There is a massive difference in talking about customer satisfaction and practising it. In my opinion customer satisfaction is a crucial concept for you and your company. First, you need to understand customer satisfaction, the why, the how and the what. And then, live by it! In this article, I provide some of my thoughts around customer satisfaction: what it is, and why you and your company needs to begin measuring it.

Customer satisfaction - The definition

Customer satisfaction is a metric used to quantify how pleased customers are with their interactions and overall experience with your company. It includes how well your products and services fulfil or exceed their expectations, as well as how smooth and convenient their whole customer journey compares to other suppliers and alternatives. 

Customer satisfaction is a picture of how a customer feels about interacting with you and your brand. Companies quantify this positive or negative feeling using customer satisfaction surveys.

The responses can give you and your company an idea of your average level of customer satisfaction, sometimes along with a picture of customer loyalty, which predicts the likelihood of customer referrals.

Is customer satisfaction important?

You measure customer satisfaction to identify unsatisfied customers that could churn or leave you negative customer reviews. You also measure customer satisfaction to determine satisfied customers that you can activate as ambassadors, evangelists or referrers. And, you can't predict or prevent customer churn from planning proactively without metrics to analyse.

Customer satisfaction helps you to identify unsatisfied customers.

You can't analyse unhappy customers' feedback, or make changes to your product or service to make them happy if you don't know customers are unhappy in the first place. Make sure you deploy customer satisfaction surveys, analysing, and that you act on negative customer feedback. No matter how tough the negative feedback is to hear, they are your top priority, so you can prevent them from leaving your company. 

Customer satisfaction helps you to identify satisfied customers.

If you measure customer satisfaction, you can identify your satisfied customers, who are finding success with you and your company's offering and services. 

It would help if you prioritised customer success, and a fundamental way to identify and activate successful customers is to request feedback from your customers to identify your satisfied customers.

The satisfied customers are the ones who will recommend you to their friends and family, and they will refer new customers, at no cost.

Most of your life, you have heard that it is cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new customer, and repeat customers spend more, and so do referral customers.

Customer satisfaction helps you with forecasts and to be proactive.

Without measuring customer satisfaction, it's challenging for colleagues with external contact to plan and inform priorities. Without metrics telling you how healthy your customer base is, you and your company can't improve the customer expectations and enhance the end-to-end customer experience. Your company's decision-makers need data and trends to forecast performance over the next month, quarter, and year to be able to adapt your strategies when required.

Inbound drives customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction measures many parts of your organisation. It can optimise the performance of many internal departments by providing them with useful insights. Use this information to improve the customer experience, which can lead to an increase in customer satisfaction. 

Marketing, sales, service and R&D could use customer satisfaction to be their guide in their work when interacting with customers and prospects. 

Company's with excellent customer satisfaction can easily attract and engage with customers because they've proven they can provide a relevant and engaging experience. If you and your company want to adopt the inbound methodology, you'll need to integrate customer satisfaction into all functions.

Customer satisfaction helps to attract new leads.

Most customers are more likely to trust their peers than they are to trust you. Generally, customers are more comfortable with a purchase after being recommended by a positive review from a credible source. And without excellent customer satisfaction, you and your company won't have these reviews or recommendations.

Prospects and customers are more willing to trust other sources than you, to re-assure that they invest in a pleasant experience. The higher your customer satisfaction is, the better chances you have to reach your desired future state.

Customer satisfaction is a buying reason.

You and your company benefit from customer satisfaction because it acts as a selling point for your business. As mentioned above, customers are more willing to pay for an experience they know is excellent. If your customer satisfaction is superb, you and your team can highlight that when appropriate.

Additionally, prioritising customer satisfaction helps you to understand your customer's expectations. It helps if you analyse customer reviews to see which parts they emphasise. This way, you will know more and more about distinct advantages that make you and your company differentiate from your competitors.

Let customer satisfaction guide updates of your offering

Negative customer reviews act as alerts that let companies know when they have a problem that needs to be solved. You should monitor customer satisfaction to identify all issues and quickly resolve them. 

If your company has positive customer satisfaction, then you likely have customers who are very loyal to your company. These customers refer leads and generate testimonials without your involvement. 

Customer satisfaction improves customer retention.

The more satisfied your customers are, the better your customer retention will be. After all, satisfied customers won't have much reason to turn to competitors, as long as you keep them happy.

On the other hand, unhappy customers will have plenty of reasons to churn, and it'll be up to your team to convince them. By measuring customer satisfaction, you can find individual needs and create adapted or personalised offers for customers who are likely to churn. Since some customers leave a company due to a poor customer service experience, you may only get one opportunity to stop someone from churning. 

Customer satisfaction optimises your possibilities by providing you with relevant information about the customer's experience with you and your company.

Customer satisfaction helps you solve problems, prevent churn, grow, get recommendations, and to identify satisfied customers that can become your ambassadors and evangelists.

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Anders Björklund

Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about what and how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B. Asks a lot of questions, and knows what to do with the answers.
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