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Often customers don’t want to be wowed – they want to be ‘not dissatisfied’


There isn’t just satisfaction and dissatisfaction, there’s non-satisfaction and non-dissatisfaction too. It’s important to know the difference.

I did some research once on bank customers and found out that they weren’t hoping for satisfaction, just no dissatisfaction. And it really made me think.

Some things satisfy:

  • Food
  • Entertainment
  • Travel
  • Sports
  • Friends
  • Dancing

Some web businesses satisfy:

And some things you just want to not be noticed;

  • Cleaning
  • Banking
  • Administration
  • Paying bills

Some web businesses are about ‘not-dissatisfying’;

  • Online backup
  • Live In Australia (online visas – though when you get the visa you’re very happy)
  • Google Docs
  • Search?

When was the last time you said “Wow, this hotel room is so clean – I’m really happy!”

Here is a bit of a chart to show you what I mean:

Satisfying versus dissatisfying

It’s useful to think of your product and features according to these. Is this feature going to make them happy or is it just going to make them mad if it doesn’t work? Of course, this is all in the eye of the beholder, so perception is everything here.

“But what about focus?”

Yes, focus is key here. Can you imagine if you put more than one type of customer on this chart and tried to keep them all happy? You can’t. Start with one, make them very happy AND not unhappy, then move on.

Your Turn

Mick Liubinskas is one of Australia’s leading web strategists, having served in head marketing roles at Kazaa, Zapr and Tangler. He now runs Pollenizer, the business incubator he co-founded with former-Kazaa colleague Phil Morle.

This post was first published on the Pollenizer blog.