Customer Satisfaction

Plane flights=blog posts; it’s a rule.

So on my flight to NYC, I read a couple of interesting articles I thought I’d write about; here is the first, from US Airways’ in-flight magazine. They have a regular column for business travelers called “The Gist” (I think I’ve written about articles in this column before?); this particular article was about business research into customer complaints compensation.

There’s a lot of interesting psychological information in the article (“opportunistic customers”—defined as “those who exploit companies’ compensation efforts for gain”— are more likely to try and make “opportunistic claims” against large corporations, because they don’t feel shame since they can convince themselves that it won’t harm the company), but the main thing I wanted to write about is this:

In a study of Taiwanese chain restaurants, Chen-Tsang Tsai, of National Taiwan Normal University, and Ching-Shu Su, of Jinwen University of Science and Technology, found that managerial attention produced the highest levels of customer satisfaction, beating out free food, discounts, coupons, and replacement items.

This was really interesting to me, because consider the seed: if I make a mistake with a customer, because I’m not really engaged—not paying attention—then it makes sense that the proper response would be to correct that, by paying attention. Free food isn’t going to cut it. (Although I do also think replacement items would be important—if i give someone a faulty product, then I think the karmic solution would be to give them a product that works correctly).

The ancient scriptures say that the cause of being successful is concentration—think about it, what can you do if you can’t concentrate? What task could you complete if you couldn’t concentrate on the job at hand long enough to finish it? That being the case then, I think perhaps the reverse it true: an inability to concentrate will result in failure. And I think that perhaps all failure involving a customer on some level comes back to a failure to concentrate, to be focused on the customer (by the way, this why we teach meditation during our business courses…).

I have a theory that many common business practices accepted as standard operating procedure are recognized as such because built into them are the seeds to be successful. So maybe here is one case in point? If a customer is dissatisfied, make sure that they get significant, prompt attention—the seed to get rid of the problem in the first place.

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