'Good' Is the Enemy of 'Great'
1. First understand your clients standards for 'satisfaction'
In Seth's Blog (Jan 30/2012), Seth Godin suggests the best explanation of client satisfaction is the equation: What they're hoping for - minus - What they get. Successful companies don't settle for just 'satisfied'. They want the client to have a 'WOW' experience.
2. Delight and surprise them - don't 'manage expectations'
The ability to delight and surprise is at the core of every beloved brand, product or service. Shady promises or hype will undercut the relationship before it even has a chance to take hold. Of course you have to make promises to earn attention and get a contract signed. The mistake is when you put more effort into the audition than you do into the performance. Don't under-promise. Promise a lot! Deliver even more.
3. Silent Disappointment -not complaint- is the sound of your client going elsewhere
What happens too often is that salespeople or marketers exaggerate what's promised - and then fail to deliver it. That results in disappointment. (and loss of trust, referrals and repeat business) Unfortunately, many clients will quietly suffer through the experience without mentioning it - to you.
4. Memory is more important than Reality
Apparently there's research that shows what people remember is often different - and far more important than what they actually experience. So what do clients remember about their business relationship with you? The peak of the experience (bad or good) and, the last part of the experience.
5. Provide your Client with a Peak Experience that goes way beyond Expectations
Regardless of your product or process, the best way to maximize client satisfaction is to amplify the positive peak experience and make sure it happens near the end of the service you provide. And yes, I know, that's more easily said than done.
How does this work in your business?
Quit selling for a minute and put yourself in your clients shoes. Where do they experience frustration or disappointment? What's their 'peak experience' in the process? What powerful memories will they store and share? If you don't know the answers, ask your clients. In fact, you should ask them anyway. They're just waiting for a chance to tell you.