Customer retention requires that the service parameters and quality expectations are known in the first place. Similarly, the degree of success in meeting those needs must also be identified and monitored, to ensure that resources are used efficiently. Market research methods are employed to obtain the information to satisfy both of these needs. Although the process demands accuracy in sampling and processing to provide reliable information, acquiring feedback from marketing research is relatively simple, although not always easy. The treatment of customer satisfaction measurement is here based on the standard principles of marketing, which aim for an optimum of repeat business through customer satisfaction, within stated resource limitations to protect the ultimate profit motive. This objective is usually achieved through the employment of marketing research and performance tracking, or feedback.
What is customer satisfaction?
In simplest terms, it is the customer,s perception that his or her expectations have been met or surpassed. You buy something, and you expect it to work properly. If it does, you are satisfied. If it does not, you are dissatisfied. Now, it is up to the seller to find a way to fix the problem so that you can become satisfied. When the fix occurs to your approval, you are satisfied. When it does not, you will vote with your feet and take your business elsewhere. Satisfied customers buy more, and more often
It is a simple truth. Satisfied customers do more business with you more often. They purchase more each time around,and they purchase more often. They also refer their family and friends to you. The link between sales, service satisfaction and profits is direct. The more a customer is satisfied, the more he or she spends. The more customers spend, the more you sell. And usually the more you sell, the profits are greater.
The Five C’s of Customer Satisfaction
In planning for optimum levels of customer satisfaction, the following five criteria must be addressed within a balanced framework. The sixth provides the basis for measuring and monitoring customer satisfaction levels. To date, owing to the complex structure of customer service, there are very few reference works dealing specifically with the practical aspects of customer satisfaction measurement as such.
The Five C’s of Customer Satisfaction Confirm Needs! Market Research, Feedback Co-ordinate! Balanced Business Approach Communicate! Marketing Orientation Consider Service! Customer Orientation Compete! Quality Improvement
- Confirm your customers’ Needs!
Successful service organizations understand the profiles, very basic needs, priorities, motivations, and expectations of their customers.
- Coordinate All Resources!
With functionalization employed in most large organizations, effective internal communications are required to ensure the best concentration of effort, so that. the optimum benefit is derived from all resources employed.
The importance of communications with both, internal and external customers cannot be over-emphasized. This requirement is vital for ensuring that emphasis is placed on “Doing the Right Thing,” rather than on “Doing Things Right.”
- Consider Service!
The importance of “front-line” customer service has been given much emphasis in recent years. Regardless of the quality of the front-line service, this cannot produce customer satisfaction in isolation unless the core service or product is also what the customer wants to begin with.
- Compete with Service Quality!
Today, change has become a way of life for successful businesses. Competing for their share of often declining, markets with fewer spending dollars, they are searching for more innovative ways to satisfy their customers, in order to survive and thrive. Quality improvements are thus driven largely by competition.
How to implement superior Customer Service Quality?
Successful businesses have learned how to apply the principles of marketing, with their central focus on “satisfying or exceeding customers’ expectations, so that they will become loyal customers.” Marketing research, performance tracking or feedback play an important role in addressing all the above criteria and in achieving the desired success.
Here are five proven techniques to to implement an outstanding customer service quality in your business.
#1: Add value
Give them something more than they were expecting. If you do this, you have already exceeded their expectations and put them on the path to becoming a satisfied customer
#2: Train your staff in internal quality.measurement techniques
Your staff must be trained to identify when and where problems are occurring and the steps they need to take to correct them before the customer sees any mistakes. Statistical measurement tools and quality standards of performance is the foundation for making this technique work great. Also, have your staff check, double check and recheck their own work rather than hiring quality watchmen. Finally, you personally must inspect what you expect, so work with employees to set their performance standards and then catch them doing something right.
#3: Constant contact
Customers who communicate with on a regular basis feel cared for and they are more likely to forgive isolated or intermittent errors on your part. Keep in constant contact with your customers through newsletters, thank you cards, birthday and holiday cards, and telephone calls.
#4: Reward Programs
Customers are just as happy to receive rewards as are your employees. Recognize and reward the efforts of customers when they make additional purchases from you and when they make exceedingly large purchases from you and when they refer new customers to you
#5: Strategic alliances and partnerships
Make your customers your partners, either in a literal or figurative sense. When people have a psychological or financial stake in a venture, they put more effort into making it work. Have your customers visit your office or facility, do a rigorous inspection and make suggestions on how you can improve your service quality. Invite your customers to be on your advisory board or your board of directors. Their insight will help you be a better provider of goods and services.