Creating Customer Value

Customer Retention

Customer Satisfaction Illusion and Trap

Examples and Dangerous Assumptions



Adapted from: Customer Intimacy, Fred Wiersema


Today, "it would be difficult to find a company that doesn't proudly claim to be a customer-oriented, customer-focused, or even-customer driven enterprise. But look closer at how these companies put their assertions into practice, and often you discover an array of notions and assumptions that range from superficial and incomplete to misguided."  

Some examples of customer satisfaction illusion include:

  • believing that by conducting market surveys and focus groups you know all there is to know about your customers

  • believing that investing in awareness programs for employees and putting customers' pictures on the cover of your annual report is enough to achieve customer satisfaction

  • believing that the job of CEO is done by giving his or her direct phone number to some valued customers

All these approaches are well intentioned, but "all of them offer, at best, partial solution to their customer satisfaction, and all, as a result, fall short."

There is nothing wrong with the notion of customer satisfaction per se. "The problem comes with its pursuit, which if fraught with peril. Most plans to improve customer satisfaction stand on two shaky and dangerous assumptions." What they create is an illusion the customer satisfaction trap.    


 Two Dangerous Assumptions

①  There is a reliable way to measure customer satisfaction or even to agree on what it means.

②  Once agreed upon, the customer satisfaction measures provide your company with guidance and direction.

Both assumptions are half-truths at best, and two half-truths don't make a whole. Too often, measurement of customer satisfaction are misleading they tell you very little about where you are, and they can't show you where to go.   

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Vadim Kotelnikov advice quotes

Don't treat customer satisfaction as a have-to-do work, treat it as a passionate, creative, exciting and rewarding journey.

Vadim Kotelnikov

Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo    Business e-Coach    Innompic Games icon