Login or signup
36
SALES AND MARKETING

Why Customer Satisfaction Is BS

Best-selling author Jeff Gitomer explains why focusing on customer satisfaction is a go-out-of-business strategy.

Advertisement

A few days ago, I spent an hour speaking with best-selling author and sales guru Jeff Gitomer. Gitomer is always outspoken, but there was one thing he told me that really opened my eyes. Here it is:

"The two most bogus words in the business world are customer satisfaction."

After giving me a few moments to recover from my shock, he explained: "Customer satisfaction is just a millimeter above customer dissatisfaction. Just because somebody is satisfied doesn't mean they're happy."

Gitomer pointed out that the entire concept of customer satisfaction is dishwater tepid. Why would a customer who's only "satisfied" hesitate to buy from competitors if they offered much the same thing at a lower price?

Put another way, when was the last time you went out of your way to revisit a restaurant because the experience left you "satisfied"?

More important, "everyone has customers who are never satisfied--who are always asking for a better deal, for instance--but who keep on buying from you," Gitomer explained. "What's really important isn't customer satisfaction but customer loyalty."

According to Gitomer, customer loyalty consists of two simple tests:

  1. Will the customer continue to do business with you?
  2. Will the customer refer you to a colleague?

Gitomer is correct, of course. If you don't win customer loyalty, all the "customer satisfaction" in the world is worse than worthless. It's a distraction, in fact, from the real business of keeping your existing customers and attracting new ones.

Like this post? If so, sign up for the free Sales Source newsletter.

Last updated: Feb 13, 2014

GEOFFREY JAMES did a lot of business stuff and wrote a slew of articles and books. Now he writes this column. Preorder his new book, Business Without the Bullsh*t, by May 12 and get an exclusive bonus chapter and a signed bookplate.
@Sales_Source




Register on Inc.com today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Comment and share features
EMAIL
PASSWORD
EMAIL
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
PASSWORD

Or sign up using: