What is the Link between Customer Compatibility, Satisfaction, & Profits?

“Traditionally, managers who hope to boost customer satisfaction focus on employee training or infrastructure and process improvements, but this research shows that “customer compatibility” – the it between the needs of individual customers and the branch’s ability to meet them – is an important driver of satisfaction and that a diverse customer base is inherently challenging in that regard.

The researchers suggest that customer compatibility can be proactively managed by segmenting services, being transparent about the types of customers the business
is best suited to serve, and designing offerings that can easily be customized for varying needs.

“Firms may have a limited ability to… control satisfaction without irst addressing it within their portfolio of customers,” they say.” (HBR, 2018, p.22).


Buell, R.W., Campbell, D. & Frei, F.X. (2018) The Customer May Not Always Be Right: Customer Compatibility and Service Performance. Available from World Wide Web: https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/16-091_61c1815b-d002-4b87-8801-37f5175fab6a.pdf. [Accessed: 13 June, 2019].

HBR (Harvard Business Review). (2018) Marketing: Customer Compatibility Drives Satisfaction and Profits. Harvard Business Review. July-August 2018, pp.22.


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