“Learn from the mistakes of others. You cannot live long enough to make them yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Customer satisfaction can be likened to a courtship, whereby the suitor must put in some effort to win over the heart of his desired partner. A variety of techniques are used on the potential partner such as taking them out for lunches or dinners, calling regularly, spending time with the potential partner and providing for their needs. When the wooing strategies pay off and the potential partner agrees to date you, it will be an exciting moment.
Nonetheless, when the suitor wins, it does not mean they stop trying to impress the newly found partner because if they want them for a long-term commitment, the relationship must be nurtured by doing more to show that there is care.
This is the same with customers, once an organisation gets them to patronise their products and services, they need to give them attention on a more regular basis. However, some may say they have one customer and it is enough but not all businesses can survive with a single-purchase customer because these have a short lifespan.
Neither can they survive on angry customers because these are not sustainable when it comes to the bottom line of the organisation. There is also a greater likelihood that an angry, dissatisfied customer can move over to the next competitor. On the other hand, the only way a business can catch more customers who will do frequent repeat purchases is through making the current customers happy.
Every organisation requires money to survive in the business jungle and the only source of money for a business is its customers. Continuous survival of a business is only guaranteed when its customer base is happy because happy customers means repeat purchases, referrals and loyalty.
Although every organisation desires to survive and leave a legacy, it is only those organisations that are customer-centric that will survive and thrive. Organisations must come up with strategies that favour the happiness of its customers and with the right strategies, an organisation will never stop worrying about their perception of the organisation and keeping communication lines open all the time.
The fact that we are living in a human-to-human world makes customer relationship with organisations a part of our daily living, hence making the satisfaction of our customers a priority.
Delivering on promise and value helps in relationship-building
When organisations are courting their customers, they use their company or sales representatives to woo the customers. Sales representatives normally use the selling process to convert the potential customers into real customers. Whenever a sales representative meets potential customers the likelihood of making promises is very high and this will only bear fruit if the organisation is able to deliver on what would have been promised.
Customers get satisfaction from organisations that not only deliver on promises but on true value too that can build trust. Studies in customer satisfaction revealed that customers relate to organisations that give them assurance that they will be continuous delivery of quality service. It is easy to convert satisfied customers into loyal customers, because according to White House Office of Consumer Affairs, loyal customers are worth 10 times their initial purchase value.
Long-term relationships with customers is, therefore, built by delivering promised value while setting the business up for happy customer relationship.
Price for poor customer service
An unsatisfied customer has bargaining power over an organisation brand reputation. In the internet age, customers have more sources of information when it comes to unfiltered reviews about different brands. This makes it difficult for organisations to rise if there is a bad encounter with a customer and once that is posted on the internet and it goes viral, organisations may struggle to convince new customers and risk losing the current ones. Bad reputation has a domino effect on sales and eventually on the profits.
Some customers are not willing to be dragged into the mud with a brand that suddenly finds itself with a bad reputation. This can even claim the support of loyal customers who may switch to competitors. Long-lasting brands must always be free from scandals and preserve their good reputation.
Satisfy the internal customer to satisfy the external customer
There is reciprocity as far as customer satisfaction is concerned. Organisations that are concerned with satisfying their external customers must always start with the internal customer. This is because, if internal customers are not happy, it is difficult for them to give the other customers what they do not have and that is happiness.
It is the duty of the customer-focused organisation to motivate and incentivise its representatives so that they have the desire, energy and determination to convert leads into sales. A drained representative lacks efficiency, does not enjoy performing above expectations and can easily exude that negative energy to customers. Negative actions by a sad representative may end up being a barrier between the organisation and the customer.
The morale of the organisation’s team, the retention rate and sadly the profit are things that are affected if the organisation fails to satisfy their customers. Whenever there is an interaction between the sales representative and the customer, organisations strive to make sure that there is positive feedback for both parties. When such feedback is received by either the customer or company representative, they both feel motivated, happy, inspired and above all satisfied.
Those organisations that have managed to satisfy their target market enjoy benefits such as customer advocacy, loyal customers and better customer relationship management. These will be dealt with in our next instalment.
Cresencia Marjorie Chiremba, is a marketing enthusiast with a strong passion for customer service. For comments and suggestions, she can be reached on [email protected] or on 0712979461.