Find Your Dissatisfiers

The first step to improve user satisfaction is to remove the dissatisfiers. But how do you find out what they are?

Dissatisfiers are the features of your service delivery that if unmet create dissatisfaction, but they don’t necessarily improve satisfaction if they are surpassed. An example of a dissatisfier is your electrical service, where if it doesn’t work, it will cause massive dissatisfaction, but if it works really well, you will hardly notice it.


  • 1. Get a formal evaluation. Several companies (ours included) perform evaluations of the service orientation, which include an analysis of dissatisfiers.
  • 2. Become a user. The second way to find the dissatisfiers is to use your own services. I’m always amazed at the number of IT leaders that have never called to their own help desk. When is the last time you broke your laptop on purpose to test out the repair service? Use your service actively, and the pain points will become crystal clear.
  • 3. Ask the users. The simplest way to find your dissatisfiers is to simply ask the users. An IT survey will uncover several areas of dissatisfaction or irritants that are impacting your user satisfaction.


One of the dangers in asking the users what their dissatisfiers are is that it is easy to end up with a very long list of items. And more often than not, not all of them are relevant.

How does an IT leader classify and prioritize them? The first step is understanding the overall reach (number of times it affects users) and impact (how severe the dissatisfaction is). Low-reach, low-impact elements are obviously not a priority, while high-reach, high-impact elements are something to fix right away.


Dissatisfiers continually come and go. This is why IT leaders need to keep an eye out for them to make sure that new dissatisfiers are not creeping in and sabotaging their plans to improve user satisfaction.


  • Most IT departments have dissatisfiers in their service delivery process.

  • Dissatisfiers can be uncovered through a formal analysis by using our own services or by asking the users.

  • Understanding reach and impact can help prioritize which dissatisfiers to fix.


Posted on October 17, 2013 and filed under ISP3.