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Formula for Client Satisfaction

You may have heard the saying, "The customer is king or queen." In the consulting world, customers, or clients, are the life force of a successful firm. Satisfied clients are crucial in determining whether a firm will survive or fail. Satisfied clients, pay on time, provide referrals, repeat business, or may do the opposite if unsatisfied.

Almost anyone who works has a client. Sometimes, many clients. Clients could be shareholders, investors, partners, managers, supervisors, employees, etc. They are equally important to someone's success. They could be an important deciding factor in an increase in stock price, funding for the next project, promotion, raise, or bonus.

So, what is the magic formula for client satisfaction?

John Kim, Associate Professor in the Practice of Organization and Management at Emory University and Consulting Guru, presents a simple yet powerful way of thinking about business satisfaction.

Satisfaction = Perception - Expectations

Clients will be satisfied if their perception of what you provide or do exceeds their expectations. If you deliver less than expected, they will not be satisfied.

Think about it and try to apply it to your situation. Do you know your client's expectations? How can you exceed those expectations? Don't take the easy way out by promising less. That won't get you too far. Challenge yourself to beat those expectations. Meet a deadline early. Exceed a Return on Investment (ROI) estimate on a big project. Find a discount for a client. Know the client's business like it is your own. Be early to work every day. Stay a few minutes late.

If you think about your clients and clearly understand what they expect, I am certain you can find creative ways to increase satisfaction.

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