Customer Satisfaction: why it matters to you
Let’s be crystal clear. If you’re not giving satisfaction, you’re not going to be selling much. Or if so, it’s only because there’s no alternative at that particular time.
Remember though: you’re aiming for repeat business, where you become first choice and customers sing your praises from the rooftops (and on social media).
Also take note that if you have dissatisfied customers, today’s consumer won’t hold back in letting not only their friends and family know about a bad experience but also the world at large. Especially the social media savvy types.
Think of a recent airline customer. Furious at what he perceived to be an awful response from the company when they had lost his father’s luggage and was getting nowhere through the usual channels, he resorted to taking out targeted paid ads on Twitter to lambast them. That’s bad enough. But there’s the double whammy of the ever-hungry media picking up on it and turning a consumer’s dissatisfaction into an even bigger story – and PR crisis.
Do you want to be the one picking up the pieces? Paying for PR recovery and investing significant sums of money into recovering lost ground and trying to rebuild your reputation?
Sure, mishaps occur in business. But a regular customer satisfaction programme will go far in keeping track of how your company is performing, identifying problem areas and helping you act on them to deliver a consistent product or service experience that your customers will value.
Customer Satisfaction Research: How it’s done.
If you’re unsure of the issues affecting customer satisfaction in the first place, some qualitative research is often recommended. Focus groups or one-to-one depth interviews will identify common themes and issues, providing a greater depth of understanding. This in turn provides direction for a structured quantitative customer satisfaction survey, giving you key satisfaction metrics at your disposal and clear direction regarding your service delivery and subsequent performance.
There’s two other important points to mention, particularly regarding qual research. Firstly, it’s important to understand your current customers and to discover the things that matter to them when dealing with your company. But what about your lapsed customers, the ones you’ve not heard from for a while? Aren’t they worth talking to?
Absolutely. There may be very good reasons why lapsed customers are no longer buying from you. They represent a potential goldmine of insightful thoughts and opinions concerning your service and how to improve it to everyone’s benefit.
The second point to make is that qualitative customer satisfaction research doesn’t have to be conducted before a structured quant survey. If you’re confident about what needs to be asked to your customers, then proceed with the survey. You may well uncover key findings that merit further questioning among select customer sub-groups. In this case, follow-up focus groups or interviews are a great opportunity to really get to grips with the issues that have arisen.
Structured (quantitative) surveys
Depending on what is the best method of reaching your customer base, you’ll have a choice of online, face to face, or telephone surveying options. You might even utilise more than one (for instance, email survey invites directing customers to an online survey may be boosted by telephone interviewing if more responses are needed).
Of course, different companies will have different customer satisfaction research needs, but many surveys may comprise the following elements:-
- Introduction / appreciation for participating / Instructions
- Overall satisfaction rating
- Importance and satisfaction with key elements of customer experience (further broken down in each section if required)
- product / service aspects
- account relations
- complaint handling
- Product / Service Improvements
- Willingness to recommend
- Classification data
- Thanks / Permission to re-contact / ‘Red Flag’ notification consent
This gives you some idea of what to think about, but they’re your customers so make sure you’re asking the right questions in the right way to get the right data so you can head in the right direction…to more sales and bigger profits!
Contact Red Pill today to discuss your customer satisfaction project requirements.