The most important asset of any organization is its customers. An organization’s success depends on how many customers it has, how much they buy, and how often they buy. Customers that are satisfied will increase in number, buy more, and buy more frequently. Satisfied customers also pay their bills promptly, which greatly improves cash flow the lifeblood of any organization.
Increasingly, manufacturing and service organizations are using customer satisfaction as the measure of quality. The importance of customer satisfaction is not only due to national competition but also due to worldwide competition.
Since customer satisfaction is hard to measure, the measurement often is not precise. As with most attitudes, there is variability among people, and often within the same person at different times. Often, due to the difficulty of measuring feelings, customer satisfaction strategies are developed around clearly stated, logical customer opinions, and the emotional issues of a purchase are disregarded. This can be a costly mistake.
Customer satisfaction should not be viewed in a vacuum. For example, a customer may be satisfied with a product or service and therefore rate the product or service highly in a survey, and yet that same customer may buy another product or service. It is of little benefit to understand a customer’s views about a product or service if the customer’s views about competitors’ product or service are not understood. The value customers place on one product compared to another may be a better indicator of customer loyalty. Customer loyalty can be sustained only by maintaining a favorable comparison when compared with competitors. As mentioned before customer satisfaction is not a simple concept to understand or to measure.