“Satisfaction is the fulfillment or gratification of a desire, need or appetite”(1)
See a jelly bean.
You think about the jelly bean.
Desire takes over.
Need rushes ahead.
Appetite urges you on.
You eat the jelly bean.
Note: If you don’t like jelly beans and cannot relate then just substitute jelly bean for the object of your desire.
So back to the question. Seriously. Where were we? How long does it take for that satisfaction to last? And if you repeat the cycle again, does the length of satisfaction get shorter? And if so why does it?
“Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation…However, the importance of customer satisfaction diminishes when a firm has increased bargaining power.”(2)
“…customer satisfaction is a subjective, nonquantitative state, measurement won’t be exact…”(3)
Satisfaction is subjective and non quantitative so how do we measure it? Can we?
And if we can measure it, does satisfaction diminish if we use/consume the same product or service again and again? And if so then how do we get back the initial feeling of satisfaction? Can we?
Do you remember your first bite of say a strawberry?
How about your last strawberry?
The texture, the taste, the smell, the look?
Why is the satisfaction different between the two different?
How about the first time you drove a car by yourself?
The 30th time you drove?
The feeling of independence, the power over the machine, the thrill?
Did your satisfaction diminish?
Do you remember the first piece of clothing you bought?
The last item you bought?
Is the quality the same?
Is it lined, is the fabric better? Natural?
Does it feel good next to your skin, or do you need to wash it first before you wear it as stated on the label?
Are you just as satisfied?
Do you remember the first house you bought?
Do you feel the same way about your house now?
Was the buying process fun, exciting, nerve-racking, terrifying, just hell?
Do you feel the same level of satisfaction about the service from the real estate salesperson?
With the world we live in we are encouraged through the media on a constant basis whether it be on television, paper media or on billboards to try a new product or service. Have you been anywhere without media? Does it feel strange for the first moment and then you figure it out. Peaceful?
We are told what to eat, what to desire, how to live, where and how to travel, what to watch, what to read and what to wear, whom to meet. We don’t get rest. Competition is so high between companies that the customer just gets tossed about. Sometimes this works to our advantage, with price reduction and/or product improvement. Other times the standards get dropped and the customer feels cheated and leads to lower customer satisfaction.
The larger a company’s bargaining power becomes the importance of customer satisfaction diminishes. The ability of the company to see the customer sorry profit becomes blurry and greed takes over and sensibility becomes diminished, corners get cut, customer satisfaction drops but ego remains and sensibility further diminishes. Safety gets brought into question but the customer must prove wrong doing and company sanity becomes diminished. Where are the companies leading themselves? And how satisfied are they about their own product and/or service now? Or are they too busy running about putting out fires and creating smoke screens to cover their inferior products/services to even think about the direction in which they are heading? But are the customers also madly running about after the companies too? Doesn’t it all come down to supply and demand? If there was no demand then wouldn’t that make them sit up and listen, customer satisfaction surely counts for something, doesn’t it?
How do we get back satisfaction or customer satisfaction?
Get some rest.
Turn off the television.
Stop reading magazines.
Stop buying the new “improved” model of what you already have
Use what you already have
Try making something yourself from scratch, whether it be knitting a scarf, making a card, writing a letter and posting it, baking a cake, making ice cream, growing your own vegetables, painting a picture frame, taking a photograph, hanging it on the wall framed, making a letter box, remembering something that you wanted to try doing and didn’t have the time.
I say have a rest, but at the same time I encourage you to be active in your life. Stop being passive. For example watching television is passive, satisfaction levels may feel high at the time but the rate of diminishing satisfaction is also very high.
Take an active interest in your life. You’re worth it.
By the way if you were wondering about the lemons, the one on the left is organic, it may look less appealing that the one on the right, but it is juicier on the inside, I know where it comes from and it gives me more satisfaction.
(3) qualitydigest.com, Sept. 2000, Measuring and Managing Customer Satisfaction by Kevin Cacioppo