Total customer satisfaction is a business strategy aimed toward ensuring that the overall customer experience is good, in addition to providing a quality product or service. This is particularly important when competitors offer similar or identical products or services for similar prices. The business that can provide the best overall experience will likely be more successful than the others simply because customers find conducting business there more satisfying overall. Adopting customer satisfaction as a primary business goal can sometimes be costly and difficult, but doing so is likely to pay off over time.
A business must, first of all, offer a good product or service if total customer satisfaction is to be achieved. Even if the customer is treated well and has an overall positive experience purchasing the product or service, he will probably not recommend or return to the business if the product is not satisfactory. A business must, quite simply, be good at providing the product or service that it offers or customers will not be satisfied overall.
Focus on customers is another important element, since a customer who is acknowledged, well taken care of, and respected will likely have a better experience. Poor service in the form of excessive focus on profits or efficiency over concern for the customer can undermine attempts to achieve customer satisfaction, even when a good product or service is offered. A customer who feels that a business cares only about the money and has no concern for him will likely not be completely satisfied.
In many cases, total customer satisfaction is a concern even after the customer purchases a product or service. Some services, such as Internet or phone service, are sustained over a period of time. Additionally, products may stop working properly, or a customer may have questions about how to use a product. Businesses that offer timely, helpful, and respectful support are much more likely to bring about customer satisfaction than businesses that do not offer support after a purchase.
It can, at times, be difficult for a business owner to know precisely what brings about total customer satisfaction. In such cases, many businesses ask for customer feedback through surveys or in conversations with managers. Doing so serves a twofold purpose: it allows the customer to provide valuable feedback that can be used to improve the overall customer experience, and asking for such feedback also tells the customer that the business is, indeed, concerned about his needs and opinions.