Customer satisfaction and loyalty are hot topics these days, but can they really improve your business? Innovative companies and service providers are leveraging these metrics and enjoying strong growth because of it. Learn more about how increasing client satisfaction and loyalty can take your brand to new heights.
Customer Satisfaction Is a Cumulative Experience
A common mistake with many businesses is thinking that one positive interaction yields a satisfied customer. Yet, that’s rarely the case. The primary element of serving clients is to realize that customer service is a cumulative experience.
Brand loyalty is cultivated over time – not through a single occurrence.
Take the phone or cable companies for instance. If a tech installs new service – and all goes well – the assumption is that the customer will be happy. However, this single interaction doesn’t take into account all the other touchpoints that came before (and will come after) it.
Perhaps there was an error and the initial appointment was missed. Or a previous tech couldn’t finish the job because he lacked the necessary tools or equipment. Maybe there were problems taking the order in the first place.
When it’s all said and done, you’re still looking at a disgruntled customer.
It’s true that some problems and customer churn are just part of doing business. But you can always look for ways to improve operations and reduce the rate at which it happens.
The key is understanding why customers are unhappy or leave in the first place.
The easiest way to know is to ask them.
You can use surveys to evaluate client happiness after each interaction. For higher participation rates, consider offering an incentive to encourage completion. A (small) gift or discount on their next purchase usually does the trick.
More importantly, this simple act shows you care about your customers’ opinions and value their business. Surveys are an easy way to make a great impression and gain actionable insight at the same time.
Another strategic idea is to focus on the right customers to start with.
Offering deep discounts and special offers is a surefire way to generate new clients. However, most are deal seekers who’ll likely leave as soon as prices go up. Instead of chasing low-value clients, consider using the data from your surveys to improve your marketing and grow existing relationships.
And don’t forget to always make your customers feel valued and respected.
- Use personalized messages in your marketing and support responses.
- Answer the phone promptly and address each caller by name.
- Say “thank you” often and remind clients you appreciate them.
Only by consistently serving (and satisfying) clients can we create true value. Once you do, you’ll begin reaping the many benefits of a strong brand reputation.
Loyal Customers Increase Revenue
It makes sense that loyal customers would spend more than new visitors, but how they go about it may surprise you. Frequent (loyal) patrons don’t typically buy the most per transaction, yet – over time – the revenue they generate can often top your biggest customers.
In a survey conducted by Adobe, the software company found that repeat customers (about 8% of clients) produce an astonishing 41% of online revenue. While the other 59% is generated by first-time visitors. The irony is that most companies market to new customers vs. trying to keep their more profitable existing ones happy.
With these numbers in mind, it only makes sense to provide an outstanding customer experience whenever possible.
And the good times don’t end there. Adobe’s findings revealed that existing customers spend more on each visit. Depending on the industry and items purchased, between 3-5X as much as new visitors per transaction.
In another report released by Bain & Company, the management consulting firm found that a mere 5% increase in retention rates can grow profits by 25%. Further evidence that cultivating happy customers is a smart investment. One that generates better earnings and a handsome ROI.
Satisfied Clients Improve Conversion Rates
Yet another benefit of brand loyalty is how it improves existing conversion rates. The same Adobe survey showed that returning purchasers convert up to 5X more often than new shoppers. This number jumps to 9X as frequently when it comes to repeat buyers.
Returning customers were defined as those with one or more prior purchases and repeat customers included those who bought two or more times. The report also noted how for every 1% of shoppers who return company revenues increase by approximately 10%.
Massive results from a relatively small change. These kinds of numbers show the incredible impact loyal customers can have on your brand. Simply put – repeat customers become easier to sell to with each successful transaction.
Brand Loyalty Generates Referrals
Finally, great customer experiences foster increased referral business. Whether it be from favorable reviews or comments, recommendations to family and friends, or shout-outs on social media.
Utilizing social proof in sales is recognized as a critical element for success. Market research giant Nielsen conducted a poll and found that roughly 70% of respondents trust referral advertising on branded websites and consumer opinions posted online.
Furthermore, according to Bain & Company, customers having good experiences are more likely to share their story and make recommendations to others. In fact, after just three successful purchases, customer referrals grew by 30%.
This same number rose to 50% after five trouble-free purchases and a whopping 70% referral increase after 10 successful purchases.
More evidence that as customer satisfaction grows, so does brand loyalty.
In the end, it’s hard to beat established brands when it comes to pricing, logistics, selection, etc. After all, using volume to improve tight margins is what they do best.
However, small and midsize businesses can compete in the areas where these giants fall short. Like responding promptly to customer requests, communicating using their client’s preferred mediums (email, text, phone, or social media), and – most importantly – adding a human touch to the experience.
In other words, providing exceptional customer service.
Thankfully, there are programs like Request Tracker Pro.
- A simple, easy-to-use dashboard that keeps you organized and efficient.
- Powerful automation tools to reduce work and improve response times.
- Multiple communication options to connect with clients on their terms.
- Integrated reminders to ensure nothing falls between the cracks.
Best of all, you can get started for FREE.
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