Gauteng Business News

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CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: Customer Satisfaction Crucial to Business


Recent Gauteng Business News

As competition continues to increase, businesses are forced to find new and innovative ways of creating and keeping new customers. Loyalty means profitability. “The key in the business is taking a personal interest in your customer and rewarding their loyalty,” says Louise Robinson, Sales Director of CG Consulting. “Businesses should never forget that people are the largest part of building a successful brand.”

So if customer satisfaction is essential to the survival of your business, how do you find out whether your customers are satisfied‘ The best way to find out whether your customers are satisfied is to ask them, says Robinson. One of the best ways to listen to the all-important voice of the customer is by implementing customer satisfaction surveys. Doing so can provide the feedback about an organisation’s service that it otherwise might be missing.
For instance, a customer satisfaction survey provides a glimpse of how customers view a company’s offerings, provide customer insight about competitors, and allow businesses to see what they think about the customer service operations. In addition, customer satisfaction surveys allow companies to assess how well they know their customers and to re-profile them where necessary.

“Customer satisfaction surveys allow companies to view the unfiltered impressions, whether positive or not-so-positive, about the products and services the customer experiences. Such in-depth data provides the important information that is integral to improving products and services. Survey results also give companies the opportunity to gain a better understanding of their customers themselves and their changing needs and perceptions,” says Robinson. “We live in an age where customers are more than willing to share their experiences with friends, family and the social media world. So it’s not surprising that they may be just as willing to share their experiences with the company itself – as long as they are asked.”

Companies looking to implement surveys like these will have several options with which to carry them out, and they can be done through a variety of mediums. While many businesses try to do customer satisfaction surveys in-house, the benefits of using a specialist provider can take the pain out of the process – and ensure that the survey delivers real results.

“Customer satisfaction is quite a complex issue, and when you conduct a customer satisfaction survey, and what you ask the customers is important. How, when, and how often you ask these questions are also important,” Robinson adds. “Specialists who are experts in obtaining customer feedback, and getting the right information to provide effective results, turn what can be a largely hit-and-miss process into one that delivers relevant, actionable data for a business.”

With a better understanding of customers' perceptions, companies can determine the actions required to meet the customers' needs. They can identify their own strengths and weaknesses, where they stand in comparison to their competitors, chart out path future progress and improvement. Customer satisfaction measurement helps to promote an increased focus on customer outcomes and stimulate improvements in the work practices and processes used within the company.

Robinson adds that customer satisfaction surveys are also a good way to keep clients aware of changes in a business, as new products or ranges are added or services are changed. In addition, the process updates a business’ data and fills in the gaps left by a busy sales team who may not cross-sell, up-sell or look for additional business within large organisations.

“Most companies say they believe in great customer service, but few set up a system to insure that they provide it. Delivering great service takes both understanding what your customers want and a way to see that they receive it. Many firms put effort and expense into areas that clients don't care about. Those areas that customers rate low and have high impact on customers are where you will show the biggest gains in improvement.

It's widely accepted that it is at least five times more profitable to sell to an existing customer than to find a new customer. More important, the difference between satisfied customers and very satisfied customers can make a big difference in customer repeat business and your profits. This means, first, that measuring client satisfaction is very important, and, second, that distinguishing between degrees of satisfaction is crucial,” Robinson concludes.

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