Joie De Vivre

Joie de Viwe Hospilality Inc., operates a chain of bouJique hotels, restaurants. and resorts in the San Francisco area. Each property's unique décor, 'quirky amenilies, and thematic style are often loosely based on popular mag-aiines. For example, itie Motel del Sol—a cenverled moiel hearing a yellow exlenpr and surrounded by palm trees wrapped wilh festive lights—-is described as "kind ot MariOS &fWitiUvkig meets Islands magazine. Two Silicon valley hûters offer guests high-speed Internet connections in ineii rooms and Dy the pool.17 The &ou-tique concept enables lue hotels to niier personal louches such as vitamins in place ol chocolates or pillows. i Jîie dfl Vwre now owns the largest number of ir.tepenûent hotel properties in tlœ Bay Area.

Measuring Satisfaction

Marly companies are systemaiically measuring customer satisfaction and the factors shaping it. For example^ |BM tracks how satisfied customers are with each IBM salesperson they encounter, and makes this a factor in each salesperson's compensation.

A company would be unse In measure customer satisfaction regularlv because one keir to customer retention is customer satisfaction. A highly satisfied customer gerieralLy stays loy;il longer, buys more as the company introduces new products and upgrades existing products, talks favorably Eibout the Company and its prod urts, pays less attention to competing brands and is less sensitive to price, nffers product or service ideas tu the company, and Costs less to serve than new customers because transactions are routine.

The link between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, however, is not proportional, Suppose customer satisfaction is raled on a scale from one In five. At a very hnv level of customer satisfaction (level one), customers are likely to abandon the company and even had-mouth it. At levels (wo to four customers arc fairly satisfied but still find it easy to switch when a better offer comes along. At level five, the customer is very likely to «purchase and even spread flöud word pf mouth about the company. High satisfaction or delight ereates an cmbtionat band uitb the brand of Company, not just a rational prefer-encc, Kerox's senior management found out that Iis *Conipletcly satisfied" cuslomcrs wert sk Ihnes iimrr likely to rs-pn rchase Xeit>x prodiLcis over die folkuvltig 18 montlis titan ¡1s "very satisfied" eust omers.IH

When tustomers rate their satislactloh with au dement of ihu Companys Performance— say, dellyery—the Company needs tt> lecogniise ihac justomens vary in how ihey definegiiod delivery. It eould mean early delivery. ou-timedelivery. Order complcteness, and so on. Ibe Company nuiu rtKn rcali/t: that tfru customers tun report bring''highJy satislied" Cor dlffer-ein ceasoiis. One may bc casity satisfied tpoSI of the litne and the othtif might bc hnid lo ptease but was plcased on ihis occasion.1"'

A mtmber of meihods exist to meastinc customer satisfaeuon. Pätiutlic surwys can truck cusiomer satisfactimi directly. Ilespondcnts can also bc asfced additional quesdons in measure repurdiasc inten tion andfhc litdihnnd pr wülingness to recommetjd die coitipany and brand tn oiliers. l'aramonnt attributes the sticcessof its live (henie parks to the ihou sands of U'eb-based gilest surveys it seuds to customers Ssflio haveagreed lobecoiitactcd. Entring the jiast yoar, tlie Company conduct&fl more tltan 55Web-based snrveys and netted 100,000 indlvidual response* that deseiibed hLiest satisfactitin on lopies iEiclitdiiig liiles. d in Ing. Shopping, ganies. and sliows,30

Compatilcs can rrtoniuir the eustentwr Iqss rate and coniact eustomers who have stopped bojTtJg d)J' lvhohave sivitchcd !t> anoilier Supfilier tn Jearn Hfby ihis hnppeiH'd, tmaliy, cbm-pantes ean liire mystery sltopjjerf lo ¡nise poiuntial buyers and rcpiiti on sirong and weak points experichccd in buylrig the Company 's and competitors' producta Managers them-setves can einer Company and cotnpetiior salos situations whene ihey are imkriotvn atid expeiirnce firsthuncl the i real mein ihey reeeive. or plionc their own Company with ques-lions und fomplaints io seehtiw the call s are band lfd.

l'Vir ctisionier satisiaelion surwys, il's impnrtnm lliat companies ask the riglit t]Li(;slions. iTederiek Keichhcld suggests diat perhaps onlv one tpiestiurl roally ni;it(ersr "Would yOU rL'c-ommend Ulis produei or Service to a irieiidr I !c mainlains that marketing departnieut* ty]ii-eally focus stirvi'\-s on the areas thtr\j can control, stich as brand Image, prieing. and produet FeattiirfS. According lo Hciehheld. ;t etislomer's wiQingneSs lo rocommend to a frietltl resulls from how well the eusmmer is t real eil by frimt-line employces, whiebin turn isdetennbied by all the ftmclinnaJ areas thal cnnlrihole to cnsiomer's experience-'1

Inaddition to traeking cnstotner value e^ectatioiis aml satisfaction. cmtipanlcs ueed in monitor their compctilors' Performance in these itreas. One Company was pleased to find that ftn percent of'Ets custOmers said tliey were saiisfied. Then tlie i'liO found out ihal its leadingcornpctitor hatl a 00 pcrcent customer satisfactiork scote. He uas further dismttyed when he leanied that thiscompeiilor wa-f airuhig für a pcrcent saiisfactiun scAfe.

Fiit cuslomcr-ceritered companies, CuStbmcr satisfaclitin is Ijqth ii gfial and a m^ikeiing tool. Companies need to he especially corir-ernetl today with their titstoiner satisfaetion tevel because tbe Internet provides a tool for consumcrs to Spread bad word of tnouth—as well asgood unrdof inotnh- to ilu: resi of thi- uurld. (In Web siti-slikictroublebeu2.comand luinonmbicorn. angry Mercedes-tieu/ Owiltrs Jt.i^e heen airrng tfielr coui]jf[bints on every-thingfrOTii faulty key fobsaml leaky stinrooK to balky elmronics that jeavedriversand their I lasset igei's st ra ndet I---

Cornpanies lliat dt) achieve high eustomer satisfaction ratings niake Sure their target market knows it, When |. L>. Power began io rate national lioitie mbrtgagc leaders, Codtiliyvvidc was quick to advcitise Hs nnmbcJ'-oiu- lanking in cUStomcr satisfaction, Del! Computer1? metet>rLc growLh in die computiir sysiems industry can be fitirily aitributod tu acblcVjngand adveriisiog ir^ titunber^one rank in customCr salisfactton.

rhe Uulversiiy of Michigans (;laes f:(irnell has dcvcloped the American Customct Satisfactitm Index iAi.!Stj to measun? the peneeived satisfaetioii eonsumers feel with differint firnis, Industries.ecninuiiic sectors. and national econouiies/1, E:jc:imples orHrrns lliat led their rtspectlvc Industries Vfjtli high ACSl scores in 200.T are liell Cadillac <a7), PedBit (S2), tlotigle jiS2}, ¡Heinz (HH), Krnniore (EW), Southwest Airlines (75), and Yahoo! (7B).

Product and Service Quaiity

Satisfacliori will alsodcpend on produet and servieß quallly. What eitaclly is <pläljty?VaribtlS experts have defincd it as "fiiuess for tise." "conforrmmee lo requirements," "freedom from Variation." and so on. !' We will use the American Snciety for Qualtly ContnJt's deliniiioit. CJuality is the tdtality of features and characterislics of a [miduct or Service lliat bear on It-i EibiIity to saiisfy staled implied needs,0I his isdcarly a customer-centercd dcfinltion. We

HOW DOES A LENDER WIND UP THE LEADER IN CUSTOMER SATISFACTION?

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