How can Customer Satisfaction Studies support Business [5 Critical Ways]
Do you have a comprehensive Customer Satisfaction program (CSAT program) to enhance and support your business? Your answer can be “ Yes” or “No” , but it makes a compelling case to consider,
- What are you doing to understand if your product/service is meeting customer expectations and the perceived value they draw from it?
- Are you considering how occasional feedbacks are helping you to strategize and plan your deliverables? Or
- Are your Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) studies helping you to gather a holistic picture and insights to create a competitive edge for your business?
- Are your Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) or feedbacks supporting you to retain your customers?
- How many customers make a conscious choice of buying from you and making sure that they bring their peers along?
If your answer to most of these questions is "NO", it's a high time that you consider a CSAT program to support your strategy, decision making, and your business "Unique Value Proposition or USP".
When the average lifetime of organizations is shrinking from decades to a few years and when on average worldwide more than 80% of startups fail, then, if you are not considering a holistic CSAT program for an insightful, data-driven decision making, you are surely fueling your stress for the doomsday.
What is Customer Satisfaction
Customer Satisfaction is a metrics to measure how a product/service of a business is meeting or surpassing customer expectations and is one of the important gauges to understand if a customer will be retained by on organization or simply it's an indication for Customer Loyalty and Retention for a business. More retention and customer loyalty means more revenue, cross-sell and up-sell opportunities along with more positive word of mouth. To add to it, Customer Experience is the backbone of having good customer satisfaction.
As a business owner/ decision-maker, measuring customer satisfaction can be an important yardstick because it can support you to quantify your organization's deliverables and the perceived value customers realize from your product and services.
Customer Satisfaction Program
Over time CSAT Scores measured and analyzed correctly will help you as a business owner/ decision-maker to see a holistic picture of the customers. Research and Practitioners validate that currently, Customer Satisfaction is the most widely used parameter to gauge the Customer Engagement in an organization. Most organizations measure Customer Satisfaction Studies (CSAT) or its derivative - Net Promoter Score to mirror their Customer Experience for understanding their customers in a better way.
So, you can quantify that "who is going to stay with my business" and "who can or have already gone away".
The price sensitivity too can become a lesser hindrance because the perceived value is matching or exceeding the customer expectations for a particular product/service.
And it's not about just not making a mistake any time or a perfect customer experience but is all about improving and learning from it. As a matter of fact, in spite of major mishaps along the customer journey, a customer can be still retained or can remain satisfied with a thoughtful experience and approach. If crucial touch-points for example like on-boarding and exits are considered in experience carefully, the customer becomes less sensitive to other misgivings.
Consider today is the time to start engaging with your customers a bit more to understand their expectations and perceived value to lead to more customer advocacy for your organization and business. It is the time to consider and improve your Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) program when resources and time are extremely valuable, scarce and hence decision making needs to be more informed and nuanced.
Product/service innovation, employee engagement, policy interventions, and digital marketing - everything needs a thoughtful and strategic approach to get maximum output from a focused input.
CSAT studies should be a holistic program that is not complicated but makes you understand your deliverables and expectations of customers clearly whether you are a B2B or B2C business with some customers or thousands of customers.
1. Mapping Customer Sentiments can describe Customer behavior
Customer Sentiments through customer opinion about their interaction for a product/service can be measured through emotions. Customer emotions or how customers feel while interacting and using a product/service are directly influencing their future behavior on whether they will buy again, bring their peers along or will move to the other competitor. A CSAT or feedback study should be able to gauge the customer's emotions for major or crucial touch points along with a complete journey.
The Emotions can be "Positive", "Negative" or "Neutral" but quantifying them holistically and at major touch-points can help decision-makers to understand the behavior that is driven by these emotions. This can support decision making for initiatives for an engaging experience and customer-centricity.
2. Understanding Customer Loyalty
Customer Sentiment measurement and behavior analysis can help business owners/decision-makers to quantify customer loyalty. Customer loyalty through Customer sentiments and behavior analysis can help you to understand if,
- the product/ service is having a functional fit for the customer. OR Is it giving the value that customer desires or perceives
- is the experience through product/service pleasurable with least or very intuitive effort.
So you can and should understand
"How many customers are loyal to my business".
"What are we doing "for this behavior and what else can we do to make or enhance more "customer loyalty".
Do we need to support our employees more or make them customer sensitive, do we need more marketing support or do we need to improve our processes Or maybe the policies need more customer centricity?
Csat Programs can support decision-makers with specific insights with a carefully designed program to answer the crucial for making the business survive.
3. Paving way for innovation
Researchers usually create a case on how innovation enhances brand loyalty and satisfaction.
So can increasing innovation only lead to customer satisfaction or can a specifically curated CSAT program also spur the innovation? Absolutely, yes.
Customer Satisfaction measurement supports an organization to assess its response to the expectations/perceptions as expressed by its customers and thus may support the mapping of the emotional impact of an experience, a relationship or a simple interaction. It can lead and give pointers to unsatisfied needs or ideas for some better products/services.
A holistic study will not only be insightful but can give numerous pointers to organizations to spur their R&D teams and thinkers.
4. Enhanced productivity and efficiency of the teams
An appropriately designed CSAT program can give insights to business owners/ decision-makers to provide pointers OR specific insights to sales teams, product teams, marketing teams for necessary correction/ action across the entire customer journey and engagement. Instead of doing a million things for effortless and smooth customer experience, a lot of effort can be saved to do things that can make a "difference". In all, specific actions from CSAT program to make a difference to "customers" and hence the business.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) studies can enhance customer engagement for all the departments. So maybe marketing knows their target customers and their behaviors, so focused campaign for awareness around it. Or maybe a product owner can aid a better UX design that is more intuitive.
An appropriate and holistic CSAT program can help you to forecast performance and incorporate strategy if and when needed.
5. Increase in revenue
Focusing on customer satisfaction can enhance retention by increased engagement and focus. Research by Bain & Company shows that for an increase in customer retention by 5% in a business enhances revenue increases by 25 to 95%. So retaining a customer has a direct effect on top-line and bottom-line revenues.
A customer trusts the review and word of mouth by his peer more than the marketing by the business. And without customer satisfaction; it is difficult to get references for further engagement or new customers.
The insights can help your business to understand what we should continue doing and what is not working or is engaging. You can create and pitch your unique "VALUE PROPOSITION" to your customers and stakeholders to get a competitive edge and thus attract more leads, customers.
CSAT Studies can support tremendously and are sure need to depict a clearer picture of the influences and customer behaviors. But you can easily lose track if have not created a CSAT Program that is holistic and takes into consideration your unique business challenges for your customer's behavior that is influencing satisfaction.
Customer Satisfaction Scores can lead to greater Customer Advocacy/Loyalty to make your customers your influencers, cheerleaders. More important and pertinent to engage in a careful way to understand your customers and is true for a B2B or B2C business. Customer Satisfaction as a part of overall Customer Experience Management can aid your BUSINESS SUCCESS.