Customer’s satisfaction is a major objective of most companies of the world. In fact, it is the reason why we are in business in the first place. When reference is made for productivity, profitability, sustainability, etc in business world, no organization dares to forget the fact customers’ satisfaction goes a long way to affect these indicators. Putting forward such goals as productivity, profitability and growth as core pursuits of the organization without more attention on customers’ satisfaction is as putting the cart before the horse.
I see customer’s satisfaction as that which is concerned about giving the buyer or final user of organization’s product(s) what they exactly want. It is all about meeting their requirement and taste i.e. the input to be transformed and the process involved must give output that satisfy or meet up with what the customers expect. Customer’s satisfaction is precisely, ‘meeting customer’s expectation’ and should be a continuous and reviewed process for organization acceptance and survival.
There are lots of stages before the Marketing Concept stage where the customers are first considered before the production of the goods or services via dependable research work. The essence of this exercise is to ensure effortless marketing and avoidance of unnecessary marketing cost. One at times wonders why organizations spend huge of money on advertisement, customer relation, promotional sales, etc while it could take the organizations time to go into research to know what product(s) is/are next in the customers’ heart.
No customer will buy products that do not satisfy him/her or meet his/her taste. In fact, there will be shift from the age-long satisfying product to a new more satisfying product. There is no breaking force as powerful as breaking customers’ loyalty when it comes to research-produce products that take customers’ image at heart into consideration. The fact is that no organization wants to produce products that do not satisfy the customers in the first place except for some few hit and run organizations. How to go about it is a major challenge facing organizations.
There have been several studies on product research or product development concept and all still boarders down to the following:
1. Develop or create product idea either by accidental discovery, brainstorming among management team and staffers, or ideas gotten from research institute(s).
2. Set up research committee or group that will handle the whole activities of finding the need for the product and its acceptability to the target customers.
3. If found worthwhile, move to the next stage by developing a prototype of the product and if not, drop the idea
4. Test market the product by given out some of the prototype products to some members of the target market and see what their opinion, views and conclusions are like.
5. If found to be satisfactory to the members/prospective customers and to the organization at some level of profitability (or satisfy other goals/objectives), then the organization can proceed to the next stage.
6. Produce the product depending on the production mode e.g. Batch production, mass production, Unit production, etc
7. Commercialization then follows.
In all, customers’ satisfaction as an end must be seen flowing through the process. There must not be a stage where the motive is neglected or compromise including in brand name, brand design, trade name, packaging, marketing strategy, price, distribution channel, etc. It is when all these are put into consideration that an organization could be sure of sustainability, profitability and consistency in growth even in the face of economic downturn or serious competition.