Do you think customer first?
Today, most companies survey their customers in one way or another. They know that customer satisfaction feedback is vital to improve their business and become a successful, customer-centric company. Despite this, most companies still do not have a clear strategy on how to work with customer feedback in a smart and predictive way. What does working with customer feedback in a predictive way mean? Gathering customer feedback only to compare it against last year’s results will not give you any real insights. You might notice that your customer satisfaction level has increased by 3. 2% compared with last year, which is good, but what does it tell you about the future?
Gathering customer feedback only to compare it against last year’s results will not give you any real insights.
What if you could have access to more information than just the score – a simple number – and somehow make it transparent to your colleagues who are in daily contact with your customers? What if you could to combine your customer’ loyalty score with their buying patterns, their experience with your support team and their usage of your products?
That would help you a lot more than that simple number and it would definitely serve better as a leading indicator telling you how you have to change your behaviour to secure a long-term customer relationship.
How do we do it?
First of all, you need to identify the most valuable metrics that can give you an overall picture of how your customers are experiencing your company and its products and services. In SaaS companies (software as a service), product engagement, customer shopping habits, and customer satisfaction/loyalty are often flagged up as good starting points. Combine these metrics and decide on the actions to take, depending on different outcomes. Yes, you have to take actions all the time – your customers expect you to!
Let’s look at two examples:
Customer A is currently paying you a lot of money. In the last customer satisfaction survey you sent them, they came out as “very happy”, so you should be safe, right? They will keep using your services… Not if your customer turns out to not actively be using your services. When it is time to renew the contract, your customer might say something like, “Ah, you know what, I like you and your product but I have not had the time to use it. We will get back to you when we have more time to start using the product.”
Customer B is indeed using your product a lot, which you can see from their usage metrics. This means you should be able to renew this customer when the contract runs out in six months, right? Maybe, if it were not for Customer B’s three new users who just got their user accounts. Unfortunately, they are not happy at all with how the service works and have experienced several problems. If you do not catchnegative signals from new users/customers during the first weeks, you will be facing churn very soon. Feedback from the onboarding process of new customers is crucial and you need a plan to measure it in a structured way.
Now imagine the group of customers who give you a high Net Promoter Score (that is, are likely to recommend you to others), who use your product regularly and the majority of whom are happy with your services. This is very likely a group of customers where you have a good chance of introducing new products or where you will see an increase of revenue per customer.
Being a customer centric company
Here are a four questions for you:
What is the single biggest reason customers leave your company or stop using your products/services? (No, price is very probably not the answer, even if your sales team try to tell you so.)
1. How do you detect early negative warning signals during the onboarding of new customers and users?
2. How do you combine data from your customer satisfaction feedback programmes with other key metrics such as product engagement?
3. How do you ensure that warning signals are communicated back to the people in your organisation who actually are the ones who can turn the customer around? (It is not the CEO who will make it happen.)
Maybe you have answers to all of these questions – most companies do not. The key takeaway is that, today, being a customer-centric company involves a lot more than putting a statement on your webpage. You need to actually put the customer at the centre of your business. If your CRM is only about registering your sales figures, you are on a slippery slope. We don’t get to decide what our customers think of us. So if we want to retain and develop our customers and secure repeat business, we need to work smart and use tools and technology to give ourselves the best possibility of reaching a higher customer satisfaction level in the future, today!
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