Imagine you meet the person of your dreams. However – you have to work a little to win them over. Cue the standard wooing techniques – a sweetly written love letter, an invitation to dinner followed by candlelight romance. Eventually, they fall head over heels in love with you and agree to make a long term commitment.
What happens next? Do you stop calling? Do you stop worrying about what they think, and how you can keep them happy? If you want to keep them around… probably not.
Customer relationships are no different. Whether you’re in a B2B or B2C marketplace, at the end of the day, you’re living in an H2H world…. human to human. And that’s where the importance of customer satisfaction comes in.
Building relationships with customers
Customer satisfaction is key in creating a long-term relationship with your customers. If you think back to the dating analogy, going through the sales process is just like wooing your prospect to turn them into a customer.
But keeping a long term relationship functioning is hard work. You need to keep delivering value time and time again. You need to keep your customer satisfied.
Ongoing satisfaction leads to loyalty. Once customers have placed trust in a company and are assured that the company will continue to deliver they will continue to do business with them. Loyalty is a worthy goal to shoot for – the White House Office of Consumer Affairs estimates that loyal customers are worth up to 10 times their initial purchase value.
So once you’ve decided to keep customers satisfied and build a long term relationship with them, you need to know where you’re going wrong. How do you make sure you’re delivering value and setting your business up for happy customer relationships?
The Feedback of Customer Satisfaction
If customer satisfaction is the goal, then constant feedback is the best way to improve over time. You need to measure customer satisfaction in order to improve it. There are a few ways to measure customer satisfaction, but the most common and effective ways are to simply ask your customer.
Transactional satisfaction measures how your customers feel after contacting your business. After each reply or interaction, ask the customer how they felt about the exchange. Are they satisfied? Or could you have done more to make them happy? We’d also recommend following up the initial question with a probing question to understand where you went wrong, or what you did right. This gives you an opportunity to immediately reach out and rescue the situation if they are unsatisfied.
In order to track your improvement over time, divide the number of Satisfied responses by the total number of responses and multiply it by 100. (ie. 82 Satisfied Customers out of 100 Total Responses = 82%) This number is typically referred to as CSAT.
Of course, even if you don’t interact with your customers, they still have an opinion about your company. Measuring satisfaction at regular intervals instead of just after interactions is also important.
Many companies do regular customer satisfaction surveys once or twice a year. It’s a great opportunity to ask more targeted questions about what impacts their relationship with your company.
– How would you feel if [company] wasn’t available tomorrow?
– How likely are you to recommend [company] to friends and family? (The NPS question!)
– What is the one thing we could do to make you happier?
Measuring your customer satisfaction and continuing to seek feedback tells you where improvement is needed. It keeps a constant pulse on the state of your relationship with your customers and provides you with the information needed to do better.
Importance of Customer Satisfaction
Commit your entire team to improving customer satisfaction day in and day out. Measure your progress, and enjoy the benefits:
Satisfied customers will recommend you to their network.
Customer advocacy is a very efficient form of marketing. Small businesses estimate that 85% of their new business comes from word of mouth.
Satisfied customers will continue to buy from you. Not only do loyal customers spend more long term, it’s actually cheaper to keep them happy than trying to acquire a new customer. It’s 6 times more expensive to woo that new customer than it is to retain an existing one. (Think about how much you’ve spent on first dates in your lifetime!)
Satisfied customers are better for your sanity. Listening to what customers want means that you won’t be constantly at odds with your clients. Just like arguments in a relationship are emotionally draining, having grumpy customers constantly writing into a support team leads to burnout and a much unhappier work environment.
No-one can deny the importance of focussing on customer satisfaction. Keeping your customers happy and loyal means more business, longer relationships and honestly – a much better day at the office!