Nov 12, 2008

Customer satisfaction

In last month, I just completed my MBA course in HK. The first subject was marketing management. During the lecture, I understood a concept of customer satisfaction and here is the usage in the case of lean manufacturing. In lean concepts, customer satisfaction is also a main factor in overall lean transformation journey. I will explain that as below.
When we talking about customer satisfaction, in other words, is talking about 2 E's (Expectation and Experience). If cusomter expection is higher than their experience, they will not satisfy your product or service. In opposite way, if customer's experence is higher than their expectation, they will satisfy and happy with your job.
Turn around to lean, for a long time ago, Toyota setup their goal to have the product in high quality, low price and low energy consumed. How come from these goal? They are the demand (expectation) from customer. In the workshop of Toyota, we can find the slogan everywhere that shown "customer first!". If a company always produces the product higher than the customer expectation, we can sure that she is leading the market in her industry. There are two cases for your reference.
Welcab is a special type of car designed for handicapped. The price of that car is not high but it made the chance for handicapped people to have the fun of driving. It was not only improving the word-of-mouth for handicapped because Toyota considered the physical hindrances of the handicapped, it also improve the word-of mouth for the normal people even the society due to Toyota has considered the special requirement of people.
In 1971, US government tried to put a plan of addtional import tax for Japanese car, although the plan was revoluted eventually, but US government has not return the additional import tax to the companies ontime. But, Toyota has return the tax to her customer by her cost, offcause, it made a serious loss for the company, at that moment, Toyota was only a company which was struggle to survive. For the concept of marketing management, the retention cost 8% to 12% of acquistion cost (retention cost is using for keeping the existing customer, acquistion cost is using to attract new customer), but the action from Toyota earned the customer long term relationship. The another item of success is loyalty of customer satisfaction.
From the cases, we should learn that how to manage the customer expectation. Actually, it is not only the concept from lean and it is the tools of any successful companies.
If you have any case or ideas, welcome to share with us.

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