You might not be able to manufacture customer happiness, but you can follow this proven recipe for making customer happy, courtesy of a customer satisfaction survey from Accenture.

Customer Satisfaction Survey Reveals Key Drivers for Consumer Satisfaction

An Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey reveals a list of “customer satisfaction ingredients.” Here’s the list of drivers the customer satisfaction survey found when it comes to what U.S. consumers really want from the brands they do business with:

  • Good value for the money – 8
  • Great customer service – 7.9
  • Competitive prices – 7.8
  • Competent, intuitive staff – 7.8
  • Trustworthy – 7.8
  • High quality products – 7.8
  • Hassle-free – 7.6
  • Knowledgeable experts – 7.2
  • Lots of options – 6.7
  • Cater to my preferences – 6.5
  • Good people – 6.5
  • Engaging – 6.3
  • Innovative – 6.2
  • Relevant to me – 5.8
  • Responsible – 5.4
Customer Satisfaction Survey with a Recipe for Making Customers Happy

Customer Satisfaction Survey: Meeting or Beating Expectations

It’s important to understand that this list of fifteen consumer satisfaction drivers are those that must be fulfilled simply in order to meet expectations, not exceed them. Satisfaction is defined as:

  • fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations or needs
  • the pleasure or feeling that one derives from being satisfied
  • the payment of a debt or fulfillment of an obligation
  • what is felt to be owed or due to one

In other words, these are things customers expect to be true each and every time they do business with your brand – what they feel your brand owes them in exchange for patronage. If you fail to meet any of these standards you could be losing customers without even knowing why, since only about 4% of dissatisfied customers actually speak up and give a brand a chance to make things right. That means that 96 percent of customers who are dissatisfied with your brand may never even voice a complaint. In fact, 91 percent of customers who are dissatisfied leave and never come back (“Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner).

96% of customers who are unhappy with your brand might never even voice a complaint.

Understanding Customers – Ruby Newell-Legner

The imperative to meet customer expectations every time they do business with your brand becomes even more significant when you consider that it could take more than ten positive experiences to make up for just one unresolved negative customer encounter.

Acquiring a new customer could cost 7x more than retaining existing customers.

White House Office of Consumer Affairs

The cost of acquiring customers could be 6-7x what it costs to keep existing customers coming back, or even more (White House Office of Consumer Affairs). From a purely practical standpoint, it’s well-worth taking this list of customer satisfaction survey findings and using it as a checklist for evaluating the buying journey in your business.

Customer Satisfaction Survey: Stats Show What It Really Takes to Make Happy Customers

Most business owners understand how pricing, quality and perceived value relate to customer satisfaction. In fact, most business owners have probably already adjusted them in order to maximize the positive impact they have on the customer experience. Of the remaining 12 customer satisfaction survey findings, most can be placed in three main categories, and these may represent areas where business owners will find the ingredients they are lacking when it comes to their brand’s recipe for making customers happy:

Brand Representatives

  • Employees provide a high level of customer service, sales-expertise and advice
  • Employees who interact with customers have the right skills, understand and anticipate customer needs
  • Employees make it easy to do business with the company
  • Employees try to personalize and tailor customer experiences
  • Employees communicate effectively and personably
  • Employees can be creative in resolving customer issues

Brand Personalization

  • The buying journey is personalized to customer preferences, needs, desires and past interactions
  • Brand communications make customers feel more personally connected to the brand
  • Brand values are relevant to the customer’s personal values
  • The brand offers the products/services customers want, and provide the right options to allow for customer personalization
  • The brand is innovative, earning customer intrigue and interest

Brand Integrity, Intelligence and Compassion

  • The brand is intuitive in anticipating what customers want
  • The brand is innovative (a leader in some way)
  • The brand is environmentally responsible
  • Marketing and customer information is interesting, relevant and engaging
  • Customers feel the brand prioritizes and invests in hiring and training employees to be sure they have the expertise, skills and attitudes needed to make customers happy
  • The brand hires “good people” that customers enjoy working with
  • The brand exhibits values customers perceive as compassionate (because they are relevant to their own values and interests)

As you can see, several of the customer satisfaction survey findings fall into more than one category and may even vary from customer to customer depending on their own personal values and perceptions. The more of these ingredients that go into the customer experience, the more likely it is your brand will perfect its recipe for making customers happy.

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