Improving Customer Satisfaction

There are so many examples of company’s doing things in the name of ‘Improving Customer Satisfaction’ and doing it so badly that it simply makes their clients less happy or down right angry: 

RESULT:  It leads to an increased rate of client attrition and prompts clients to share bad news stories which is always exaggerated for dramatic effect…  Disastrous for reputation / brand integrity.

We know with total certainty that if the job is done in an appropriate, sensitive and genuine manner clients are nearly always very happy to provide constructive feedback.  Typical response rates run at close to 100%.  There are inevitably painful truths and at the same time lots of words of commendation.

More important:  The impact on satisfaction when your clients know or believe that the process genuinely sets out to discover the truth in order to improve service is always positive.  It results in an inevitable strengthening in the client / supplier relationship.  So what…?

WIDELY QUOTED FACTS:  67% of clients leave or change supplier simply because they don’t feel any relationship exists.  But by sensitively and appropriately asking for, acknowledging, and acting on client feedback you can prove beyond doubt that you really do care.

So should businesses set out to discover what their clients feel they are doing well and where there is scope to make improvements?  SURELY TO DO ANYTHING ELSE WOULD BE TOTAL MADNESS. 

Should businesses do it badly?  Well that is also be crazy. 

So doing it right is key and that takes time and effort and involves a lot more than banging out yet another email survey using a process driven by the desire to make it easy for the company to ‘tick the box’ than it is to do it properly and in so doing reaping the positive benefits.  Consider these statements:

  • 80% of companies who believe they deliver a superior customer experience, only 8% of their customers agree
    Bain & Company from Harvard Management Update
     
  • 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profits by 75%
    http://www.bain.com/bainweb/consulting_expertise/capabilities_details.as...
     
  • 60 to 75% of customers will do business with a company again if it deals with a customer service issue fairly even if the result is not in their favour
    www.sarocks.co.za
     
  • 1,134 retweets and 3,000+ backlinks (and counting), of an airline passenger complaint letter republished by the Telegraph Newspaper
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/4344890/Virgin-the-worlds-b...
     
  • A commitment to customer experience results in up to 25% more customer retention and revenue than sales or marketing initiatives.
    Sources; Gartner Group and “Leading on the Edge of Chaos”, Emmett C. Murphy and Mark A. Murphy
     
  • Companies that prioritise the customer experience generate 60% higher profits than their competitors
    Sources; Gartner Group and “Leading on the Edge of Chaos”, Emmett C. Murphy and Mark A. Murphy

As a director it really is your duty to get this right.  For your staff, your shareholders and above all your clients you must discover what you need to do to improve and take action to improve service levels and client satisfaction.  It is not a cost it is an investment and in all probability one that will quickly deliver savings that far exceed the initial setup cost.

Delighted clients will never willingly leave you, they will buy more of our products or services if they can and they will be pro-active in their recommendations and referrals.  But you need to continually evolve and improve the service levels you deliver.

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