Happy Customers vs. Satisfied Customers

Choosing your customer – if you had a choice, would you pick a satisfied customer or a happy customer?  Well, first you need to understand the difference between these.  Neither of them are unhappy with you, your product or service so what differentiates them?

What is a satisfied customer?

You could say that they that felt OK after dealing with us. Their needs were met. The service was OK. The experience was OK. They are satisfied (even happy) with their “purchase”. They may or may not talk about their experience with others. They may or may not refer someone to us. Their overall feeling is between neutral and positive and their experiences with us have not been negative or disappointing. As we can see this is good but NOT great. This customer can also be satisfied with our competitors.

What is a happy customer?  

This type of customer feels GREAT about dealing with us.  Their needs were met and/or exceeded. The service delivery was GREAT. The experience was GREAT. They will talk about their experience. They will proactively refer someone to us. Their overall feeling about us is wonderful and their experiences have been memorable. 
Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends … Pete Blackshaw 

Now I think if I was to ask you that question again, the answer would be fairly obvious – but the question that still remains is why is the happy customer better for us and our business? The satisfied one isn’t going anywhere after all?

The simple answer is referrals and word of mouth.  Happy and loyal customers are the ones that think of us first when they have a need that must be met and perhaps of even more importance – they tell their contacts about how great we are also!  Studies have shown that for businesses with a focus on Customer Service, new business through referrals amount to 20% of all new business generated!
While the saying goes “there is no such thing as bad advertising”, obviously good (& free) advertising from loyal customers and advocates is better.

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