Customer Satisfaction Starts with Respect, Responsiveness and Reliability

Truth be told, customers enjoy being satisfied. They want to be satisfied so that they can become comfortable with a particular company and know that they will be treated with respect. Customer service, even though the term itself is becoming cliché, is extremely important, not just to building customer loyalty and retention, but to improving a company’s bottom line.

Customer satisfaction comes in various forms and can be attributed to a multitude of factors that need to be instituted at the inception of the business itself. Ensuring that a customer’s expectations are being met will portray to customers – and potential referrals – that a particular company is doing a better job than the competition.

This is referred to in some instances as the “Service Expectations Zone” based on a study by Bill McCormick, President of Sales Training and Results, Inc. In effect, how a company sells and services a customer is often more important than the product that the company sells. All customers expect the “Three R’s,” or Respect, Responsiveness and Reliability.

  • Respect: be attentive, use the customer’s name, and be exceptionally personable.
  • Reliability: immediate, or near immediate, resolution to a problem should be foremost with any company.
  • Responsiveness: take ownership of a problem and be solution-oriented, greet the customer promptly and do not leave the customer on hold too long.

Invariably, following the “Three R’s” will ensure the utmost in customer satisfaction. In addition, a business may even achieve the all-important “Service Surprise Zone,” where a customer is not just satisfied, they are “wowed” with the service.

To Do List:

  • Create an action plan for all employees to ‘self-rate’ themselves often on the “Three R’s”
  • Get into the habit of asking employees questions regarding customer satisfaction. Example: What did you do today that was above and beyond what the customer needed? How did you practice the "Three R’s" today?


~ Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC. Copyright protected worldwide. All rights reserved.

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