The Customer Satisfaction Conundrum
By PJ Kim
How often are we drawn into business relationships by the promise of customer satisfaction?
With phrases like:
- Our customer service is world-class!
- Creating satisfied customers is our top priority!
- Satisfied clients are our greatest advertising!
- Guaranteed customer satisfaction!
Do these exclamations really increase the probability of a satisfied customer? And what about those auto-surveys? How is customer satisfaction determined?
For simple purchases, like a dinner at a restaurant, determining satisfaction is straight forward. The food was good, I am full, and it came at a reasonable price—I am satisfied!
But what about complex business to business (B2B) purchases costing millions of dollars for services that will be performed over months or years?
I’ve been involved in B2B services in the biopharmaceutical industry for most of my career. Whether offering services or assessing a service provider, there are obvious determiners that drive buying decisions: capabilities, capacity, expertise, project timeline, quality.
But after the buying decision is made, or the project has been underway for six months, how is customer satisfaction determined? There seem to be factors that drive customer satisfaction that lie below the surface of the obvious and are difficult to assess until after the buying decision is made.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PJ Kim is the Head of Commercial and Corporate Development at Pharmaceutics International (Pii).
With nearly two decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, PJ has served in variety of regulatory, quality and business development roles with Johnson Matthey Inc., Advanced Bioscience Laboratories, SGS Analytical Services, and the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center where he oversaw more than 50 IND studies. PJ earned a Bachelors Degree in Biology at Case Western Reserve University, and Masters in Business from Baldwin Wallace University.