We cannot underestimate the importance of creating a business environment and interaction customers appreciate. Making customers happy might seem an obvious position. Knowing how to do this and do it consistently is the problem.
The data gathered about customer satisfaction should be of concern to every business.
Customers want their benefits
In a recent article, the Chicago Tribune details a report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI):
“In 2013, customers reported greater satisfaction with retail sector businesses than in any year since the retail survey began in 1995, according to the ACSI report. In the two years since, sectorwide marks dropped about 4 percent on ACSI’s 100-point scale.”
This is due in part to the recent recession, when retailers did all they could to get customers into stores and paying. Retailers are gradually reducing perks they believe hurt their bottom line. This reduction has not gone unnoticed by customers, hence their levels of satisfaction. After all, they’ve come to expect certain benefits and now those benefits are gone.
Expectation is everything
Customers want to be treated like royalty. They potentially will part with their hard-earned cash to acquire your product or service. Whether this expectation is in the form of benefits (greater discounts, more rewards and so on) or how they’re treated by staff, not meeting these can have dire effects.
Whether or not the customer is justified in being disappointed or dissatisfied, the effect on the business remains. As Oracle, a data service company, pointed out in a 2011 report: eighty-nine percent of consumers started doing business with a competitor after a poor customer experience.
What matters is creating an environment on multiple fronts catering to customer expectation.
Doing it right
Efficiency is often key here: Even an initial bad experience can be solved if you put in place various systems responding to whatever crisis might arise.
One way to maintain efficiency is ascertaining the work space is streamlined. If, for example, you have a retail store, make sure: you have fully trained your staff, your electronics are working, you have good point of sale software, your inventory numbers matches physical stock and so on.
Customer satisfaction is business satisfaction. Regardless of what kind of business we run or where are, we need to be constantly aware of the impact we’re having on our customers.