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February 2016 | Blog


Improve customer satisfaction

How can we improve the satisfaction, even the happiness of our service customers – isn’t this the most relevant question we are facing every single day?

It is at the core of every business to retain its customers; not because the customers have to stay with us, but because they want to – because they are happy customers.

From my experience, there is usually one of two things that went wrong when a customer is not happy. Either we promised the customer too much to close the sales (overpromise) or we fail to deliver, mostly due to internal issues (underdeliver).


Underdelivery is easier to avoid

Most service organizations have a high enough focus on their service delivery performance to minimize the effect of underdelivery. And it’s good we all do so – this is within our direct control and can usually be measured pretty good. So the tasks for the people in charge are straight forward – SLA’s need to be managed properly, resource allocation has to be predictive and dynamic, and you need a regular and good communication with your customers.

Combine that with very measurable processes and KPI’s and you’re most likely in a good place. I know that this sounds easier than it is for most organizations, but then again – it is within our daily responsibility to make this work.


What about overpromising?

For many (service) organizations, the practice of overpromising to their customers seems to be a bigger challenge to overcome. As sales processes for services across most industries become more difficult, this is an easy trap to fall into. It seems too simple – just promises the customer to solve all his problems, no matter what, and of course it’s all included in the price he initially received. But how can such a customer ever remain happy?

Again, the solutions are somehow obvious, but a lot of service organizations have challenges to implement them. What are we doing in Spigraph group to avoid this? A few easy things.


  • First of all, SLA’s have to be very easy to understand and transparent. Who doesn’t know examples where the SLA descriptions are just unclear?
  • Then, be transparent about your Terms. Don’t hide important requirements or exclusions of contracts in your T&C’s, but make sure your customer understands those before signing the contract.
  • Third thing – constantly invest in training of all your customer facing employees. Make sure all your sales and pre-sales people understand service concepts, and extend that to all people involved in the delivery of the service.


Based on the business model of your organization, some of your priorities might be different. In a very indirect sales model, where your paying customer is usually not the one receiving the services, the above mentioned points are even more important.

This is more my personal perspective on customer satisfaction, based on experience within Spigraph Group and DTS Services , and from multiple discussions with business partners and friends. Of course I’d be interested to learn from you – what are your top priorities and actions to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction?