“Customers may forget what you said but they’ll never forget how you made them feel. “
Who says feeling warm and fuzzy doesn’t count? We live in the age of the customer and the name of the game is customer satisfaction. Corporate service management organizations, like IT, know the importance of making customers feel good, and satisfying their product or service needs, during all parts of an interaction.
Looking for more intelligence into customer satisfaction? Behold the customer satisfaction metric, or CSAT for short. The metric tells you how happy (or unhappy) your current customers are with the entire interaction — from finding your contact information to the actual conversation (whether that be through email, chat, or social media), to closing the ticket. At the end of the interaction process, a survey is sent to the customer to rate their support experience. Once you have the data, you do a nifty calculation to get your actual CSAT score:
The importance of this metric hasn’t dwindled. As more departments in the organization (i.e. Finance, Marketing, Facilities) are orienting themselves as service departments, CSAT is more important than ever. In fact, companies, as a whole, need to understand that CSAT is not a metric to be swept under the rug.
Here are five reasons why you need to keep your eyes on CSAT:
- Beat the competition. IT is not yet an overly saturated industry, but other industries are. In those saturated markets, satisfying the customers will ignite the race towards gaining customer loyalty and outpacing your competition. Walker indicates that by 2020, customer satisfaction will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator for B2B sales. That’s a wake-up call folks! Customers have a powerful voice and many different avenues (i.e. email, websites, social media) to make it heard. Take the customer satisfaction survey seriously to see into the minds of your customer, and monitor all media channels where your customers congregate. See the competition through their eyes.
- Crystal ball for future revenue. Satisfied customers are more likely to become loyal customers. Loyal customers are more likely to make repeat purchases. The Temkin Group released data suggesting that companies with happy customers have as much as a 16% advantage over competitors in consumers’ willingness to buy, reluctance to switch brands, and likelihood of recommending them. That’s potential for steady or even increased revenue in the future. Customer success managers can upsell to engaged customers, increasing the value of those accounts and red flag when there is potential for customer churn. According to NewVoiceMedia, $41 billion dollars is lost by US companies each year due to poor customer service.
- Bad customer service = lost customers. This is a “duh” moment. Data from an American Express research report stated that 55% of consumers have intended to make a purchase, but backed out because of poor customer service. With the power of social media, bad customer service can spread like wildfire, potentially hurting your bottom line. Use the CSAT survey as a pulse check of current customer happiness and whether you are creating experiences that customers now demand. If bad customer experiences happen, follow up immediately — nothing speaks louder than contacting them to remedy negative situations.
- Smarter and more pinpoint marketing. Customers are more informed and in charge of the experience they receive than ever before. They will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize their experiences. Customer feedback can give you the scoop on those individual needs and customer demographics. CSAT metrics, along with any additional feedback you gather from customer satisfaction surveys, can help your marketing department create better customer personas, enabling how and in which direction your marketing should follow.
- Keeping customers is less traumatic on the wallet. It costs less to keep current customers than get new ones. According to Harvard Business Review, depending on your industry, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Keeping your current customers warm and fuzzy is valuable and the CSAT gives you the intel you need to not dent that company wallet.