Customer satisfaction refers to a customer's comparison of his experience with a product or service to his expectations at the time of purchase. If the product exceeds expectations, he is typically satisfied. The stronger the feeling, the more likely he is to repeat the purchase and ultimately become a loyal customer at your business.

Emotional Investment

If a customer spends a lot of money or buys a major item like an auto or appliance, his potential for high satisfaction is greater than with low-cost, everyday use products. This doesn't guarantee success. In fact, if a product or service does not meet expectations, the negative ramifications are greater too. However, the opportunity to seize on a customer's emotional needs allows a business to build loyalty with a satisfying result.

Superior Product

One of the more obvious reasons a buyer becomes highly satisfied is because he gets a superior product. Delivering a product that is innovative, durable, reliable and otherwise high-performing can lead to satisfaction. If the product drives customer satisfaction, the customer has product buying motivation. The adage "a good product sells itself" is based on the reality that people ultimately buy products because they best resolve problems or address needs.

Above and Beyond

Whereas a stellar product works well with limited competition, it often takes a great service experience to achieve high customer satisfaction in a more competitive scenario. If customers have ample sources for a quality product, you normally must do something above and beyond from a service standpoint to create high satisfaction. Being genuinely helpful, concerned and friendly are sometimes enough. Going the extra mile to give a customer what he wants or to resolve an issue can also do the trick.

Peaks and Valleys

Ideally, you give a customer a highly satisfying experience with few hiccups. In some cases, though, products don't work right, service providers aren't as helpful, or things simply go haywire. Interestingly, the most satisfying experiences sometimes result when a customer initially has a problem and the company goes out of its way to fix it. Giving a customer free products or personal help during the service repair process are ways to overcome mistakes. The contrast of a disappointment is the net positive when someone works hard to make things right.