The Secret Ingredient of Customer Satisfaction

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If you do the right thing, your customers will be satisfied -- but you need to ask some tough questions first.

April 01, 2010

Why would anyone want to read my thoughts on new-home builder customer satisfaction, I asked myself. Facing the prospect of penning this blog, I wondered what kind of wisdom I could impart when I try to abide by such a simple customer service philosophy. Transcribed, the clergy may call it “the golden rule.” Some may think of it as karma. On television, it was commonly the even-keeled advice from Ward Cleaver. In the cinema, it is a Spike Lee movie featuring Mookie and Sal. Whatever context it may take, it's the guiding principle I follow in making customer-based decisions: “Do the right thing.” That's the secret ingredient.

Read all the customer satisfaction books. Decipher the J.D. Power research. Meet with our friends at Avid Ratings or Woodland, O'Brien and Scott. They'll all tell you the same thing: If you do the right thing your customers will be satisfied. It's that easy. And it's that hard.

  1. How do you know what is the “right” thing for your organization?
  2. How do you know how “right” your thing is?
  3. Do you have the right team to be “right?”
  4. Does your team fully understand what is “right?”
  5. How many roadblocks stand in your team's way to what is “right?”
  6. How do you react when your “right” and the customer's “right” don't match?
  7. Is the customer always “right?”
  8. Is yesterday's “right” tomorrow's “right?”

Can your organization answer those tough questions? If not, maybe burying yourself in some of that J.D. Power research or stocking up on the latest from the business section at Borders might not be such a bad idea.

Read more posts by Chip Pennington at

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