Tag Archives: customer satisfaction

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Customer satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction May Start With a Promise

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An easy question to ask but a harder one to answer is what promotes customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is based on an expectation, a perception, and a feeling during or after an interaction. What is your promise?

The Promise

Brands have promises. Cadillac, BMW, or Jaguar may have a brand promise. So does Hyundai and Kia.

A dinner out at an Outback Steakhouse carries a different expectation from McDonald’s, Burger King, or Wendy’s.

An employee earning $90k annually has additional expectations when compared with the employee who earns $35k.

Similar expectations exist for a cup of coffee, a bottle of wine, or pair of shoes. Price sets precedence for the expectations and it elevates the factor of risk for customer satisfaction.

The lower the price, the lower the brand promise, theoretically making it easier to satisfy.

Are more people satisfied with a low-price experience as compared with a high price experience?

It would be hard to guess with so many factors conditioning any potential outcome. However, most would agree that a big price with poor outcomes is remembered long after the experience is over.

A low price with a bad experience is easier to forget. We may think, “I didn’t get much, but I didn’t expect it either.”

What is your commitment? Are you making big promises? Are you commanding a higher price?

Customer Satisfaction

It seems that is easier to give less, do less, and provide less because the expectations are lower. On the flip side of that, if we are always providing less is our customer satisfaction truly high or are we short changing the customer experience?

Does a $75 per hour employee work harder than a $14 per hour employee? Theoretically no, both should be 100% effort for one hour of work, but the expected value of the $75 per hour employee is much more.

What are you doing about customer satisfaction? Taking big risks with big promises, or just delivering the easy stuff.

It’s a choice and a mindset. It’s your brand promise and it starts with culture.


Our actions, behaviors, and outcomes are driven by culture. So is customer satisfaction. It is why I wrote this book:

customer satisfaction

Buy now on Amazon

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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brand consistency

Brand Consistency Should Mean Authenticity

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Choose a consumer of any product or service and you may find what they value the most is brand consistency. Have you been turned off, made a different choice, or selected a new vendor because of a lack of consistency?

Ask yourself this question, “What do buying choices, customer satisfaction, and job promotions have in common?”

In Good Taste

In high school, I had some friends’ who loved the boxed macaroni and cheese. The kind that comes in a small box, complete with macaroni, some powdery or sauce type cheese, and on the side of the box are the cooking directions.

I’m working from memory here. As I recall, you boil some water, add in the macaroni, simmer for a while, and then ultimately mix the concoction together with the cheese and maybe some butter or margarine.

My friends’ mother was the shopper and often bought the bargain boxes of the generic macaroni and cheese. Until one day, she had a coupon for the real stuff, the Kraft brand, Mac & Cheese.

The mother happily prepared the Kraft brand and proudly served it. My friends’, her children, were appalled. They thought it was the worst macaroni and cheese they ever tasted.

It was different.

Brand Consistency

Consistency is not about being like someone else, consistency is about being unique. The important part is that you are unique in the same way each and every time.

There is a pizza shop just a few miles from my home. They always appear to be busy. When you go in the shop there is a sense of urgency and hustle. It is a nice success.

I don’t go there as much as I would if their pizza was consistent. Depending on who makes the pizza, it is different. It’s disappointing.

Authentically Consistent

Is the business or organization you work for consistent? Are the products and services consistent with the brand reputation?

What about your own personal work? The time, emotional labor, and outputs, are they consistent?

Buying choices, customer satisfaction, and job promotions do have something in common. They are often based on the expectation of being authentically consistent.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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C-Suite Learning

C-Suite Learning Will Mean Customer Satisfaction

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The smallest companies sometimes thrive. Not because they are the cheapest but because they are still learning. What about those in the C-Suite, are they still learning?

C-Suite learning may make the difference for customer satisfaction, growth, or stagnation.

Why pick on the leaders?

Leaders are responsible. Responsible for leading the culture of the organization. The smallest companies make it because the CEO is close enough to the customer to make the difference.

As organizations grow the leadership style starts to shift. The culture drives attention to the numbers and numbers are measured against numbers.

The castle is built and there is either a moat or a wall surrounding it. Sometimes both.

Metrics and measurement separate the connection between the product and the customer. The responsibility shifts to the front line.

The front line is stranded and stalled. They wait for the next meeting, the next decision, or the pivot that scraps it all.

Meanwhile the customer chooses a different path.

The company screams, “There is no customer loyalty!”

C-Suite Learning

C-Suite learning can make the difference. Yes, it is about the conference, the professional development, and the concept that leaders are readers. Don’t forget that it is also about connection.

When the C-Suite continues the connection with the customer the culture built will be inviting the customer to join. Remember, this is exactly why the small business succeeds. Front-line (and CEO) learning, passion, and connection.

Too often as the organization grows, it slows. It grows just big enough so that the chaos and disconnect fight back. The business finds itself positioned somewhere between stuck and stalled.

C-Suite learning often stops. The walls and moats shelter decision makers from the front line. Risk is measured differently. Insight becomes more about the numbers gap and less about customer satisfaction.

In the early days, customer satisfaction came first. It mattered more. Decisions were made by the influence of direct engagement. Learning made things grow.

Now a lack of learning makes things stop.

Learning how to make the numbers matters, but management by the numbers alone puts you inside the castle.


Make a difference for your culture. Continue building an exceptional culture of service. It is why I wrote this important resource: 

#CustServ Customer Service Culture

Get it Now on Amazon

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

Originally posted on October 5, 2018, last updated on December 23, 2018.

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want and need difference

Want and Need, What is the Difference?

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Is the difference between want and need just semantics? It could be, but if you are in consultative sales understanding the difference may be critical. If you are setting the bar for customer service excellence it has never been more important.

What is the difference?

I want it with four-wheel drive.

I want the biggest engine.

It is common for customers to present with what they want, but do they always know what they need? The basics of delivering exceptional customer service mean that the customer is highly satisfied and hopefully delighted with their transaction. The customer decides, not the vendor.

When the vendor gives the customer what they want, is it the same as what they need? The safe answer of course is, “sometimes.”

Transactional vs. Consultative

The sales exchange at the drive through window of a fast food restaurant most often is not consultative sales.

I want the #1 with a Diet Soda.

I’ll have the big box, hold the guacamole.

Give me the two for $5.

It is a transactional sale and while want and need may still be important, it isn’t nearly as critical. Sometimes it isn’t even our business to know. Suggesting the healthier choice (in your opinion) may seem valid, but it also may not be your business.

Consultative Sales

The other side of sometimes is that sometimes it isn’t. The highest level of customer satisfaction is long-term satisfaction. The customer should understand that what they want is appropriate for their needs.

A commercial grade tool may not be required for the average homeowner. Likewise, a seven-passenger vehicle with a DVD entertainment system may not be what an 80-year-old needs to pick up groceries, even though it is on the lot at a great price and they can pay with cash.

The sales process at a car dealership, with a realtor, or in many business-to-business transactions is often consultative sales. The size, the intended use, product life, and many other variables will condition long-term satisfaction.

Want and Need

Is this all a no-brainer? Perhaps, but the words we chose often have a psychological impact. Our mind-set is important to deliver exceptional levels of satisfaction. When we deliver what the customer wants, and it really isn’t what they need, we might have a problem.

Many people subconsciously search for effortless. They, by nature, like it easy. It might be easy to be an order taker. Closing the sale fast and without debate helps make the numbers, it could also result in a nice commission check, for now.

Businesses with high integrity and ethical standards who are watching lifetime value should know the difference between want and need.

You should too.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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