By Brian Kieley, SCORE Mentor

These days, we read a lot about “customer satisfaction” and “customer engagement,” but do we really understand what they are and why they matter? 

Customer satisfaction is the result of how well you do what you do.  Examples of customer satisfaction are: 

  • The service technician showed up on time. 
  • The salmon with dill sauce was served quickly.
  • ABC Merchant has great deals.

Customer engagement can be trickier to define because it is about how you do what you do and how it makes your customers feel.  Examples of customer engagement are:

  • The service technician took the time to understand my needs and explained exactly what he was going to do.
  • The salmon with dill sauce was delicious and beautifully presented. 
  • The staff at ABC Merchant always greet me warmly and make me feel welcome and special.

While 50% of customers interviewed for a recent Gallup Survey reporting being “satisfied,” only 38% reported being “engaged.”  If you’ve got customers who are satisfied but not engaged, they are doing business with you because it’s convenient, usually because of price or product features.  They don’t necessarily want to do business with you; they want what you’re selling.  If a competitor comes along who offers the same product/service for lower cost or with more features, your customers may leave.   The full range of customer satisfaction/customer engagement options, and what to do about them, can be found here.

There are lots of ways to measure customer satisfaction and engagement:  Net Promoter Score, Customer Effort Score, and Customer Satisfaction Survey – look here for a good comparison. 

Regardless of how you track the engagement of your customers, be sure to ask them.  You want them to want to do business with you and to love what you do for them.  That way, they’ll be satisfied and engaged, and will help you promote your business. 

Talk to your Score mentor to get ideas – we’re here to help!

About the Author 

Brian Kieley is a mentor in the Austin chapter of SCORE. He has a long career as an executive in payments, customer service, operations, social media, and product development.

Customer Engagement – Hard to get, better for your business