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The Role of Customer Satisfaction

Customer service articles go to great lengths to explore the importance of customer satisfaction, and the role customer value plays in the success of an organization.  For those looking for a satisfactory customer satisfaction definition, or a workable customer value definition, the answer might very well depend on the industry that they serve because each business sector will value their customers differently.

Simply stated, however, a customer satisfaction definition encompasses the entirety of how your products or services meet and exceed customer expectations.  Additionally, the term serves a technical purpose that marketing professionals use to indicate a concrete metric on which to base managerial decisions regarding customer outreach efforts.  Even more simply stated, a strong understanding of customer satisfaction is the same thing as knowing what makes your customers happy.

Closely married to this customer satisfaction explanation is the notion of what constitutes a proper customer service definition, or, in other words, what specific skill sets are required of your sales staff to augment customer satisfaction.

Professionals in the customer relationship management field routinely note in customer satisfaction articles that customer valuation efforts mean, “treating different customers differently.”  This pithy notation recognizes the existence of the two components of customer valuation:

  • Customers have different monetary value to the company
  • Customers have different expectations of the business

In other words, when arriving at a customer value definition, it is best to consider it in terms of how much money can your business hope to earn from a client, and how much work will you need to go through to get that money.

Customer Satisfaction

What makes the customer tick?  That question is at the heart of the debate when savvy business owners come together to figure out how they should attempt to expand their marketing outreach.  Just like you, these men and women know the importance of customer satisfaction, and that’s because they also understand the benefits of customer satisfaction.  Those paybacks include return business, a loyal clientele, positive word of mouth, and increased profits to your business among other advantages.

As a business professional operating in a competitive market, you understand the costs associated with drawing customers into your establishment.  Marketing and advertising efforts can eat up an increasingly large proportion of any operating budget, so it just makes sense that you would want to keep those customers that you attract around longer than the time it takes to complete a single transaction.

Six factors showing the importance of customer satisfaction:

  • Leading Indicator of customer loyalty
  • High customer satisfaction sets a business apart in the mind’s of consumers
  • Reduces customer turnover
  • Eliminates negative word of mouth
  • Boosts customer lifetime value through repeat business
  • Retaining customers is cheaper than finding new ones

Transforming a portion of your marketing budget into customer retention efforts is an excellent use of finite marketing resources.  Once you have attracted the notice of a customer, and have initially wowed them with great customer service, just a small continuing investment has the potential to keep that customer a lifelong contributor to your firm’s economic success. According to industry experts, a satisfied customer can contribute significantly to a company’s bottom line.  Consider these facts when thinking about totally satisfied customers:

  • Compared to a “somewhat satisfied” customer, a “totally satisfied” customer provides 2.6 times the revenue to the business
  • A “totally satisfied” customer provides 14 times the revenue to company coffers than the “somewhat dissatisfied” customer
  •  A “totally dissatisfied” customer will actually decrease revenues equal to 1.8 times what a “totally satisfied” customer contributes to your profit margins.

Customer satisfaction drives in repeat business and repeating business drives up revenues at a substantially lower cost than acquiring new customers.  When business owners keep this fact in mind, they do very well in even the most competitive of business environments, and that is one of the leading benefits of customer satisfaction.

Measuring Customer Service

Considering the importance of customer satisfaction, it behooves the nervous business owner to track the metrics that continually provide a feeling for the pulse of customer satisfaction rates.  A myriad of metrics are available to track customer satisfaction rates, but care has to be taken on limiting the sheer barrage of information that will accompany following too many metrics.  That being said, there is no stand-alone metric that will give you a cogent view of your entire customer service operation, so a judicious blend of metrics aimed at measuring customer satisfaction methods is necessary.  As such, what is the best metric to measure?

A good starting point is discovering the value proposition of your company.  Value proposition is a fancy way of saying what your company does well, and what your competitive advantage as compared to your competition.  For instance, do you specialize in delivering an amazing customer experience, or cultivating an image of a cost effective and efficient operation?  If the former, you will want to utilize customer satisfaction metrics that gauge the customer experience with an array of surveys designed to single out signs of customer loyalty, while the latter will build on metrics that look at efficiency and productivity as a measure of how customers view your pricing structure.

To judge customer satisfaction, many businesses turn to an analysis of their net promoter score. This index measures a customer’s willingness to recommend a company’s products or services to friends and family members.  A numeral index that runs from -100 to 100, the net promoter score is used to gauge the overall loyalty of a customer and measure their satisfaction with your company.

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Customer Loyalty

We have covered the importance of customer satisfaction, and one of the biggest benefits of high customer satisfaction is increased customer loyalty.  As such, customer loyalty programs are the hallmark of any customer retention effort on your part.  To arrive at a customer loyalty definition that makes sense, just think about the attributes of a satisfied customer.  A satisfied customer sings your praises to friends and family and is more than likely going to spend a considerable amount of money in your establishment.

Customer loyalty concepts explore better ways to reach out to your clients while fostering an ongoing relationship that is equally beneficial to both parties.  Divided into two parts, the process can be viewed as first building customer loyalty, and then measuring customer loyalty to see where improvements can be made in your outreach efforts.  Regardless of the customer loyalty articles that you read, you will note that they all stress the importance of customer loyalty to the overall financial health of your business.

