Our understanding of customer satisfaction is clearly rooted in generating value, when we should be causing the person to become themselves the value.
Shifting away from my city´s mayor elections, this week I will look into a topic which haunts everyone who lives in a good Western capitalist nation.
In my job I often find myself talking to customers who feel their expectations of the product or the service they have received is, in much, inferior to their initial expectation. I have long blamed this on human behavior alone, and even felt that it was unreasonable to feel and perceive this at any level and for any reason.
However, lately I have begun to look at the problem from a different perspective. We the capitalists, overwhelming majority in our half of the world, have come to value profit over customer satisfaction (never mind our college books). But customer satisfaction goes far beyond getting a high quality product. It means satisfying a real need. And no, it does not stop at getting ice cream on a warm summer eve. It delves into throwing the person back into their childhood and make them feel 10 over again.
You cannot get that just by selling at a reasonable price.
In our narrow understanding we have assumed that customer satisfaction can
be purchased as a by-product of the money saved by "discounts". But we have
chosen to forget that a person expects much from each interaction they are
faced with. Part of what people expect from an interaction, whether social, commercial, familial, etc., is security. Feeling safe is paramount for anyone who chooses to open their heart... or wallet.
But how do hostile takeovers and corporate acquisitions fit into this model? Where does the application of hard-line, money saving policies fulfill the purpose of true customer satisfaction?
Occasionally, a rogue (pun intended) trader or service provider chooses to
go the extra mile with a customer, which by the way is always beyond corporate policy. When this occurs, they become labeled as "non-committing" or "not-caring". The questions that managers and administrative staff should ask is: Caring about what? The policy or the loyalty of the customer? For too long they have been divided. It is time they became the same.
To conclude this note, I noticed that I just got out of a bank named Banco de Occidente (Western Bank). Ah, gotta love irony.