Every company strives to grow in profitability and arguably, the most straightforward way of achieving this is by achieving customer satisfaction, ensuring that existing customers love doing business with your company and are extoling the virtues of your company to others.
Customers have so much choice available to them at their fingertips that customer loyalty can never be taken for granted. Unhappy customers have several platforms on which to air their grievances about any negative experience that they have had in dealing with your company and this in turn can cause untold damage to a brand and seriously impede growth.
Therefore, EVERY company needs to ensure that it is striving to meet every requirement of its customers and when customer issues do arise, they should be positively managed as quickly as possible.
So how to handle this? An excellent place to start is by conducting customer satisfaction surveys and not just randomly, but in a structured, regular fashion in order to monitor the experiences and satisfaction of your customer base.
The many advantages of regularly conducting structured customer satisfaction surveys include:
Better Understanding of Customers: Successful businesses are the ones that understand the requirements of their customers and can therefore plan and operate in ways that are in tune with their customers. Knowing your Customers is KING.
Fixing Reasons for Unhappiness: Identifying dissatisfied customers and addressing the causative issues can reduce churn and increase revenue.
Customer Retention: Retaining customers costs a lot less than attracting new ones!
Referrals: Happy customers tend to tell others about how happy they are – leading to new customers for your company.
Competitive Value: Tracking and measuring your NPS and customer satisfaction will establish metrics that you can compare to industry competitors. More on this area in our next blog.
It is widely accepted that customers rather than complain to their current provider when faced with a negative experience will simply move to another provider. Therefore, an effective customer satisfaction survey strategy needs to provide a forum in which a customer feels comfortable sharing the details of a negative experience and provide confidence that it will be remedied quickly. The overall experience of the customer satisfaction survey should solidify even more in the mind of your customer a positive impression of your company, and their feeling of being a valued customer.
Studies show that a satisfied customer will not only ensure continued revenue but will in fact buy more, remain a customer longer, be a lot less sensitive to price, will ultimately cost less and will also refer new customers to you.
A word of caution though: complicated and lengthy surveys can elicit annoyance and frustration so ensure that your survey is simple and to the point. But don’t ask just 1 question either (e.g. ‘Will you buy from us again?’). Typically, the best customer satisfaction surveys are 6 to 7 questions long. We will cover the area of the actual surveys in future blogs.
And remember that the most important part of the customer satisfaction survey is what you do with the answers. Don’t let them go into a ‘black hole’. Appropriate ones need to be actioned swiftly, and overall responses need to be analysed, with action points, on a regular basis.
In summation, a well-crafted customer satisfaction survey delivered by a friendly customer service representative and with suitable follow-up procedures that ensure that issues are dealt with in full will go a long way to ensuring continued growth and profitability in your, or any, company.