An array of customer loyalty programs exist that are designed to strengthen the bonds between you and your customers.  With a myriad of options available, you have a variety of programs at your disposal to tailor a customer loyalty program that best rewards your loyal customers.  Parsing through the best options requires understanding the unique composition of your customer base, but certain programs are guaranteed workhorses when it comes to strengthening the bonds of loyalty between your business and your customers.

Membership cards—the retail sandwich industry long ago learned the value of offering a membership card that linked customers to its business. The famed “buy nine and get your tenth sandwich free!” offer has for years inculcated a sense of loyalty among the sandwich loving crowd.

This psychology holds true regardless of the industry served because of the basic fact that people like to get free things, and rewarding them for their patronage is a great way to facilitate that natural desire.  Other programs that do particularly well in breeding loyalty among your customers:

  • Discounts—coupons, particularly for retail establishments, and promises of savings on future purchases, is a great way to keep them coming back
  • Clubs—supermarkets like Costco and Sam’s Club have long learned the advantages of club membership that offers members deep discounts for joining
  • Contests—saving money and having fun is a great combination, which is why contests are a great way to generate customer excitement

Customer Satisfaction Survey Questions

Discovering what works and what doesn’t, when it comes to structuring your customer engagement strategy, demands that you get customer feedback.  After all, that is the group you are trying to reach out to, and their opinions is what matters most.  To get the data that they need to gauge their customer’s temperament, business owners turn to customer service survey questions that ask specific questions designed to target specific areas of your business model.  Whether you are looking at measuring customer satisfaction, or measuring customer retention levels, shaping your customer outreach approach with customer satisfaction survey questions is a great way to find out what’s working and what needs to be improved in your operation.

Why Companies bother with Customer Survey Questions

The importance of customer satisfaction survey methods is a marketing given throughout just about every industry.  Failing having the ownership of a complete monopoly of an industry that the public desperately needs, you will need to compete for customers against a crowded field of contenders aimed at the same audience.

Use of the customer satisfaction questionnaire does not have to be prohibitively difficult to assemble, and in fact, the ready availability of the customer satisfaction survey template allows for easy customization of your surveys to isolate the data points you need to make managerial decisions that matter to your company’s future.

Great Customer Service Questions

Any customer survey questionnaire should skillfully blend both open and closed-ended questions that establish differing data benchmarks dependant on the issue under consideration. For instance, after identifying whether you are probing conditions of customer satisfaction, and customer satisfaction survey sample questions will pinpoint those levels, or you are looking at customer retention efforts, and an open-ended response that probes deeper customer motivations that keep them coming back to your establishment for more products and services.

Survey Size and Best Scale to Use for Analytics

When it comes to constructing customer satisfaction survey questions, examples abound that might help you build your survey.  Always consider the length of your survey.  Specifically speaking, lengthy surveys have negative consequences.  The three primary issues include:

  • Respondents drop out by simply quitting the survey
  • People stop paying attention and answers become pointless
  • Customers get angry as a result of over long surveys

The best way to collect data from your surveys is through short, non-complicated, and well-organized presentation of questions.

Employee Satisfaction Survey Questions

Nothing sours customer relations than dealing with a surly employee.  Conversely, for those working on the front lines of retail, however, long hours and challenging work conditions makes it relatively easy to be surly after dealing with hundreds of people on a busy day.  As such, measuring employee satisfaction is a great way to make sure that your staff is up to the task of dealing with the public.  Simply stated, an employee satisfaction definition includes how the employee feels about their position in the organization, and whether their contribution is valued by the upper echelon.  When answered, employee satisfaction survey questions should be anonymous to encourage a truthful response from your staff.  The lifeblood of any business, after its customers, is its staff, and connecting with that critical component of your business is boosted by measuring employee satisfaction.  Towards that end, as part of that effort, you should establish a culture of candor that brings honest appraisals of all your staff members who feel safe in an environment that encourages all manner of open exchange from the boardroom down to the mailroom.

Customer Service Quotes

Ginning up enthusiasm among your sales staff is an ongoing process that is intended to breathe life into your company’s customer outreach efforts.  One of the arrows in your customer service quiver is the inspirationally inspired quotes that signal the importance of your customer’s role in your success.   Customer service quotes help your team stay motivated in the sometimes frustrating world of retail or wholesale selling.  Some of the more powerful quotes include not only sage advice but also funny sayings that drive the point home.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”  – Bill Gates

“Unless you have 10% customer satisfaction, you must improve.” – Horst Schultz

“Rule #1: The customer is always right, Rule #2: If the customer is ever wrong, re-read Rule #1.” – Stew Leonard.

Customer satisfaction sayings are an ideal reminder of who is at the center of your business success, and that reminder points to your customer’s satisfaction being all important.[/vc_column_text]

Customer Loyalty Quotes

“Customer satisfaction is worthless.  Customer loyalty is priceless.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you.” – Chip Bell

“So what you do so well that they will want to see you again and bring their friends.”  – Walt Disney

Customer loyalty quotes remind us of the importance of inculcating a sense of loyalty amongst your clientele that continues to pay dividends long after that first successful transaction with them.

Customer Value Quotes

“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Damon Richards

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

Customer value and customer delight quotes can keep your staff reminded of the critical role that your customer plays in your firm’s overall success through the value of your clientele.