One common practice when testing the marketing potential of a product is to ask customers if they are satisfied with a product or service. Focus groups are the favorite method to invite customers to provide feedback. One should think customers will buy your products or services because they are satisfied with them, right? Well, not really.
I have already written about the challenge of asking customers if they are satisfied with your products or services. But asking customers whether they are satisfied or not is not really helpful either. Everyone using a five blade shaver is probably satisfied with the results compared to a four blade shaver but how many would really buy a five blade shaver?
What questions do we need to ask in order to get an answer that predicts the probability that customers will buy? In order to predict whether anyone will buy your products, you have to find out if your products or services provide any value to the customer. If they do provide value, is this value unique and you are not facing other competitors?
Buying is an exchange of value and a customer is only willing to buy your product if you are providing value. So even though customers might be satisfied with your products or services, they still might not be interested in buying it because they do not provide value.
Why do I blog this? A quick reminder that customer satisfaction is a valuable tool to answer the right set of questions. But one has to understand more aspects than just customer satisfaction to fully describe the success of a new product or service. Of course we can extend the meaning of the word “satisfaction” but at the end you will always end up referring to (perceived) customer value.
Photo courtesy of lyricsboy
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