What is client satisfaction? What are the parts of your business with which a customer can be “satisfied”? Client satisfaction can really be distilled down to four main categories: the quality of your product or service, how your customers are Wowed by excellence, how happy they are with the financial cost vs. benefit, and how they view the big-picture relationship they have with your brand.
Client Satisfaction FACTOID: Only 3% of people will complain if dissatisfied, the others will never complain, but they’ll never come back either – TARP
To paraphrase Micah Solomon, bestselling author of Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit: The Secrets of Building a Five-Star Customer Service Organization, satisfaction results when customers “consistently receive a perfect product, delivered by a caring, friendly person, in a timely fashion, with the support of an effective problem resolution process in case of any friction.”
Customer Satisfaction FACTOID: Only about one-third (36 percent) of a MarketTools Study respondents have formal voice of the customer (VOC) programs in place to collect and analyze customer feedback. And of those companies with formal VOC programs, nearly half (45 percent) solicit customer feedback on a quarterly or less frequent basis.
What are some ways you can start to determine how customer satisfaction affects your success, your bottom line? You can get a pretty reliable trend line over time by watching:
- Reviews of your product or service (and competitors, too)
- Comments that include references to your product or service (and your competitors, too)
- Conversations with and among customers and mentions in social media channels
- Direct contact with your business through support or in person
It’s not difficult to get started to keep track of the big picture of the pieces of the business that reveal customer satisfaction. You just have to take note trends over time for both you and your competition. If you have lots of reviews, comments, conversations, and contacts—you can use a sampling. If you have a manageable amount of customer touchpoints, observe and track the entire landscape.
Customer Satisfaction FACTOID: 91% of dissatisfied customers won’t purchase from you again: The White House Office of Consumer Affairs
Just Do It
To get started, set up a spreadsheet with columns for topics such as: Facebook comments, Facebook likes, retweets, @mentions, blog comments, bit.ly clicks, Twitter follows, Facebook likes, and any other ways your business interacts with customers. Then keep track of these regularly. Every day, week to week, and with monthly totals—or as often as you can. Over time, a trend picture will develop and you will have a picture of your customer universe.
Tracking sentiment will help you understand how satisfied your customers are and how loyal they are likely to become. It will also help you identify current and potential brand evangelists, so you can cultivate those relationships. And above all it will reinforce, over and over, the importance of retaining existing customers as a cost-effective way to grow your business and guide your strategy.