Customer Satisfaction vs Customer Obsession

Businesses today are terrible at explaining why they do what they do. We think it's vital that they fix this, and fix it quickly!

Start with why

Have you ever read Simon Sinek’s “Start with why”? Perhaps you’ve seen his TED talk of the same name?

Whether you’ve read him or listened to him, he presents two key ideas.

  • Businesses today are brilliant at explaining what they do. A grocery store can tell you they sell quality products, a metalworker can tell you they produce the finest-quality steel, a beauty shop can tell you they cut hair for both men and women.

  • Businesses today are terrible at explaining WHY they do it. The grocery store has no idea why they sell quality products, the metalworker can’t find a purpose for selling fine-quality steel, and the beauty shop really doesn’t know why they cut hair for both sexes.

Let’s try to add a “why” to each of these businesses.

  • We at the grocery store sell high-quality products, because we want families to be strong, healthier, and ready for a better tomorrow.

  • We at the metalworks want to produce the finest-quality steel, because we want our buildings to be the foundations of a stable, prosperous society.

  • We at the beauty shop want to cut hair for both men and women because we want to bring forth the best version of every human being.

Now that you know their “why’s”, would you buy from any of these businesses?

Thought so.

Customer Satisfaction vs Customer Obsession

Simon Sinek can also help us understand the difference between satisfying customers, and being obsessed with them.

But not so directly, perhaps.

Customer satisfaction is what we’ve been doing since the 50’s, when Peter Drucker first spoke about the purpose of companies. Essentially, his idea was that businesses exist to satisfy customers’ needs, and anything beyond that is irrelevant.

In the age of hypercompetition across all sectors, and when consumers are spoiled for choice, satisfying customers just doesn’t cut it anymore. Businesses need to know their customers inside and out, creating “wow” experiences across a multitude of channels.

So what is the difference between customer satisfaction and customer obsession? Whereas customer satisfaction is satisfying the “what” – I need milk, I want clothes, I want music – customer obsession is figuring out WHY customers want things – I want music to help me relax, I need milk to keep my cats healthy, I want clothes that say “I am an intellectual.”

To uncover this “why,” establishing a continuous dialogue with customers is paramount. Whether through chat, social media, or any other content, it’s important for you to keep abreast of why your customers choose you, and why they don’t, so you can continuously provide those WOW experiences.

Using Ombea to implement customer obsession at scale

With Ombea, you can start with customer obsession by setting up the right way. Here’s just a few ideas to get you started:

  • After each purchase receipt or email, include a smiley-faced question they can click to give you quick feedback. Then, ask them why they feel this way.

  • Place smiley-faced terminals in key on-site locations to see if customers are having an overall good experience. Invite them to follow-up using QR codes.

  • Because Ombea collects and displays feedback in real-time, when you detect negative feedback coming from a specific location or channel, investigate the issue and fix it before it spreads.

Image Credit: Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

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