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Satisfaction Vs. Sentiment

Have you ever filled in one of those, ‘we value your feedback’ customer satisfaction surveys at the end of a meal or a service call? Perhaps you have used them to ask customers to rate your service? The theory being that satisfied customers are the end game. Deliver on expectations and people will surely come back.

In a world of infinite choices customer satisfaction is no longer the gold standard—it’s the minimum requirement, the ticket of entry, something we have come to expect. And most businesses deliver on that expectation.

Satisfaction is the metric of business mechanics, the systems and processes, the operations and moving parts. Sentiment is the pulse of your brand—its heart and soul. Satisfaction can be measured with tick boxes, while sentiment is perceived and felt. The distinction is the difference between a product that works and one that we feel we can’t live without.

As customers we demand to be satisfied and if dissatisfied we know we can vote with our feet. But what we long for deep down is something that we can’t and don’t articulate. The unexpected. Surprise and delight, the feeling of experiencing something more than was anticipated.
Something that can’t easily be measured.

Beloved brands don’t simply leave customers satisfied. They don’t deal in expectations, they deliver the unexpected and strive to change hearts, not minds.
The same opportunity is open to you.

Thanks to Stuart Hall of AppBot for the inspiration. Image by Joe Penniston.

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