define customer satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction Definition Through the Lifecycle

Defining customer satisfaction isn’t easy. It’s easy to identify, sure. When you experience it, you just know. But putting words to the feeling of customer satisfaction is a different story. People are different. If we were all robots, or we all had the same feelings about every situation, customer satisfaction may be different.

To try to conquer this equation of customer satisfaction, we’ll break it down into the areas of a customer’s journey through a company. For my sake, I will be using a SaaS company as an example, but these examples can be applied to any company that has customers, or even just a customer.


The customer likely understands what they have signed up for, but they may not know all of the functionality of your product or service. By offering client onboarding through an online training software lesson or even a one-on-one demo, your clients can get up to speed faster.

Similar to how you wouldn’t expect your new employees to walk through the door, find their desk on their own, and then start their normal day-to-day tasks, your new clients shouldn’t be dropped in your application without guidance. With a smooth onboarding process, your clients can smile while using your app without scratching their heads.

Customer satisfaction in the onboarding stage is defined as a great introduction to the product.


Regardless of how great your onboarding process is, you will likely add new features, and your clients may forget things they haven’t used in awhile. When you offer a repository resource, like an FAQ section or an online chat that is available during business hours or even beyond, your customers will stay satisfied through their operation. If you keep your customers pleased during operation, they likely will stay in the operating stage.

Customer satisfaction in the operating stage requires available support to answer ongoing questions quickly.


Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out all the time between separate parties. Needs change, budgets change, and/or personnel change. Although a customer is parting ways with your company, you don’t need to break out the matches and gasoline for that bridge. Remember how I said all of those factors can change? I didn’t state that they only change once.

Burning bridges with departing customers means they will remember the furrowed brows instead of the metaphorical field-frolicking. If the needs change again and they decide to use a product like yours, don’t let the first thought be the malicious parting words you left resonating in their inboxes.

The definition of customer satisfaction in the overboard stage is waving goodbye. You don’t have to have a smile on your face, but you should wish your departing customers the best, and know that they’ll be back when the time comes if it’s meant to be.

Image source: Giphy

Happy Halloween! 13 Funny Pet Costumes
Virtual Team Building Activities: How to Tie a Shoelace

Like what you see? Learn more below.