Customer Dissatisfaction – Reasons and Ways to Deal with it.

Reasons for customer dissatisfaction

Not knowing the expectations

  • Customer remains dissatisfied unless the company knows what the customer expects out of their product.

Not meeting the expectations

  • A customer may become dissatisfied because the product or service does not live up to expectations, in spite of the use of Six Sigma.
  • Over expectations and the changing needs of the customers.
  • Because of the rapid improvement in the technology, the customer may compare the services provided by a company with those of the competitors, which may lead to dissatisfaction.


  • (value delivered < value expected ) = Dissatisfied Customer

Things to do when you have a dissatisfied customer

  • Discover what the customer is unhappy about and why?
  • Ask two simple questions:
    • Did we perform to your expectations during this project?
    • What can we do to make future projects go smoother/easier/better?
  • Analysis, find the root-cause and then improve it.
  • The best approach to solve the issue of customer dissatisfaction is setting proper expectations.
If a customer (or client) is dissatisfied, the first step is to identify and define their dissatisfaction. Their wants and needs first must be uncovered and defined to see if the features and benefits of your company’s product or services can satisfy those wants and needs. Their dissatisfaction, as well as their satisfaction, should be measured and analyzed to get a better perception of their level of dissatisfaction. Once the reasons and level of their dissatisfaction are exposed then a system to improve that discontentment can be instituted, and control can be implemented to ensure the continuation of that improvement in product or level of service.

Tips to avoid customer dissatisfaction

  • Be pro-active. Don’t wait until the customer complains. Surveys and meetings are a great way to understand the customer’s needs.
  • Be responsive. When there’s an issue, resolve it immediately. By waiting to resolve an issue can turn smaller problems into bigger ones.
  • Be honest. Telling customers the truth usually goes over better than lying to them. It will eventually help gain the customers respect.
  • Be realistic. Some customers have expectations that are just aren’t attainable. In that case, it may be necessary to try to reset the customer’s expectations, or, if that isn’t possible, to suggest that they may be happier by taking their business elsewhere. Not every sale is worth the cost involved in obtaining it.

Measuring Customer Satisfaction

  • Taking direct feedback from the customer – as we do it for service industry viz. telecom service provider, white goods after sales service, etc.
  • Customer buying pattern – how many repeat orders, pattern around this & why there is a repeat order, consumption pattern. Repeat orders indicate the customer is happy. If there are no repeat orders, brainstorming needs to be done to understand what will make the customer happy.
  • Track customer complaints– Keep track of customer complaint, there should be a defined procedure to track the customer complaints, how were they resolved, what is causing the complaint.

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