By Alison Slagor

It is typical for a business to look externally or monetarily when measuring customer satisfaction and happiness: does this customer consistently order from us? Do we respond quickly and appropriately to issues? Are we on-time with our delivery promises? Are our costs and prices properly aligned? Are we following up enough? Is our product or service performing properly? Are we available when the customer needs us no matter what time of the day or night it is?

Answering yes to these questions should lead to happy customers AND a profitable company:

Customer satisfaction is without a doubt very important to the success of a company, and therefore achieving or exceeding customer expectations is a high priority for employers. I have read that the first step to achieving or exceeding customer expectations is knowing what a customer needs and knowing what will get a customer to buy from you.

While I believe this statement is true, it also categorizes all customers into one group: people who need something tangible. Now you are thinking, of course they need something tangible if they are purchasing a product or service from you; they have orders to fulfill and a business to run as well! But I have a different philosophy on achieving or exceeding customer expectations, and it goes much deeper than the tangible needs.

We have to remember customers have options, they do not have to choose us. Hence I personally believe customers are looking to create strong, personal relationships with their suppliers. And they are looking to choose a company with a business culture they personally value and one they can respect.

This means to achieve or exceed customer expectations, we as a business must be deep rooted in our own cultural beliefs and company philosophies. We must encourage, respect and value our internal employees and promote a positive community and flexible working environment. We as a business must stimulate creativity, motivate each other and work as a team to accomplish our goals.

Yvon Chournard, founder of Patagonia and author of Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman writes “Our philosophies aren’t rules; they’re guidelines. They’re the keystone of our approach to any project, and although they are ‘set in stone,’ their applications to a situation isn’t. In every long-lasting business, the methods of conducting business may constantly change, but the values, the culture and the philosophies remain constant.”

It is important that a company’s actions and remarks reflect employer and employee beliefs and values. Great companies attract great talent and employees, ultimately attracting great customers. After all, everything starts from within.

Biography of Alison Slagor

As a Technical Sales Support Associate, Alison Slagor works with customers and the China team developing customer products and formulating manufacturing specifications that meet customer required regulatory and performance standards.

Before her career at Exact Medical Manufacturing Alison worked at the University at Buffalo Family Medicine Department collaborating with community professors and physicians, and Flexo Transparent as Account Executive and Client Relations Manager in a fast paced design, engineering, printing and manufacturing environment. She also interned at the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in the Public Relations and Marketing Department.

Alison Graduated from the State University of New York at Cortland with a Health Administration Degree and State University of New York at Buffalo with a Public Administration Certificate.

In her free time Alison can be found playing volleyball and involved in many other outdoor activities including running, hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking and, being from Buffalo, snowboarding. She also enjoys traveling and playing with her Bulldog.