opinions and desires of target customers. But, we haven’t really talked about the drivers of customer satisfaction.

What the hell does this even mean? Well, I asked that same question the first time I heard this term mentioned, but it turns out I was already more than familiar with the concepts within it, just sans the terminology itself.

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Well, I’ll clarify them for you, and you’ll have the same “oh it’s those” reaction I had, as well. At least, I suspect you will.

So, what exactly are these? They’re the deciding factors in whether a customer’s needs and expectations are deemed to be met, within reasonable standards. This means that a number of factors, throughout a customer experience cycle, are factored in here.

It starts early, with the effect of your marketing campaign for need generation. It needs to actually do more than just make the customer aware of a product/service, and of a need for it. It needs to leave them interested and feeling positive about their experience with the outreach. This means controversy is dangerous (but can do neat things if handled cleverly), and that annoying them into remembering you is also a bad idea.

If they hate your commercials, even if they use you, it’ll be with a bitter aftertaste. Along with that, the strength of your brand as an entity, and their sense of loyalty and ability to relate to your brand is also a major driving factor as well.

Along with this, of course price point and a sign of customer loyalty appreciation are huge factors, and you must strategize to incentivize them to remain loyal, and instill in them a sense of being valued by you, not just livestock to grind profits.

Finally, above all things, good customer service and support is tremendously important. Great customer service can garner loyalty. It does not tend to drive a huge, rapidly growing reputation, though. However, poor customer service will spread like wildfire, and poorly handling problems that are, in the eyes of the customers, “your darn fault”, is going to leave an endless poor taste in their mouth. Bad customer service is damning and eternal.

What kind of pattern are we seeing emerge here? We see that not annoying customers with advertising means a good first impression. Ease of use and price point, as well as customer appreciation, make them respect you, because you respect them.

Now and then, problems do arise, and when they do, it’s just one of those things. But, at the time, in the eyes of the customer, this is a severe inconvenience, and you are to blame. So, being courteous, expedient and empathetic with your customers is going to make this less of an issue, and they won’t feel further insulted by your negligence.

These are what the drivers of customer satisfaction really are. There are is some mathematical wizardry which can base on harder metrics and analytics within the confines of these, but that’s another story.

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Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe