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9+ Philosophy

90% of our behavior is determined by motives and emotions that we're not aware of. Yet organizations continue to try to impress customers by responding to rational factors, such as functional improvements in products and services. But these improvements only have limited impact. Even relatively large investments in process improvement often have only a small effect on customer satisfaction scores. Anyone who wants to break away from the relative indifference shown by customers must necessarily take a different course. In other words, regularly offer a service, process, or product experience that makes a difference in the emotional experience of the customer. That is because these 9+ experiences make a profound impression on the customer and result in an astounding improvement in customer satisfaction.

A happy customer is an indifferent customer

Many organizations score around 7 for customer satisfaction and feel that they are doing well, because the customers are satisfied. But the question remains: Are you really doing well? The scientifically substantiated answer to this question is no, you're not really doing well, and based on these scores, you can't count on customers really being impressed by your service. An American study (Harvard Business Review, 1995) provides the interesting insight that satisfied customers are in fact indifferent customers. Only when there is a very high level of satisfaction (more than 9 on a scale of 10) do customers really appear to be involved with you as an organization.

(Jones and Sasser, 1995)