Customer Satisfaction and Business Value
The pursuit of incredible customer satisfaction is an investment in the current and future value of your business. In much the same way as establishing your shop in a niche location or moving up the recurring revenue ladder, building a customer experience that encourages lifelong loyalty to your brand is going to take time, money, and ingenuity.
Unfortunately, many businesses don’t realize that it’s about more than chasing a perceived “number of success” or hosting more sale events to generate interest. While those are important tools in your journey, they are not the end-all be-all of customer satisfaction metrics.
Instead, a specific focus should be paid to creating a brand identity that is consistent with your demographic, then finding ways to continually delight that demographic. Not only will it look great on paper when you’re ready to sell your business, it will also encourage employee engagement, help stabilize long-term profits, and combat seasonal sales fluctuations.
Measuring With Net Promoter Scores
You can read our full article on the importance of knowing your net promoter score, but the gist is that you need to have an idea of how your customer feels about your business overall, instead of focusing on a singular transaction or interaction. Making a huge sale is not going to matter in the long-term if your customer follow-up experience is terse or unhelpful.
As our aforementioned piece on the topic says, “Large, successful businesses calculate and use their NPS to continually grow their customer base and bring in new customers over time. While customer loyalty is the lifeblood of any small business, bringing in new customers is necessary for sustained growth. “
Creating a customer experience that encourages people to share their satisfaction is the difference between a successful business and one that soon finds itself shutting its doors permanently.
Let’s say that you sell first aid kits means for industries like factories, schools, and office buildings. If you sell 15 kits to a customer for $1,000 a piece, but refuse to replace a broken latch on one of the kits, that customer is not going to promote your business to his friends and cohorts. Instead, they will actively put down your business, negatively impacting your business value. His perception of your business is going to pull your net promoter score down.
Fixing a $20 part is always worth the word of mouth praise you’ll receive for handling the situation with grace.
Genuine Engagement, Genuine Results
As you begin to shift your customer service strategy, it pays dividends to sincerely enjoy interacting with your customers. Many business owners who found failure at the end of their small business journey did so because they were always in contention with their customers. Whether they argued, denied, or pushed back against truthful criticism, they found themselves down a customer AND that customer’s net of contacts.
At the end of the day, the customer is putting food on the table. Recognizing mistakes, appeasing reasonable requests, and making a genuine effort to engage in your demographic is critical to successfully creating a long-term customer experience strategy. Most customers are more than willing to forgive mistakes if they are taken care of in a timely and polite manner. In fact, you might find that customers whose complaints were dignified and resolved will sing your praises even louder!
When it comes time to make the sale, being able to share stories of loyal customers, successful sales, and the culture you’ve built for your brand is going to create undeniable business value.
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