We’re hoping your customers aren’t satisfied

Before you get riled up, let me explain. It’s not because if your customers aren’t satisfied you’ll come running to us for help, it’s because in order for you to succeed your customers must be more than just satisfied!

A “totally satisfied” customer contributes 2.6 times the revenue than a “somewhat satisfied” customer.

I would venture to guess out of all the products and services we use everyday, most of the time the satisfaction rating we have would fall somewhere between not satisfied and “blah” (read: satisfied) but what experiences make us feel “very satisfied” and how are those different?

To me the difference is when I’m wowed by an experience and what I receive or experience is beyond any expectation. Let me share a story:

A few years ago, my girlfriend and I were flying to Denver for a vacation. What she didn’t know is that I was going to propose to her. I made reservations ahead of time at a restaurant called Fruition, the person on the phone asked if we were celebrating a special occasion and I mentioned if everything went well I’d be engaged. (I’m so very lucky she accepted!)

image courtesy of Fruition

We arrived a little early to dinner and making sure my fiancé was wearing a ring the host congratulated us and offered a complimentary bottle of wine. She explained our special table wasn’t quite ready and offered us a private seat outside in the warm night air. When we were seated we were presented with menus that had “Congratulations Ryan & (my wife’s name)” printed on top. The food was out of this world, but what truly blew us away was the special attention each member of the staff paid us by knowing our names and congratulating us.

Being honest, I can’t begin to tell you how many people I’ve relayed that story to. Not just because it was such a fantastic memory of getting engaged and not even how the food was out of this world, but how the entire restaurant went the extra mile to make us feel special to them!

If that experience had just been satisfactory, would you have ever heard of it? As you see the difference between very satisfied and satisfied can result in word of mouth advertising, loyal fans, and brand advocates. But what can the difference mean in dollars?


Recently Harvard Business School took a look at the customers of Starbucks and what the difference between satisfied and very satisfied meant to the company. What they found, I think is an important lesson for all businesses.

Satisfied Customer:
isits 4.3xs/month
spends $4.06/visit
customer for 4.4yrs

Very Satisfied Customer:
visits 7.2xs/month
spends $4.42/visit
customer for 8.3yrs

Breaking it down, the difference between satisfied and very satisfied is an 82% increase in spending per year, and they are customers for almost TWICE as long.

Very satisfied customers are 6xs more likely to be loyal and repurchase and recommend your product than a satisfied customer.

How to get from satisfied to very satisfied

My company, Big Buck Research & Analytics has been helping businesses with market research & database analytics for over 8 years and we’ve found 3 basic ways to get you on your way:

  1. Survey your customers to find their expectations and satisfaction levels.
  2. Fix low scoring areas and find ways to exceed customer expectations at every turn.
  3. Be consistent with measuring and delivering.

Admittedly, these are elementary, common sense first steps. But I’ve found that this is a fantastic place to start regardless of the industry you’re in.

I would love to hear how you’re moving your company forward and any thoughts you have! Feel free to contact me or  Big Buck Research & Analytics any time with your questions.

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