When it comes to measuring the success of a business, profits are just one possible metric. Another crucial factor with the potential to affect your future success is customer satisfaction. By tracking your customers' opinions, you can gauge your company's success and identify areas for long-term improvement.
For management professionals, customer satisfaction is one of the most important ways to measure a company's success. Happy customers indicate that all facets of your company are working well, from front-line service to back-end production. And when your clients are satisfied with your brand, they are more likely to bring repeat business, which builds the foundation for long-term success.
Customer satisfaction requires more than great service and high-performing products. In many cases, the happiest customers are emotionally engaged with a brand. They might be delighted by the way the staff goes beyond the call of duty, for example, or they may connect a brand to a particularly happy situation in their lives. In some cases, an emotional connection is established when a company representative takes the time to help a customer choose a product that will benefit the customer's personal or professional life.
According to a recent story from the Harvard Business Review, a customer who is emotionally engaged with a company is three times more likely to be a repeat customer. For businesses, that loyalty can be the difference between long-term success and failure.
In attempting to measure customer satisfaction, many businesses find it challenging to get a complete picture. The most straightforward method of measuring success is to go directly to the customer, usually with a survey or personal interaction. Asking questions about customer satisfaction only gives businesses part of the picture, however—the real proof lies in the customer's behavior. Customers who come back repeatedly and recommend a company to their friends and family are the true measure of business success.
If your company does not have integrated customer-tracking software, a short survey may be the easiest method of measuring success. Instead of asking about the customer's overall satisfaction, use questions that gauge the intent to provide repeat business. Questions like, "How likely are you to recommend this business to a friend?" and, "Do you intend to return to this business within the next thirty days?" can give you an idea of the customer's potential to bring repeat business. Although intentions are not a guarantee of future business, they offer a glimpse of customer perceptions and overall satisfaction.
By taking steps to measure customer satisfaction, you can gain important insights and find ways to improve the customer experience. In doing so, you can strengthen relationships and help safeguard your company against economic dips in the long term.
(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net)
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