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  • Writer's pictureEva Jenisch

Do you deliver what your customers want?

I frequently have conversations with companies about how they want to improve their customer satisfaction. But how is customer satisfaction achieved in the first place? And why might a customer not be satisfied?

My recommendation is to approach the situation from two sides:

🔍 On the one hand, understanding exactly what your customers want, what they actually need and what they are willing to pay for.

🔎 And on the other hand, your company's internal view, namely the analysis of your own processes and to what extent they fulfill the promises made to the customer.

In the ensuing gap analysis, several seemingly paradoxical issues emerge:

⏱ Is what the customers say they want what they really need?

⏱ Is the customer willing to pay for what is supposedly needed?

⏱ ... and maybe what you promoted to the customer is not what the customer needs at all?

⏱ ... or are you possibly not earning any money at all with the service provided?

Well, how can you go about optimally aligning your own services and products with customer wishes and requirements, while at the same time, of course, earning a profit as a company too?

I would recommend working through these three stages:

🧰 The customer's business requirement needs to be analyzed and then the product and service should be tailored to create a positive price/performance ratio for the customer, i.e., product or service should have added value from the customer’s perspective.

🧰 The main part of the work is to improve internal processes and customer interfaces so that the desired performance can be delivered efficiently and effectively. Lean and 6 Sigma are well proven methods to implement these changes - depending on how the customer works, you might want to use agile methods. In addition, it is essential to look at whether processes can be simplified or better linked to the customer through digitalization.

🧰 Based on this, formulate the value proposition, and define the necessary KPIs to measure actual performance in terms of service delivery, customer satisfaction and value creation.

Finally, one more point that I consider to be very important: employees will treat customers with the same appreciation as they are afforded in their own organization.

When will you next look at whether your products and services are really what your customers need?

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