For many years, we have espoused the idea of knowing Who should be your customer, and, sometimes more importantly, Who should NOT be your customer. Some recent research suggests that this is powerfully true in terms of customer satisfaction as well.
The July-August 2018 issue of the Harvard Business Review reports on a study done of thousands of banking customers and hundreds of banks that showed a remarkable correlation between reported customer satisfaction and who the bank “typically” serves. The study found that the variation in reported satisfaction had little to do with any other variable. In other words, the more the bank served those customers it was designed to serve, the better the level of satisfaction. The more it strayed into other bank services the less satisfied were its customers.
This again reminds me of the importance of focus. The narrower your focus the better your results.
The research demonstrates that to improve customer satisfaction, it’s not just about training, it’s about focus on attracting the right customers who value what you are designed to offer. If there aren’t enough of those customers, that may be a strategy issue for you.
While this research is about banks, there is no reason to believe it is unique to banks. Decide Who you want to serve and develop offerings and processes to support those offerings for those customers. Be transparent about who you are “for.” Know who you are going out for business to serve, and focus on them.